Tag Archives: Gallup Poll

Does gun control doom 2nd Amendment? Um, no!

I believe we can start debating gun legislation now in the wake of the Sutherland Springs, Texas massacre. Correct?

It has commenced and there now appears to be some indication of public support for stricter gun laws.

A Gallup Poll reveals that 51 percent of Americans now favor increased regulation on guns purchases. Wow, man! Imagine that. Most Americans, according to Gallup, think the nation needs to legislate some remedy to keep guns out of the hands of madmen, such as the guy who opened fire at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.

Most want gun control

I am acutely aware that this is a complicated problem that requires a finely nuanced legislative solution. I am a supporter of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; I also own firearms. I need no lecture on how the Second Amendment has been interpreted by the courts.

The Sutherland Springs tragedy also brings to mind a monumental failure by the U.S. Air Force to report the gunman’s criminal history to the FBI, which could have prevented him from getting the weapon he used to slaughter those people in the church sanctuary.

The complications, of course, become evident when bad actors acquire guns from family members, or friends, or some fly-by-night gun seller looking to make a few bucks. I do not know how you prevent those crackpots from obtaining guns.

Is there a legislative solution that remains faithful to the Second Amendment? I believe one can be found. Somewhere. By someone. Somehow.

If the Gallup Poll is accurate — and I tend to believe it is — then our elected representatives have been given a chance to do what they’ve been unwilling to do in the wake of other horrific tragedies.

Of course, it would be a no-brainer were it not for the existence of that political powerhouse called the National Rifle Association.

Obama 'most admired man' … in the world

What’s going on here?

I thought Barack Obama was the “worst president in U.S. history,” that his policies are bankrupting the country, that he’s a weakling who cannot make up his mind on how to fight terrorism, that he’s an “empty suit” with no vision for anything.

Isn’t that what the right-wing mainstream media have been telling us?

Sure it is.

Now comes a new Gallup Poll that says something quite different. It’s that President Obama is the “most admired man in the world” for the seventh year in a row.


Man, I don’t get it. The media are filling us with these so-called “truths” about Obama, but the public just ain’t buying it.

Occasionally, U.S. presidents get supplanted as the “most admired” person. It’s been the pope on occasion. Lyndon Johnson didn’t fare too well during the Vietnam War, nor did Richard Nixon do well in the poll as Watergate began to boil over.

Barack Obama? Well, he seems to enjoy fairly high standing among citizens of the world — which I’m assuming includes Americans who keep telling the right-wing media that the president is doing a lousy job.

Stand tall, Mr. President.


Obama poll numbers aren't 'sinking'

Listen to the talking heads on some cable news channels, or read reports in mainstream newspapers and you get a dire picture of President Obama’s political standing.

Why, those troublesome polls show his popularity “plummeting,” “sinking,” “spiraling downward.”

Media Matters — an acknowledged left-wing media watchdog group — disagrees.


The organization points out correctly that Barack Obama’s standing among Americans has remained unchanged for the past year.


His numbers are stable. They aren’t sinking or plummeting. They aren’t spiraling anywhere, let alone downward.

Why do the media keep harping on something that’s, well, untrue?

Media Matters examines some poll number averages: “According to the cumulative ratings posted daily at Real Clear Politics, which averages together an array of national polls to come up with Obama’s composite job approval rating, the president’s approval on January 1, 2014 stood at 42.6 percent. The president’s approval rating on October 30, was 42 percent. So over the course of 10 months, and based on more than one hundred poll results in 2014, Obama’s approval rating declined less than one point.”

Holy smokes! Does that constitute a president whose standing is headed straight for the dumper? I think not.

It’s interesting, too, that Media Matters isn’t targeting just the right-wing media — a favorite target — in critiquing the bogus reports of Obama’s standing. It cites mainstream media across the spectrum, even those dreaded “liberal media” outlets that supposedly can say nothing critical of the president or his friends in Congress.

The link attached is most interesting and it puts the president’s standing in a context that bears little resemblance to what the media are reporting.


Uninsured rate is falling

Politicians of all stripes have this way of spinning news in their favor and against their opponents’ interests.

That’s how the game is played. Take the Affordable Care Act. President Obama has declared something of a victory in that 7.1 million Americans signed up for the ACA before the March 31 open enrollment deadline; he had set a goal of 7 million signups. Republicans on the other hand declared the signup period a failure because of the rollout snafus and clumsiness that followed.

Now comes some interesting news from the Gallup Poll organization. The rate of uninsured Americans is the lowest since 2008, the final full year of George W. Bush’s presidency.


What does that mean?

Let’s see. The president said when he took office in 2009 that he intended to make health insurance available to more Americans and to bite into the number of uninsured Americans, which stood at 40 million or so, give or take.

The ACA passed. The enrollment period opened up. Americans got signed up through the exchanges. More Americans now have health insurance than before enactment of the law and, according to Gallup, the rate of uninsured Americans is at a six-year low.

The improvement is greatest among poor Americans and African-Americans, says Gallup. The rate of uninsured among all age groups has declined.

Is this an unqualified success for the Obama administration? It is not. The president made a couple of promises he couldn’t keep, such as the infamous “you can keep your doctor” pledge. The law will need to be tweaked, fine-tuned and improved along the way — which is the norm for almost all major pieces of legislation.

