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Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos and SEIU (6/16-19, MoE: ±3.1, registered voters, Obama trendlines 6/9-12, all others 6/2-5):

As you can see, the numbers on the questions we ask regularly barely shifted over the last two weeks — in other words, a totally normal and expected result. (The only notable change belongs to Nancy Pelosi; I'll be really curious to see if she's on any kind of upward trend, but she's pretty much stayed in the same band over our last five polls.)

I do want to revisit another set of numbers that does typically see some movement, though: party self-identification. As I discussed last week, sometimes people's attitudes about elected officials change on their own, while sometimes they change in concert with their views of themselves. There are many reasons for these shifts, but one thing pollsters and political scientists know well is that there are very few "true independents" — folks who are equally apt to vote for both parties. Most self-described indies actually lean one way or the other, which means that with the right nudge, they could very well start identifying themselves as either Democrats or Republicans.

But what's really interesting is that in our poll, those nudges (whatever they may be) seem to keep shoving people back and forth between D and I — Republicans just aren't budging. Take a look at this visualization created by Tableau Software:

As you can see, a chunk of voters keep migrating back and forth between labelling themselves as independents versus Democrats, while Republicans seldom waver. Sometimes there are clear explanations for this: That hump at the start of May was undoubtedly related to the death of Osama bin Laden. But the causes of the other gyrations are less apparent. These trends do bear watching, though, because they suggest that there's a portion of the electorate that Democrats can really activate with the right message. This group obviously leans D to begin with, but making sure they vote D on election day will be key.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'd be willing to wager (10+ / 0-)

    that Nancy Pelosi's little bump up is entirely due to her forceful handling, so to speak, of the Anthony Weiner affair.  It never hurts a Democrat to strike a pose of moral rectitude once in awhile, just like a Republican (see Carter, Jimmy).  

    Still enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 08:23:01 AM PDT

  •  So Pelosi benefited from booting Wiener. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct, TofG

    Harrumph.

    Well, that'll evaporate soon enough.

  •  Perry (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brooklynbadboy, eztempo, The Nose

    http://blog.chron.com/...

    Perry looks to be getting ready to joint he pres hunt, and to be honest, things like the above, fighting the TSA is incredibly smart.

    Its makes him out to be the champion of rights and the constitution and the pres and the TSA as the evil govt taking away or right.

    It works on every level.   Obama wants his goons to grope your kids,  Perry wants to protect them.

    I think Perry is a douche, but he is politically smart, and a politically smart texan govt can be trouble.

    But hell, none of this would matter if Obama would actually protect and uphold the constitution like he swore he would.

    Bad is never good until worse happens

    by dark daze on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 08:25:37 AM PDT

    •  Small problem (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG, terabthia2, Pinto Pony

      The TSA was set up by another shit talking Texan.

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 08:33:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah so? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Punditus Maximus

        this groping stuff is ALL Obama.

        This extended Homeland security crap is all Obama.

        TSA as a organization isnt at issue, its what they are becoming under Obama that is.

        Bad is never good until worse happens

        by dark daze on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 08:35:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  and fyi (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TofG

        notice its top page on Drudge, notice the word groping.

        If I had to guess we will see alot of this in the future.  Why,  cause the want to introduce into your mind.  

        White Perry, protects your kids from groping black man.

        Phrasing does work like that, our minds are not that complex.

        Bad is never good until worse happens

        by dark daze on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 08:37:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Of course they will (0+ / 0-)

          its what they do best.  BS that is.  Of course reality is very different.  Question that should be asked of ShitheadPerry is will he end groping and endanger air transports or will he simply replace publice employees groping us with higher paid private corporation employees?

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 08:47:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  huh? (0+ / 0-)

            you call bs and then state this crap?

            will he end groping and endanger air transports

            My god,  groping doesnt make us more secure, its a show, one that violates the 4th amendmend.

            Bad is never good until worse happens

            by dark daze on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 09:14:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  maybe higher paid--maybe not (0+ / 0-)

            The airport manager in my city wants to replace the TSA screeners with private company screeners. But since this is in NC, they would almost certainly be non-union and it's not a safe bet that the private screeners would be paid higher- than-TSA wages. Can you imagine the quality security we would have if all the screeners earned minimum wage?

            •  We Alread Went Through This - Air Marshals? (0+ / 0-)

              Anybody remember the public's response to replacing flying US Air Marshals with contract employees? It was "you want to replace legit, US law enforcement personnel with what?!"

              Government employees are not nearly as hated as Lindsey Graham and Rick Goodhair Perry would have you believe.

              "Always remember this: They fight with money and we resist with time, and they’re going to run out of money before we run out of time." -Utah Philips

              by TerryDarc on Fri Jun 24, 2011 at 09:20:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  He's a much better Palin than Palin. (4+ / 0-)

      All the while I've been watching for a candidate who could pull together the various factions of the GOP while at the same time appealing to the white working class voter.

      If George W. Bush can win, Perry certainly can in this economy.

