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Last weekend I joined with a number of folks with Organizing for America to canvass voters at a local street fair in support of the President. And because much is made of approval ratings and questions of the President's popularity, I thought I might chime in with some unofficial and unscientific observations of my interactions with real live people.

It was a nice day – not too hot and not too cold. The event wasn't political, and the are generally is conservative. Though in 2008 my city went two-to-one for President Obama, the county squeaked out a tiny victory for him. The region – West Michigan – is to the right of most of Idaho.

I think I talked to about 50 people. And besides the 4 or 5 people who ignored my pitch or politely said "no thanks" without engaging me, I would lump the respondents into three main categories. I should note that the goal wasn't to solicit opinions or ideas but to identify supporters and sign them up.

First, there were the undecideds. My estimate is that about 10 or 12 people fell into this category, or 20 to 25 percent of the total. Typically, people who I categorize as undecided said something like, "I am not sure right now" and "It depends on who the Republican is" and "I am almost there, but I am waiting a little longer to see what happens" – or some version of those comments. This group included an even number of men and women, African Americans and whites.

My gut impression is that they were leaning toward the President and they didn't want a hard-right or irresponsible Republican candidate in the mix (like Palin, Bachmann, or some of the other GOP whackos). Also, I got the sense the they were waiting for something more from the President, though no one specified what that might be (the obvious choice would be on the economy, but again no one gave voice to that issue, and I wasn't actually surveying people for opinions).

The second grouping included those who were staunchly opposed to the President. The responded with clever comments like "you're barking up the wrong tree" and "nobama." I estimate this group at the same size as the undecideds (20 to 25 percent of the whole sample). They were, too the person, white. Also, they were typically older – fifties and older.

The third, and largest, group included supporters of the President. If you do the math, this group totaled about 20 people, maybe more, or about 40 to 50 percent of the sample. A couple declined signing up, citing a desire to avoid a lot of phone calls and mail. Most signed up; most expressed enthusiasm or an understanding of the stakes in the election.

So that was my experience. It is mostly impressionistic, but I think when you interact with people, even briefly, you do get a sense of broader views.


Is this poll more or less scientific that my description of my conversations with people above?

19%4 votes
23%5 votes
4%1 votes
4%1 votes
19%4 votes
9%2 votes
19%4 votes

| 21 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (15+ / 0-)

    "Individual liberty is served, not negated, by a recognition of the common good." - President Barack Obama

    by jwendland on Wed Jun 15, 2011 at 09:07:45 AM PDT

  •  Tracks with PPP's latest poll: (0+ / 0-)

    If Romney wins the nomination, it's going to be a close one.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Wed Jun 15, 2011 at 09:10:20 AM PDT

    •  If Romney wins the GOP nomination (8+ / 0-)

      there will be a third party TeaP candidate.

      Notice: This Comment © 2011 ROGNM

      by ROGNM on Wed Jun 15, 2011 at 09:21:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You got that right. It'll be Palin (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

        by JTinDC on Wed Jun 15, 2011 at 09:38:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Me too-I believe that is what she is wating to do. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ROGNM, JTinDC

          "No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar." Abraham Lincoln

          by appledown on Wed Jun 15, 2011 at 09:43:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  She wants to run 3rd party to get some payback (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            newdem1960, ROGNM

            on the GOP establishment. This will deal a very serious (hopefully fatal?) blow to the conservative movement. Soooo looking forward to the implosioin. I'm just all giddy inside, like looking forard to Christmas.

            Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

            by JTinDC on Wed Jun 15, 2011 at 09:47:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think so..... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shahryar, cai, ROGNM

        There will be noise about it and threats about it.  But after watching Republicans march us off the cliff for 30 years here's my opinion:  

        They are more united in their hatred of Obama than they are to their purity.  They will vote, vote reliably if not enthusiastically.  And Romney will carry the 'moderate' banner even if everything he says is to the right of Attila the Hun.  

        I frankly think the teaPublicans would be thrilled with Romney.  He's not going to do a God damned thing he isn't told to do.  He has no soul, no ideals.  He's moderate when it suits him and batshit crazy when he needs to be.  

        They aren't going to hold his feet to the fire.  They're going to sit back and watch him change enough 'independent' minds to make it a relatively close race.  

        They have no real principles.  They will get everything they want out of Romney plus their best shot at beating Obama.  

        They look at the long haul, the big picture and they have for 30 years.  It is up to us to realize the disaster that such a move will unleash on America and pull together as well.  

        Vote reliably in sufficient numbers.  Every effing election.  If the WI Supreme Court travesty isn't enough to get everyone to the polls and vote Democratic, then I don't know what to say.  

        Vote like Republicans.  That's all I ask.  

    •  May depend if the tea partiers do damage to him (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ROGNM, Shahryar

      during the primary process or actively work against him during the general. Also if their chosen candidate gets rejected by the Republicans, maybe there will be an 'enthusiasm gap' on the right in 2012. Especially if there is someone running an independent campaign to the right of Romney (Herman Cain maybe?).

      I'm hoping anyway.

      Conservation! Because the cheapest energy is the energy you don't use.

      by ohiolibrarian on Wed Jun 15, 2011 at 09:24:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Romney will be forced to pick either (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Bachmann or Cain to represent the Baggers.

        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

        by zenbassoon on Wed Jun 15, 2011 at 09:41:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ugh! I hadn't thought about that, but (0+ / 0-)

          I think you are right about the running mate choice needing to be, or at least lean, Tea Party.

          Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it. Helen Keller

          by Amber6541 on Wed Jun 15, 2011 at 09:47:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I absolutely Do Not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          see him picking either -- Cain is just too dumb for Ivy League Mitt, and Bachmann would upstage him (2008 redux). Huntsman would be terrific for foreign policy cred, but the Baggers' heads would explode all over the convention floor.

        •  it's only June '11. Romney could lose. (0+ / 0-)

          I agree he'd be a difficult opponent but there are nuts in the Republican party who would love to destroy him. To those nuts he's just this side of Democrats.

          On the other hand, they'll fall in line should he actually win the nomination and the same ones who are now critical of his health care plan in Massachusetts will find hard to see distinctions between that and the federal plan.

          But we're not there yet. We can't forget Hillary Clinton's 48-16 lead (or something like that) in late 2007. Romney is a weak front-runner.

          And yes, should he get the nom he'll pick a bagger.

    •  He'll probably have to pick (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      a winger VP, so hopefully independents will see it as a 2008 repeat and recoil in horror.

      "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou

      by ahumbleopinion on Wed Jun 15, 2011 at 10:08:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for your volunteer work. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ahumbleopinion, jan4insight, onanyes

    It's people like who will really matter in 2012. Keep it up.

    One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists.
    Call the media when they Lie

    by amk for obama on Wed Jun 15, 2011 at 10:01:20 AM PDT

  •  not scientific but interesting (0+ / 0-)

    the sample was much too small, was located in one spot with no attempt to find a balanced sample of voters.

    About all you can say is that in a small group of street fair attendees you noted some relative percentages. I say "relative" since you didn't actually count who said what.

    Are street fair attendees more likely to be Democrats? Liberals? I'd think they're more community oriented.

  •  Thanks for these observations - and especially (0+ / 0-)

    for getting out there and signing people up!

    Pollan's Rule: Cook! What two people eat for dinner: My 365 Dinners 2011

    by pixxer on Wed Jun 15, 2011 at 09:33:01 PM PDT

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