Thursday, February 28, 2013

Conservatives: "Out of Touch, Too Extreme."

Especially for those who watch MSNBC on a regular basis, the recent Pew Research Center poll gave many reasons to cheer earlier this month.  We present the results from their poll and their take on their poll, "GOP Seen as Principled, But Out of Touch and Too Extreme, Images of the Parties: A Closer Look," with our comments and highlights for talking points in debating the Conservative Sheeplets, online or in person.

We've had to include some of Pew's language like "somewhat," "opinion is mixed," "however," and other language that tends to favor the Conservative cause in the midst of contrary data:


At a time when the Republican Party’s image is at a historic low, 62% of the public says the GOP is out of touch with the American people, 56% think it is not open to change and 52% say the party is too extreme.

Opinions about the Democratic Party are mixed, but the party is viewed more positively than the GOP in every dimension tested except one. Somewhat more say the Republican Party than the Democratic Party has strong principles (63% vs. 57%).

The national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Feb. 13-18 among 1,504 adults, comes at a time when Republican leaders are debating the party’s future in the wake of Barack Obama’s reelection. The Republican Party’s image has been hit hard over the past decade. In January, just 33% said they viewed the party favorably, among the lowest marks of the last 20 years. The GOP’s favorable rating has not been above 50% since shortly after George W. Bush’s reelection in 2004.

An earlier release from the survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY found that while both party’s congressional leaders receive negative job ratings, just 25% approve of the job performance of GOP leaders, compared with 37% approval for Democratic congressional leaders.

The new report finds that while the Democratic Party is viewed more positively on most traits tested, opinion is divided about whether the party is out of touch with the American people: 46% say it is, while 50% it is not. And only somewhat more say the Democratic Party is looking out for the country’s future than say that about the Republican Party (51% vs. 45%).

Republicans More Critical of Their Party

Republicans are more critical of their party than Democrats are of theirs on most issues. For example, 36% of Republicans say the GOP is out of touch with the American people. Just 23% of Democrats say their party is out of touch. And while 30% of Republicans say their party is not open to change, just 10% of Democrats make the same criticism of their party.

(Pew had to 'fess up here, the data is too overwhelming and revealing.)

However, Republicans overwhelmingly credit their party for having strong principles; 85% say the GOP has strong principles while 13% say it does not. And 80% of Republicans say their party is looking out for the country’s long-term future.

The GOP also gets high marks from independents and Democrats for having strong principles. Fully 62% of independents say the Republican Party has strong principles, the most positive measure for any party trait tested. Even about half of Democrats (52%) say the Republican Party has strong principles.

("Credit?" "High marks?"  The use of the phrase "strong principles" is not by itself a positive term, as a similar poll taken in the beer gardens in Munich in the '30s might have been described similarly.)

Partisan views about whether the Republican Party is too extreme are mirror images: 78% of Republicans say the GOP is not too extreme, while 19% say it is; 78% of Democrats view the Republican Party as too extreme while 19% disagree.
(These numbers are snapshots of "extremism" in both parties, and should be considered when analyzing the party structures in America, especially the current GOP Civil War.)

Democrats express highly positive views of their party across-the-board, while Republicans’ opinions about the Democratic Party are uniformly negative. At least 80% of Democrats evaluate their party positively on every trait except one, being out of touch with the American people. Even there, 76% of Democrats say their party is not out of touch, while just 23% say it is.

(A reluctant admission by Pew.)

Far more independents say the Democratic Party is open to change than say that about the Republican Party (54% vs. 39%). The gap is roughly the same in independents’ views about whether the parties are out of touch (65% Republican vs. 51% Democratic) and too extreme (51% vs. 40%).

(The key to the 2012 Election!)

However, independents are divided over whether the Democratic Party looks out for the country’s future: 45% say it does and 51% say it does not. Independents have similar views about whether the Republican Party looks out for the future (43% yes, 51% no).

About a quarter of independents (27%) say that neither party is looking out for the country’s future. An even higher percentage of independents (37%) say that both parties are out of touch with the American people.

(And here are the first numbers we should look at to determine our progress in criminalizing Conservatism - the meme that the Conservatives LOVE, that there are no fundamental differences between the Parties, that a politician is a politician is a politician is a major stumbling block in our political arena.  Educating the voters about this fallacy is one of the most important things we can do over the next four years.)

Overall Views of Parties

The Republican Party’s overall image stands at one of the lowest points in nearly two decades. And, while impressions of the Democratic Party are much stronger, they are far below where they were four years ago.

In January, 33% of the public had a favorable view of the GOP, compared with 58% who held an unfavorable impression of the party. Among Republicans themselves, 69% had a favorable impression, down from a recent high of 89% reported after the GOP convention. Majorities of both Democrats and independents viewed the Republican Party unfavorably (83% and 58%, respectively).

(These numbers can also be expressed thus:  6 out of 10 people have an unfavorable view of the GOP, and even 3 out of 10 Republicans have an unfavorable impression of themselves.  And with no explanation at all, we learn that Democrats view the GOP unfavorably, and Independents feel the same at a ratio of 6 to 4.  As the GOP Civil War heats up and Conservative pols shoot each other in the foot - or worse, we would expect these numbers to increase.)

Views of the Democratic Party were evenly divided in January: 47% favorable, 46% unfavorable. Among Democrats, 87% had a favorable impression of their party while roughly the same percentage of Republicans held an unfavorable view (84%). Independents, on balance, had more unfavorable impressions of the Democratic Party (52%) than favorable ones (37%).

(The importance of these poll results is that "Independents, on balance, had more unfavorable impressions of the Democratic Party (52%) than favorable ones (37%).  Independents are the key to elections, and while those on the left of the political spectrum are very likely to understand the criminality of the Conservative "movement," the independent voter is another case entirely...especially the low-information voter who can be impossible to reach if that same voter never looks at the news.)

For those interested in Pew's methodology, go to

But the Conservatives aren't unaware of the carnage they have wrought.  Business Insider reports on the poll in an article, "This Brutal Poll Says Everything You Need To Know About The State Of The GOP," thus:

"The poll found that 62 percent of all Americans — including 36 percent of Republicans — think the party is out of touch. That's 16 points higher than the percentage of people who thought the same about Democrats.

Respondents also blasted the GOP as "too extreme." A majority, or 52 percent, of those polled said that phrase describes the Republican Party, 13 points higher than the Democratic Party.

The GOP image is at its lowest point in nearly two decades.

Overall, Republicans polled were much less supportive of their party in general than were Democrats. Only 69 percent of Republicans viewed their party in a favorable light, compared with 87 percent of Democrats who said the same about their party.

Republicans also scored especially poorly with Independent voters — 65 percent of self-described Independents said the GOP is out of touch, and 51 percent said it's too extreme.

A majority of Independents also cast Democrats as "out of touch," but they rejected the notion that Democrats were too extreme.

The poll comes at a time when President Barack Obama and Democrats are battling with Republicans over yet another federal budget issue — the across-the-board cuts known as the sequester, which will start to kick in this week. A separate Pew poll released Tuesday found that Americans would blame Republicans over Obama by a 45-32 margin if the sequester goes into effect.
Exposing the criminality of the "vast right-wing criminal conspiracy" to the independent is a tall order, as they don't read the political sites on the web, and any outreach must be structured delicately so as not to alarm the moderate segment of the electorate.


"If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a
friendship. We'd never go into business, because we'd be cynical. Well, that's nonsense.
You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down."

Ray Bradbury