  •  One of the more interesting political (6+ / 0-)

    graphs in a long while - thanks for offering it with your clear analysis.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 08:26:55 AM PDT

  •  The indie graph is remarkably close (7+ / 0-)

    to a mirror image of the Dem one. So why aren't Dems just ignoring the immovable Rep loonies and concentrating on being real Dems so the indies are moved to come aboard?

    Conservatism explained: Carrots for the rich and the corporate. Sticks for the workers and the poor. It really is that simple.

    by DaveW on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 08:33:43 AM PDT

    •  For 30 Years Their Belief Is That Dealing With R's (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eztempo, wsexson

      is what attracts I's. That's core Clintonian / Obamanian politics.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 08:58:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I thought the 08 elections proved (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TofG, eztempo

        that at least a sizable chunk of indies are centrists who were disaffected Bush voters. No?

        •  If that's true, how disaffected (0+ / 0-)

          must they be now that the GOP has moved a few hundred miles to the right of even Bush? You won't win any of them over by pandering to the ones who won't vote for you, no matter what, in the voting booth, in Congress, on the Supreme Court, or anywhere else. You'll attract them by making a clear distinction between them and us.

          Conservatism explained: Carrots for the rich and the corporate. Sticks for the workers and the poor. It really is that simple.

          by DaveW on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 02:32:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  9% unemployment as the New Normal (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, TofG, wsexson

    will be the message no matter what, so it's gonna be tough to activate people.

    The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

    by Punditus Maximus on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 08:36:30 AM PDT

    •  Certainly the 50% Who Don't Vote, Some of Whom (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Betty Pinson

      like youth energized to help account for the '08 win.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 08:59:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To some degree, I don't blame Obama. (0+ / 0-)

        I mean, to some degree, I do -- he rehired Bush's highest economic officer, so obviously this is a guy who's on board.

        But the economics profession is in a shambles right now, and I've never seen good advice offered by an economist that wasn't gainsaid by ten hacks and sociopaths.

        The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

        by Punditus Maximus on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 10:23:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So... (5+ / 0-)

    ...Boner has a 23% favorable rating & what is Obama's answer to that?

    Obama runs out on the golf course with Mr. 23% & pretends to play golf with him.

    Somebody needs to school Obama on the nuance of public associations & how to manipulate a scene for maximum optics.

    Because when you are filmed & photographed "playing golf" with a political pariah who is lingering in 23% favorable land, it just doesn't look good on any level.

    There came a time when even dumbass Republicans had enough political sense to avoid George Bush like the plague.

    When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in excess body fat and carrying a misspelled sign.

    by wyvern on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 08:42:03 AM PDT

    •  obama's losing on purpose (0+ / 0-)

      just another in a long list of examples.

    •  He has to govern (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG, askew, ratcityreprobate, jncca, jj32

      and for now that means dealing with a repub minority leader. That is reality.

    •  I disagree: it does 'look good' on one level (0+ / 0-)

      I believe that most independents (and others) are fed up with constant conflict and acrimony in Washington DC.  While playing golf with a couple of the most partisan Rethugs around won't move budget or debt limit agreement one iota, at least the President is seen making an effort to overcome intransigent, polarizing rhetoric.  I believe that, in this political climate, that DOES garner some sympathy, and therefore, support.

      Evidence is that, even after years of "No!" and "Hell no!" to the Administration's overtures and policy initiatives, Boehner said 'yes' to playing golf because, "you don't say 'no' to the President."  In other words, he was boxed in and didn't want to be seen as not being gracious...for a reason. And that reason isn't so's to look good to his fringy, Tea Party supporters, f'sure.

  •  How can there be a net change of "0" on Obama's (4+ / 0-)

    approve/disapprove, when it went from 49-48 to 48-49?

    Seems to me there should be a big -2 there.

    Somebody's math (or typing) needs to be checked.

  •  Am I the only one (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, Floande

    who sees this kind of polling as just so much wankery? The presidential election is still a long ways off. I'd rather see polling about how people stand on the issues. How many really want to see Social Security and Medicare Enronized, for instance?

    Besides that, IMHO it's time to decouple ideology from personality. Anthony Weiner is gone, but I still believe in everything he championed. We see polls about Obama, but they offer precious little insight into why he throws Progressives under the bus in favor of the Corporacrats over and over again.

    Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

    by drewfromct on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 08:45:40 AM PDT

    •  I For One Guess That it's Very Relevnt to Campaign (0+ / 0-)

      planning.

      Based on the last 2-3 decades, leadership always moves right to attract the indies, with one minor exception mostly limited to tone in 08.

      It's a lot easier to move toward them where they lie rather than set up a messaging and educational campaign and a whole slew of policies needed to change a successful paradigm.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 09:02:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What if instead (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eztempo
        It's a lot easier to move toward them where they lie rather than set up a messaging and educational campaign and a whole slew of policies needed to change a successful paradigm.
        we had politicians who concentrated on crafting policies that would actually, oh, I don't know--save the country?  

