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Public Notice Weekly Polling Analysis

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The Minority Report is a news and information website devoted to politics and culture in the United States. Since the prevailing wisdom seems to be that the United States Government should be involved in everything, everywhere, The Minority Report covers a wide range of topics from a conservative perspective. In short, The Minority Report is primarily for news and discussion about Politics, Congress, Conservatism and all other things we deem important. We also spend a lot of time on the impact that the statesmen stumbling about those illustrious chambers have on the rest of us.

POLLING ANALYSIS

January 26-February 1, 2013

MUST READ:
According to Reason, on average, Americans believe the federal government wastes about 47 cents out of every dollar it spends.

According to Pew, 53% of adults say the federal government threatens their personal rights and freedoms; 43% say it does not. Of those who said yes, 31% believe the federal government is a major threat to their rights and 22% believe it is just a minor threat. According to Reason, 47% of adults believe the less government the better; 46% believe there are more things the government should be doing.

According to Reason, 74% of adults think the federal government spends too much money; 5% say it spends too little; and 14% say it spends the right amount. 21% said the federal government spends too much on defense; 13% said it spends too much on entitlement and welfare programs; and 13% said it spends too much on foreign aid.

According to the Economist, 25% of adults would cut spending and raise taxes to reduce the budget deficit; 45% would only cut spending; 8% would only raise taxes; and 7% wouldn’t do either.

According to Reason, 75% of adults said the budget deficit is a major problem that must be addressed now; 20% said it is a major problem that should be addressed once the economy is better; and 3% said it is not much of a problem.

President Obama: Average approval from early to late January was 52.3% according to RealClearPolitics. Average disapproval was 42.8%. (The average one week ago, which covered early to late January, was 52.2%. Average disapproval was 43.1%)

Here are the polls released this week on Presidential job approval:

  • Democracy Corps: 54% of likely voters approve and 44% disapprove.
  • Economist: 49% of adults approve and 46% disapprove.
  • Reason: 52% of adults approve and 42% disapprove.

Gallup tracks President Obama’s job approval on a weekly basis. The average one week ago (Jan. 14-20, 2012) showed 50% approved and 43% disapproved. The latest weekly numbers available (Jan. 21-27, 2012) showed 52% approve and 43% disapprove. Last year at this time (Jan. 23-29, 2011), 45% approved and 48% disapproved.

Rasmussen conducts a daily tracking poll. One week ago (Jan. 25), 55% approved and 44% disapproved. On Feb. 1, approval was 56%; disapproval was 44%. Last year at this time, the President’s approval was 49% and his disapproval 49%.

Congress: Average approval for early- to  late January was 15.4% according to the RealClearPolitics average. Average disapproval was 78.6%. (The average one week ago, which covered early to mid-January, was 15.2%. Average disapproval was 79.3%)

Here are the polls released this week on Congressional job approval:

  • Economist: 10% of adults approve and 64% disapprove.
  • Reason: 17% of adults approve and 74% disapprove.

Right Track/Wrong Track: According to the RealClearPolitics average, which covered  mid- to late January, 37.4% think the country is headed in the right direction while 55.8% think it is headed in the wrong direction. (One week ago, the right track average, which covered  mid- to late January, was 36.6%. The wrong track average was 56.4%.)

Here are the polls released this week on the direction of the country:

  • Democracy Corps: 32% of likely voters think the country is headed in the right direction and 59% think it is headed in the wrong direction.
  • Economist: 34% of adults think the country is headed in the right direction and 50% think it is headed in the wrong direction.
  • Rasmussen: 39% of likely voters think the country is headed in the right direction and 54% think it is headed in the wrong direction.

ISSUE SPECIFIC

Budget Deficit & Spending:

According to Reason, 17% of adults believe the federal spending increases made over the last 20 years have improved their quality of life; 40% say the increases have reduced their quality of life; and 39% say they have not made much of an impact.

According to Reason, 49% of adults believe reducing federal spending to 1990s levels would help the economy, 12% say it would hurt; and 31% say it would make no difference.

According to Reason, 49% of adults favor cutting defense spending and 45% oppose. 15% say you couldn’t cut any defense spending without affecting U.S. security. 21% believe you could cut between one and nine percent without affecting security; 25% say you could cut between 1% and 24%; 14% say you could cut between 25% and 49%; 5% say you could cut between 50% and 74%; 1% say you could cut between 75% and 99% percent; and 2% say you could cut 100% of defense spending without affecting U.S. security.