However, to say the ACA has “failed” and that it is going to “bankrupt the country” and create “death panels” to determine who lives is dishonest in the extreme.

The survey noted here suggests that the administration’s major goal — to provide health insurance to more Americans — has been met.

Texas Hispanics lean GOP? Imagine my surprise

Why am I not surprised to learn this little tidbit?

A Gallup Poll suggests that Texas Hispanics — who are comprising a rapidly growing segment of the state’s population — are more Republican than Hispanics in other states.


And to think that Democrats have been banking on the growing Hispanic population to turn the state more in their favor.

“Texas remains a Republican-leaning state because its white residents are becoming increasingly Republican and its large Hispanic population, though solidly Democratic, is less so than Hispanics nationally,” the Gallup website says.

This new polling data suggest that the Texas Democratic Party has a huge mountain to climb in its quest to turn the state into more of a battleground, let alone into a state that returns to its Democratic roots.

White Texans are continuing to support Republicans heavily. No surprise there. What does surprise some of folks, me included, is that Texas Hispanics aren’t as upset with the GOP’s refusal to act on issues dear to them. Immigration reform comes to mind, as does voter identification — two issues that play well into Democratic hands in many other parts of the country.

I’ve long been skeptical of Battleground Texas’s claim that 2014 will be a turnaround year for the state’s Democratic Party. It won’t happen this year, or maybe not even in 2016.

I hope it does turn from deeply Republican into something of a more competitive state. I long have held that competition keeps both major parties more honest. It diminishes the chances of one-party arrogance that arises from total domination.

The Gallup survey suggests, though, that more arrogance is going to in our state’s immediate political future.

Too bad.

Re-election hill steepens some for incumbents

The Gallup Poll organization reports something that might give congressional incumbents plenty of pause as they campaign for re-election.

Listen up, Rep. Mac Thornberry.

It is that 46 percent of Americans — a record low — would vote to re-elect their member of Congress in 2014.


That’s down from 59 percent in 2012, according to RealClearPolitics.com.

Get this as well: It’s split evenly among Democrats and Republicans, at 18 percent for members of each party.

Why should this concern incumbents? Republicans in particular have shown this penchant for — as the late Texas state Sen. Teel Bivins used to say — “eating their young.” Tea party insurgents keep popping up to challenge “establishment Republican” incumbents. It’s happening in the 13th Congressional District — which Thornberry represents — with two challengers trying to outflank the incumbent on the right. The same is true in Kentucky, where Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is being challenged by the tea party, as is Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

It’s no secret that this appears to be the season of discontent with Congress. Polls show congressional approval in the low teens, which actually is a slight improvement from late in 2013, when it slid into the single digits.

How will this end up? It could end well for incumbents, but only perhaps when Congress can re-learn the art of legislating, which involves some compromise between the parties.

Obama most admired man in U.S. Who knew?

The Gallup Poll has just released a survey that is going to surprise more than a few folks. It surprised me, for example.

It says President Barack Obama is the most admired man in America — by a comfortable margin at that.


The most admired woman happens to be former first lady/Sen./Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Why is this so surprising? I see a couple of interesting things here.

The first one is obvious. President Obama has had a rough year, particularly as it relates to the unveiling of the Affordable Care Act. The debut of the ACA was a disaster, technically speaking. The rollout came on top of a barrage of criticism of the ACA from Republicans who managed somehow to win the argument.

Despite all the bad press, the president continues to stand fairly tall in the minds of millions of Americans.

Much the same can be said of Hillary Clinton, who left public office at the beginning of the year as a controversy over her office’s handling of an uprising in Libya drew fire. The consulate in Benghazi was attacked, four Americans died in a ferocious fire fight and Clinton took lots of heat over the way her office handled the initial response.

Yet, for the 12th year in a row, she remains America’s most admired woman.

The second factor is interesting as well, in that Gallup isn’t exactly known for favoring so-called “liberals.” The poll long has been viewed by observers as tilting a tad to the right. Still, the poll is deemed reputable.

The lesson here might only be that we need not pay too much attention to the chattering class that so often seems to outshout the rest of the us.

GOP fails to heed the message

Two new polls should turn congressional Republicans downright apoplectic.

The Associated Press/GFK poll puts congressional approval at 5 percent. That’s bad enough. Now comes a new Gallup Poll that says 28 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the GOP, a record low for the Gallup organization.


To be sure, Democrats aren’t faring much better. Public opinion surveys are blaming Congress — not the White House or the president — for the government mess that now threatens to blow the economy to smithereens.

And by Congress, I mean members of both parties.

However, since Republicans control the budget-writing arm of the legislative branch — the House of Representatives — they are going to get bulk of the blame if the parties fail to agree on a way to reopen parts of the government and increase the nation’s debt ceiling.


Some of us keep harping on the obvious: The GOP strategy, which has been all but abandoned, of trying to link defunding of the Affordable Care Act to approving a new budget is a sure loser. Smart Republicans keep harping on that to the wild-eyed crazies comprising the tea party wing of their party.

Now they’re messing with the debt limit, even suggesting that defaulting on our nation’s financial obligations isn’t that big of a deal.

I do believe it is a very big deal.

Failure to resolve this matter is going to wipe out what’s left of the GOP’s paltry support.