As Gun Safety Debate Heats Up, Danger in Trying to Solve Wrong Problem

By: Tuesday December 18, 2012 8:20 am

Before this fight gets waged, however, there has to be some understanding of what problem needs to be solved. I completely agree with Mark Kleiman that asking “how do we stop the type of shootings we saw in Newtown” risks solving the wrong problem. The gun safety debate should not just focus on protecting children, and it may not be accurate to tailor policies toward preventing mass shootings. There are certainly things we can do to curtail the 9,000-odd homicides with guns used each year, but they may not be applicable to the case of the young, mostly white, often mentally disturbed individuals who commit mass murder, often out of a need for attention, which is then lavished upon them by the news media.

Poll: Public Will Blame Republicans If Country Starts Down the Fiscal Slope

By: Tuesday December 4, 2012 10:00 am

Republicans have enough problems dealing with their own internal insurgencies, but it should be explained that their biggest problem in the fiscal slope negotiations is that the public is poised to blame them if things go awry. Four-in-ten (40%) expect that the president and congressional Republicans will reach a deal by Jan. 1 to prevent [...]

Obama Plans to Hit Road With Oh-So-Popular Message of Cutting Social Security and Medicare

By: Monday November 12, 2012 10:00 am

President Obama plans to meet with business, labor and civic leaders early this week about the fiscal slope, according to Reuters. Congressional leaders will huddle with Obama at the end of the week. Labor has immediately and vocally rejected the concept of a grand bargain, at least for now, so judging their behavior after this [...]

Obama’s Plans for a Second Term Include Rallying Public Opinion

By: Monday September 3, 2012 7:16 am

There’s been little or no bounce for Romney/Ryan from the GOP convention, on the eve of the Democratic convention. The race is static and has been static for the last several months, because in general, we have a polarized country with few undecideds. Frank Newport of Gallup has both Presidential candidates basically at 46% since [...]

Obama Attacks Romney on Size of Military Budget

By: Thursday August 2, 2012 8:15 am

Observers have expressed surprise at this Obama campaign ad hitting Mitt Romney for supporting increased military spending: Mitt Romney’s plan? A new $250,000 tax cut for millionaires. Increase military spending. Adding trillions to the deficit. Or President Obama’s plan: a balanced approach. Four trillion in deficit reduction. Millionaires pay a little more. First of all, [...]

Public Wants Deeper Cuts to Defense Budget Than Even the Trigger

By: Friday May 11, 2012 11:35 am

Lost in yesterday’s House vote to replace the defense trigger cuts is that the public actually wants to cut the defense budget by even more than what’s contemplated in those cuts. Ask your average American whether the defense budget should go up or down in 2013, and by how much, and they’ll tell you to [...]

Obama Jobs Bill Faces Hurdles with Public, Fellow Democrats

By: Wednesday September 14, 2011 12:21 pm

The political theory behind the American Jobs Act is that the President would offer a popular series of job creation measures, get his party and then the public behind them, and pressure Republicans to allow something to get through. In theory, if the programs were well-enough articulated and the Democratic coalition was singing off the [...]

Poll: Country Doesn’t Believe Government Can Do Anything

By: Wednesday August 10, 2011 2:18 pm

What we learn from this polling is that when you spend almost three years with unemployment at an elevated level, the public tends to get the message that government isn’t able to help alleviate the problem. Barely one in four Americans has confidence that the federal government has the ability to fix economic problems, and [...]

Public Opinion Matters When Helping Homeowners, But Not When Helping Banks?

By: Monday October 18, 2010 11:14 am

I wanted to address this complaint, a feature of discussions about the housing crisis from the very beginning, actually the source of Rick Santelli’s proto-tea party rant. The only other thing I can think of that the administration screwed up seriously is mortgage reform. Again, though, that would have been politically difficult even if they [...]

How Quickly They Forget: Support for Offshore Drilling Increases in Key States

By: Tuesday August 24, 2010 12:38 pm

The news cycles can be measured in milliseconds these days, therefore this result is not surprising: In Louisiana, despite being at the heart of the spill, voters never showed much ambivalence about drilling. When we polled there in June 77% of voters supported it with 12% opposed for a net +65. Still that margin has [...]

Public v. Lobbyists on Bush Tax Cuts

By: Friday August 20, 2010 1:16 pm

A new poll from CNN/Opinion Research shows that only 31% of Americans want to see all the Bush tax cuts extended, and 51% would rather just extend those at the lower end of the scale, and let the tax cuts for the wealthy expire. Another 18% would rather see them all expire. Even 50% of [...]

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