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Strange Polls Emerge

It must be the season of nonsensical polls. No, I’m not talking about the Westside only mayoral poll with no percentages being released by Joe Monahan. I’m actually thinking about the CNN poll under the headline, American’s Think Obama is on Track with the Economy. It reads a little something like this:

Hours before President Barack Obama on Tuesday morning delivers what the White House calls a major speech on the economy, a new national poll indicates that nearly six in 10 Americans think he has a clear plan for solving the country’s economic problems.

Fifty-eight percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday morning say Obama has a clear plan to deal with the recession. That’s more than double the 24% who think that Republicans in Congress have a clear plan on the economy. Nearly three in four polled say the GOP doesn’t have a clear economic plan.

Maybe it’s just me, but the whole article seems somewhat biased. First off, shouldn’t a poll compare Republicans in Congress to Democrats in Congress? Anyone who pays any attention to polling numbers in recent years knows that Congress lags the President. Even when President Bush had his lowest approval ratings, Congress had even lower approval ratings.

Only 29 percent of Americans gave Bush a positive grade for his job performance, below his worst Zogby poll mark of 30 percent in March. A paltry 11 percent rated Congress positively, beating the previous low of 14 percent in July.

The article attempts to put positive spin after postive spin on the public perception of President Obama:

Sixty-two percent of those surveyed say Obama is doing enough to cooperate with Republicans in Congress. Though that’s down from 74% in February, it’s still ahead of the 37% who think that congressional Republicans are doing enough to cooperate with Obama. Six in 10 say the GOP is not doing enough to reach out and work with the president.

Again, comparing Presidential polling numbers to Congressional polling numbers is a reach. In the paragraph above, it is clear that the focus is trying to be switched away from the fact that there is a 12% drop in those that perceive the President is trying to act in a bipartisan manner to tackle the economic crisis.

I fully expect that 58% number to continue to decline in the coming months. No, it’s not because I wish failure upon the President. I don’t wish failure upon anyone, and especially when that failure means hardship for more of my neighbors, friends and family. But, I do believe the policies introduced are dooming us to failure. Sure, there are those that are trying to paint a rosy picture:

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Tuesday there’s been “tentative signs” that the recession may be easing. But he also warned that any hope for a lasting recovery hinges on the government’s success in stabilizing shaky financial markets and getting credit to flow more freely again.

Specifically, the Fed chief mentioned improvements in recent data on home and auto sales, home building and consumer spending as flickering signs of encouragement.

But, I’m sorry. The blips up in one sector are no more a sign of economic recovery than that the radical fluctuations from day to day in the markets. Need proof? Well, consider at the same time that the Fed chief was talking about improvements in the economy we can also read about the following declines:

Retail sales suffered an unexpected big decline in March which broke two straight months of improving sales, the government reported Tuesday.

The Commerce Department said total retail sales fell 1.1% last month, compared with February’s revised gain of 0.3%. Sales in February were originally reported to have dipped 0.1%.

Economists surveyed by had been expecting an increase of 0.3% in March.

Until we start facing reality, we are not going to be able to deal with the crisis at hand. No amount of spin can turn this around. Spending ourselves further into debt isn’t the solution either.

For the 42% of you that feel the same way, I hope you’ll come out tomorrow to Independence Grill and join the Albuquerque Tea Party Tax Day Rally.