Reason asked respondents whether they would support certain policies in order to cut the budget deficit, or in general. According to the poll:

  • 33% of adults would support raising taxes on everyone in order to reduce the budget deficit; 65% would oppose.
  • 66% of adults would support raising taxes on the wealthy in order to reduce the budget deficit; 31% would oppose.
  • 85% of adults would support reducing spending in order to reduce the budget deficit; 12% would oppose.
  • In general, 31% would favor raising the Medicare eligibility age; 66% would oppose.
  • In general, 40% would favor changing Medicare and Social Security so only those below a certain income level received benefits 56% would oppose.
  • In general, 39% would favor changing the way Social Security COLAs are calculated; 55% would oppose.
  • In general, 50% would favor eliminating all tax deductions and credits if it lowered overall rates; 42% would oppose.
  • In general, 59% would favor eliminating the mortgage tax deduction if it would lower the overall income tax rate; 32% would oppose.

Reason asked what should be done to reduce the budget deficit:

  • 36% said spending should be reduced;
  • 9% said taxes should be increased or tax reform passed;
  • 8% said the economy should improve and jobs should be added;
  • 6% said reduce defense spending;
  • 5% said reduce politicians’ pay and perks;
  • 5% said reduce entitlement and welfare spending;
  • 5% said reduce foreign aid;
  • 4% cut the size of the federal government; and
  • 4% said pay down the national debt.

According to Reason, 13% of adults said the budget deficit should the top priority for the president in his second term. Only the economy (29%) and jobs (19%) received higher percentages.

President Obama approval on the issue:

  • Economist: 38% of adults approve and 51% disapprove.

Debt Ceiling:

According to Reason, 29% of adults support raising the debt ceiling while 64% oppose.

Economy & Jobs:

According to Reason, 29% of adults think the economy should be the top priority for the president in his second term. 19% said jobs. No other issue received higher percentages.

According to the Economist, 25% of adults believe the economy is getting better, 32% believe it is getting worse; and 36% believe it is stuck in neutral.

According to Gallup, its “Economic Confidence Index improved to -9, from -13 the prior week and -22 during the last week of December. This just beats the previous weekly high of -10 set during the week ending Nov. 4, just before the U.S. presidential election.”

President Obama approval on the issue:

  • Economist: 44% of adults approve and 48% disapprove.
  • Reason: 48% of adults approve and 47% disapprove.

Health Care:
According to Rasmussen, 45% of likely voters have a somewhat favorable opinion of the health care law, while 51% view it unfavorably.

Regulation:
According to Reason, 45% adults believe the U.S. needs a strong government right now to handle its current complex economic problems. 49% say Americans themselves would be better able to handle today’s problems within a free market that has less government involvement.

Taxes:
According to the Economist, 18% of adults think their taxes will go up a lot as a result of the fiscal cliff deal; 42% believe they will go up some; 22% believe they will go up a little; and 19% believe they won’t go up at all.

According to Reason, 26% of adults say raising taxes on wealthy would reduce the amount the wealthy would work and invest. 68% say it would not.

According to Rasmussen, 48% of adults believe it is possible to balance the federal budget without raising taxes.

According to the Economist, even though the fiscal cliff deal already raised taxes on them, 56% of adults would support increasing taxes on Americans who earn more than $400,000 a year. 29% would oppose.

According to the Economist, 52% of adults would support raising taxes on Americans who earn between $250,000 and $400,000 a year.

According to Reason, 50% would favor eliminating all tax deductions and credits if it lowered overall rates; 42% would oppose.

According to Reason, 59% would favor eliminating the mortgage tax deduction if it would lower the overall income tax rate; 32% would oppose.

View of Government:
According to Pew, 20% of adults are basically content with the federal government; 58% are frustrated; and 19% are angry.

According to Pew, only 3% of adults trust the federal government to do what is right all of the time; 23% say they trust the federal government most of the time; 67% say only some of the time; and 6% say they never trust the federal goverment to do what is right.

Public Notice is an independent non-profit dedicated to providing facts and insight on the economy and how government policy affects Americans’ financial well-being.

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