Friday, July 16, 2010

Letter to Newsweek - regarding the common opinion about upcoming November elections

Lately I seem to frequently read or hear in Newsweek and elsewhere about low poll numbers for President Obama and Democrats in Congress. The low poll numbers seem to me to be in response to imprecise questions such as “Are you happy with President Obama’s performance on the economy?”, or “Are you happy with his handling of the BP Oil Spill?”.

The poll results published for mainstream consumption never seem to mention any follow-up questions, such as WHY the respondent feels the way he/she feels. Yet the results are routinely presented to suggest the country is likely to vote out a substantial number of Democratic candidates this November, and the presumption is that those seats will be taken by Republican candidates.

I haven’t seen any mention of another possibility though. What if a sizeable portion of voters feel as I do? I am unhappy with President Obama’s performance on nearly every issue, and far more unhappy with most Democrats in Congress, but will most likely vote for them all again. As opposed to the very vocal right-wing speakers on political television programs I feel that President Obama and Congress have consistently not gone far enough with their actions. If my choice is between somebody that will do something absolutely opposite to what I desire, or somebody that will take a baby-step towards what I desire, the choice is clear. It is not at all a wonderful choice, but there’s not a lot there to struggle with.

If a polled voter is unhappy with a particular officeholder’s performance, that doesn’t necessarily mean the voter will vote for the challenger. Assuming that is a mistake.

No comments: