Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bizarre polling disconnect of the day

By Greg Sargent | September 27, 2010; 3:26 PM ET

Public opinion is a strange and wonderful thing. CNN has a new poll out that finds a plurality thinks Congressional Republicans, not Dems, are the ones with solutions to our economic mess:

Whose economic policies are more likely to improve economic conditions -- the Democrats in Congress or the Republicans in Congress?

Democrats in Congress 41%

Republicans in Congress 47%

But when you dig into the poll's internals, you find that more respondents blame those same Congressional Republicans for our economic mess:

Who do you think is more responsible for the country's current economic problems -- the Democrats in Congress or the Republicans in Congress?

Democrats in Congress 35%

Republicans in Congress 41%

This disconnect is even more pronounced with independents: They blame the Congressional GOP for our current mess by a five point margin, but they prefer the GOP by a 13 point margin when asked which party is best likely to fix that same mess.

If I had to hazard an explanation for this, I'd say it's further proof that the current GOP has succeeded in achieving separation from the party of Bush. And that the public isn't listening to the Dem message that a vote for today's GOP is a return to the Bush policies that ran the economy into the ground. People are willing to blame previous GOP policies for the current crisis but are not willing to use that as the basis for their conclusions about the consequences of returing the GOP to power.

Or maybe this just shows that public opinion is very confused and volatile right now, and that we have no idea what voters are really thinking.

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