Politico: Poll: D.C. elites down on Sarah Palin

She told you so.

Washington elites, it turns out, do look down their noses at Sarah Palin.

The former Alaska GOP governor has been saying it for more than two years now, and a new POLITICO poll released Wednesday suggests she’s right.

Just 11 percent of the D.C. elites surveyed said they believe Palin is qualified to be president, less than half of the general public — 23 percent — who believe the same. Eighty-six percent of Washington elites — roughly 9 out of 10 — think Palin is not qualified, compared with 64 percent of the general public.

In addition, 79 percent of Washington elites believe Palin is a “negative influence in national politics” while just 15 percent find her to be “a breath of fresh air.” Outside the nation’s capital, however, more than twice as many believe she has had a positive impact on politics, while 50 percent see her as a negative influence.

“Palin is a populist-oriented phenomenon drawn heavily from lower middle-class voters, but she also deliberately comes off as anti-intellectual and anti-Washington, so it is no surprise she does not play in the Beltway,” said Mark Penn, CEO of the polling firm Penn Schoen Berland, which conducted the survey for POLITICO. “Elites almost everywhere are turned off by her and some of the very things she does that attracts her core support.”

Read Full Article

Politico: Poll analysis: Public and D.C. elites agree: Prosecute Assange

By MARK PENN
December 15, 2010

One thing that’s emerged from these six months of polling is just how far removed our nation’s capital typically is from the rest of the country. This month alone, POLITICO’s “Power and the People” poll shows D.C. is divided from the rest of the country on issues of the economy (38 percent of D.C. elites think it’s on the right track, while only 26 percent of the general population agrees), congressional agenda (half of D.C. elites think deficit reduction should be top priority, but just 35% of adults say the same), and our president (57 percent of Beltway insiders plan to vote for him in 2012 versus only 37 percent of the rest of us.) It’s notable then that there’s one topic in which they’re distinctly in sync: Julian Assange and whether to go after him.

When asked if the founder of WikiLeaks should be prosecuted as a terrorist for publishing over 250,000 diplomatic cables, by 48 percent to 22 percent the sample of all Americans said yes compared to 49 percent of D.C. elites who agreed and 36 percent who disagreed. In other words, roughly the same percentages of both said Assange should face prosecution, though 30 percent of the general population remains undecided.

Read Full Article

Politico: Poll: The big disconnect: D.C. elites think Obama will be reelected, but the public doubts it

By MARK PENN
November 15, 2010

The midterms not only dealt a big shock to Democrats but also sent a message to President Barack Obama. According to the new POLITICO Power and the People poll, only 26 percent of the public believes he will be reelected as president in 2012. Inside the Beltway, however, expectations are quite different, with D.C. elites saying he will have a second term by a reverse 2 to 1 margin. (49 percent say re-elected; 23 percent say not).

This difference in expectations could mislead the president if he is listening to the Beltway chatter — right here in D.C., he may just find a lot of comfort in this assessment by insiders, and that may lead to actions that don’t fully adjust for the sea change that has occurred among the general public. (See also Poll: D.C. Sees Midterms Differently)

This big difference can partially be explained by the different ways that the two groups see the economy and the world today. Seventy percent of D.C. elites admit that they have been affected less than the average citizen when it comes to the economic downturn. The elites see the tea party as purely a fad (70 percent). In contrast, those who say that the president will not be reelected see the country as headed in the wrong direction by 82 percent, see the economy as headed in the wrong direction by 81 percent and overwhelmingly want repeal of the health care law at the top of the agenda. The quarter of the public who consider Obama’s reelection probable see the economy turning around by nearly 3-to-1. They are the outliers of the electorate, suggesting that the president has a lot more work to do to get back on track for a second term.

Read Full Article

Politico: Poll: Dems seen as party of negativity and ideas

By MARK PENN
October 18, 2010

Most things in politics are cyclical. The two parties trade power, popular support, and even politicians as regularly as the seasons.

One exception to this rule, however, is party reputation. For years, Republicans have been seen as the party of negativity—the party of innuendo and attack ads, the group with the hatchetmen on speed dial. That’s why it’s so surprising that, for the first time in recent memory, voters now perceive the Democrats as more negative than the GOP.

