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November 16, 2011

Confirmed: People Don't Like Dirty, Smelly Hippie Scum

A few months ago I suggested that a pollster begin polling America's support for the "progressive wing of the Democratic Party."

The reason I wanted this polled is that the media kept reporting the Tea Party was somewhat underwater in terms of support, and they would compare their support to the Democratic Party and Obama, for example.

But that's apples and oranges. The Tea Party is the right wing of the right wing, and furthermore, it actually wants to do something, and doing something is almost always controversial. America generally prefers the status quo, combined with a slow fall into soft socialism. Any deviation from this default is by nature going to be less popular. And comparing the Tea Party to Obama was silly -- Obama lies in order to get independent votes, while the Tea Party, being about actual political ideas, tells the independents harsh truths.

So the Tea Party's numbers were meaningless. In order to say if the right wing of the right wing was faring better or worse than it could, we needed context -- like, how would the left wing of the left wing poll?

Well, I'm finally getting that poll.

The Occupy Wall Street movement is not wearing well with voters across the country. Only 33% now say that they are supportive of its goals, compared to 45% who say they oppose them. That represents an 11 point shift in the wrong direction for the movement's support compared to a month ago when 35% of voters said they supported it and 36% were opposed. Most notably independents have gone from supporting Occupy Wall Street's goals 39/34, to opposing them 34/42.

Voters don't care for the Tea Party either, with 42% saying they support its goals to 45% opposed. But asked whether they have a higher opinion of the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street movement the Tea Party wins out 43-37, representing a flip from last month when Occupy Wall Street won out 40-37 on that question. Again the movement with independents is notable- from preferring Occupy Wall Street 43-34, to siding with the Tea Party 44-40.

I had thought the Tea Party was polling worse than that. It could be that Occupy has actually pushed support back to the Tea Party, after showing America what the Tea Party's opposition consists of, the path we'll go down if we don't select a more Tea Party politics.

PPP is biased to say "America doesn't care for the Tea Party, either." Given that the Tea Party is pushing the strongest fiscal medicine this country has ever been urged to take -- they are pushing ideas that were far outside the Overton Window just two years ago -- to have polling split in a tie 42-45 is... good. And PPP knows it. If a leftwing group were pushing full-blown socialism (as the Tea Party is pushing something close to full-blown 1920's laissez-faire economic libertarianism), do you think PPP would think a 42-45 split for such a controversial, full-on ideological shift was bad for socialists?

No, they'd say it's pretty amazing, marking a profound shift in American thought, and they'd be right.

They'd also be doing backflips of joy, but that's a separate issue.


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posted by Ace at 12:25 PM

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