Polls and who really gives a damn about opinions

President Obama’s approval rating is up 3%. I don’t even know if 3% really counts in the world of opinion polls. It could as easily read that 3% of the poll respondents had just gotten laid, thus they were happier with the world. The President may have gotten the famous “hey I just got a piece of ass… so yeah I think the Prez is doing a good job, I know that my wife is doing a better job” bump in polls. We could even call this the bump of bumping uglies effect.

This has been a week of interesting opinion fishing. Yesterday the Washington Post ran two pieces on questions being asked of voters. One was about America’s disgust of Congress and the President…yet they seem to like the President’s economic policies… as long as his name is not attached to the policies. The other piece is about some weird 5th grade popularity contest being used to rank GOP presidential candidates.

The first article tells me that : 51% favor payroll tax cuts for workers; 53% favor federal aid to states to avert public employee layoff; 80% support spending for the nation’s infrastructure; 65% favor increasing taxes on Americans who make more $1 million a year (Republicans have blocked all these things); and these percentages only happen when the President’s name ISN”T mentioned.

The second article states that in a 5th grade popularity contest Cain would be the “hard worker,” Romney would be the “rich kid,” and Perry was a “bully.” Even though Cain was seen as a “hard worker,” when asked with a show of hands (in true 5th grade fashion) not a single hand went up when a group of voters were asked if Cain “could be President of the United States.”

In other words… none of these polls and popularity contests mean shit. Eyes roll and mouths drool in stupification at percentages, but if you want a real academic view of percentages and Cain’s chances at becoming the GOP candidate, read my good friend Matt’s blog. People think what they want to think and respond in the moment.

A random polling phone call, a “click here” Internet site, and small gathering of potential voters does not equate to voter action on election day. In the booth the real inner-self of voters come out. The closet fascist or liberal bubbles forth and the lever is pulled. I imagine some of us even start lying to ourselves and others when we exit. Voting is private, thus one is free to state whatever bullshit they want as soon as the “I voted” sticker is put on their jacket. I MAY have been guilty of this in 1992 by claiming to have voted for George H.W. Bush. Bill Clinton was my man when I was alone in the voting booth.

Visceral and emotional responses are so much more important than facts. Cain seems like a “hard worker” and Romney is a “rich kid.” Regardless of their abilities, voters gravitate toward feelings. In the end we Blink and make a gut decision… and this may be the right one for us. People believe they know and you can’t sway them of that belief.

I know I have opinions that should be asked in a poll. I fantasize about receiving a phone call and asked the following random questions:

1. Taco Bell or KFC? KFC… no doubt, I like my greasy food to come with sides of powdered potatoes and sweet cole slaw and when in the Hell did KFC start offering mac-n-cheese AND green beans????

2. Fiction or nonfiction books? Nonfiction… cause authors usually do a shitty job of convincing me to give a shit about their characters… most protagonist  seem like whiny bitches. Harry Potter is the queen of whiny bitches.

3. Boxers or briefs? Neither… going commando is more manly.

4. Bert or Ernie? Ernie because you know that brother would know how to party! Bert serves no other purpose than being the designated driver… but he would complain all night about how much you and Ernie were drinking.

5. Stones or Beatles? Stones… they are bad ass, the Beatles were just asses.

6. Zombies or werewolves? Zombies… werewolves ain’t real.

7. American or National League baseball? National league… the designated hitter rule is for the weak-minded manager.

There are no facts, there is only what one believes. And I believe Bert would be a better President… he is just so much more responsible.


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