View the full results from Penn Schoen Berland’s poll, the fourth of six in Politico’s “Power and the People” poll series

According to the latest POLITICO poll, 34 percent of Americans think the Democrats have been the most negative party during this election cycle, vs. 23 percent who say Republicans and 15 percent who name the Tea Party. Though on the surface this looks like a pretty dubious distinction for Democratic leadership, in reality it is not such a bad thing. It says the Democratic Party has a lot of fight in it during this critical year, and is no longer willing to be taken down by tough Republican campaigns. After all, since Lee Atwater the GOP has been benefitting from campaigns that were devastatingly effective despite being highly unpopular. The Republicans were seen as the kings of negativity by a ratio of nearly 2 to 1.

What’s doubly interesting, however, is that the Democrats were also seen as the party of ideas: 31 percent of the public (and 46 percent of DC Elites) think they’ve offered better ideas for how to govern this year, whereas only 22 percent of Americans say the same about the Republicans, and the Tea Party slides in third with only 16 percent support. Somewhat paradoxically, the Democrats have managed to appear both more negative, and more idea-oriented, than their opponents at the same time.

Read Full Article

Politico: Poll: The strong grip of pessimism by Mark Penn

By MARK PENN
September 21, 2010

While the stock market continues its recovery, suggesting that investors have become more optimistic, the voting public remains in the firm grip of pessimism and their negative outlook shows no signs of receding as we head into the midterms. In the latest POLITICO poll, 54 percent of the voters believe we are headed for a second recession, believing this by a two to one margin with only 25 percent who believe we will avoid a double dip.

This pessimism is highly correlated with political party identification. Republican voters show fear a second recession by a five to one margin, far greater than any other group. This of course leads to the unanswerable chicken-and-egg question: Are voters pessimistic because they are Republicans or are they Republicans because they are pessimistic?

View the full results from Penn Schoen Berland’s poll, the third of six in Politico’s “Power and the People” poll series

On the flip side, Democrats are relatively optimistic — while 39 percent believe that a double dip will happen, another 37 percent believe we will avoid it. Independent voters, critical to the outcome of the 2010 midterm elections, hold the middle ground. Their level of pessimism is roughly the same as the overall population, with 54 percent concerned about another recession.

Read Full Article

Politico: Poll: Surprising demand for immigration reform, says Mark Penn

By MARK PENN
August 15, 2010

It’s not news in this poll that Congress receives poor marks for its overall performance, given the state of the national economy, but what is a surprise is that solid majorities of the public and overwhelming majorities of DC elites want some kind of comprehensive immigration legislation passed now.

The scarcity of jobs, the growth of the Latino vote and the legislation in Arizona have all contributed to creating an atmosphere in which the public says that progress on this issue is overdue.

View the full results from Penn Schoen Berland’s poll, the second of six in Politico’s “Power and the People” poll series

Fifty-nine percent of the general population wants to see action on meaningful reform and so do 76 percent of DC elites. More notable in today’s partisan climate is that reform gets the nod from Democrats and independents in equal measure (61 percent of both think Congress should “pass comprehensive immigration law guidelines now”) and that 59 percent of Republicans agree as well.

Read Full Article

Politico: Watch the Obama reelect numbers, says Mark Penn

By MARK PENN
July 18, 2010

By far, the most alarming numbers this poll presents for President Barack Obama are the reelection figures; against a generic Republican candidate, he loses by 5 points, 37-42. In general, when an incumbent’s reelect numbers fall below 50 percent, it’s a sign of trouble to come — and Obama’s inability to break even 40 percent may be the most telling indicator to come out of these data.

View the full results from Penn Schoen Berland’s poll, the first of six in Politico’s “Power and the People” poll series

Americans like Obama — despite nearly 10 percent unemployment and two ongoing wars, his 49 percent favorable rating remains much stronger than some of the low points hit by Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. But what is surprising is the 11-point gulf between his favorable (48 percent) and reelect ratings. This suggests a lot of voters are saying, “I like him personally” but not “I would vote for him again.”

Read Full Article

--->