        Mogolori makes the point better below:

        Americans have and will disapprove of the political class until the employment picture appreciably turns around.

        I think Obama is in great danger if unemployment remains static

        We should be more focused on the point of why we elect these clowns in the first place: To get shit done. And I don't see it happening. Do you?

        Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

        by drewfromct on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 09:41:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  One thing they have elucidated is that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drewfromct, wsexson

      Americans have and will disapprove of the political class until the employment picture appreciably turns around.

      I think Obama is in great danger if unemployment remains static going into the Christmas season.  At that point, meaningful numbers of people are going to be willing to vote for someone other than the incumbent, out of economic fear.

      "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

      by Mogolori on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 09:09:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drewfromct

      This kind of polling done on a weekly basis says more about probablility and statistics than it does about the mood of the electorate.

      Statistics tells us that ANY measurement includes some slop and error.  this kind of repeated polling is simply showing us that slop and error

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 09:35:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The other side that dem/independent stuff (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock

    is that those shifting tides are the clearest evidence beyond November/2010 of Democratic failure to address the issues that people care about. Those are people who would be Democrats. They must associate the Democratic party with something good, something that resonates with their own beliefs, and yet won't go there.

    Wonder what they'd do if we started nudging towards full employment?

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 08:52:59 AM PDT

    •  Not to Mention the 50% Who Don't Vote (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac

      My guess is it contains relatively fewer trumps than unemployment check seekers.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 09:03:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's very hard to get behind those who are (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TofG, wsexson

        ignoring your very serious problems, even when you feel a certain intellectual kinship.

        It's the thing that has amazed me (though it shouldn't) about the current crop of Democratic leaders.  I really don't expect Republicans to put jobs front and center. But Democrats?  The apparent (Meteor Blades very notably excepted -- and there are others) "Gosh, I wish those damned unemployed people would stop whining and just be patient until we can get around to their silly little problems." attitude seems like a betrayal.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 09:09:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I's from the Left? (4+ / 0-)

    It may be impossible to get with polling, but I'd be fascinated to find out how many of those floating in and out of I/D land are doing so from the LEFT rather than the center.

    That's to say, how many "Independents" out there are actually de-facto Liberals who feel the Democratic party doesn't represent them? In my work as a Party Chair in my hometown, I know at least six or seven really great, strong volunteers who always vote Democrat and help me out on Election day, but refuse to call themselves Democrats and join the party, officially.

    If we had some good polling on that question, we'd have some research/facts with which to make our "go left young woman/man" policy case to Democratic electeds.

    Progress is a continuum, not a light switch. Visit Leesburg Tomorrow and Loudoun Progress.

    by Paradox13 on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 08:58:05 AM PDT

    •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paradox13, ratcityreprobate

      I wish pollsters would do a better (I) breakdown - I realize it would mean the need for much larger samples - but it's info we truly need.

      To wit - I'd like to see Indies broken down into 3 groups:

      1) I'm independent and generally to the left of Democrats

      2) I'm independent and generally to the right of Republicans

      3) I'm independent and somewhere between Democrats and Republicans

      The fact is that the Dems went from about +8-10 among independents in 2008 (similar in 2006) to -15 or so in 2010.

      Say what you will about triangulating and chasing the squishy middle, but I just don't think we have enough data to say whether chasing that 3) is the right course....  Now - I suspect that's where the votes are at... and the good news/bad news - they'll probably vote based on where the economy is at in 18 months rather than any campaign... but I'd still like to have the data.

      Full Disclosure: I am an unpaid shill for every paranoid delusion that lurks under your bed - but more than willing to cash any checks sent my way

      by zonk on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 09:04:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "there's a portion of the electorate that the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA

    Dems can really activate with the right message." - I have to differ with this characterization.  The problem is not so much with the message as it is with what they actually produce.  The Dems need to follow through on their own message.  If they would do this consistently, they would be blowing the Republicans out of the water.  

  •  I wish there was a way to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson, eztempo

    put confidence interval marks on the graph.  That way, we'd have some idea of how much of the movement might be due to mere sampling variation.  However, the fact that only the Dems/Indies are moving is one strike against the sampling variation theory.

    Also, don't read too much into short-term changes in macropartisanship.  It's a useful proxy for the general state of politics this week -- but it doesn't bear much relation to changes in the actual psychological act of identifying with a party.

    You've been fooled by April, and she's gone. . .

    by cardinal on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 09:05:19 AM PDT

  •  A lot of the indy's are moderate, sure (0+ / 0-)

    But a LOT of them are fed up Dems.  I'd be very interested to see a poll of people who don't vote and what their politics are.

    I'd bet there is an army of disaffected could be voters with lefty sympathies just sitting it out because they're so disgusted by the system.  Lord knows I've come close a couple of times.

    If we don't stop them here, then where? If not now, then when?

    by nightsweat on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 09:15:15 AM PDT

  •  Hmm. Republicans flatlining? (0+ / 0-)

    STAT!

  •  How do you get to Tableau (0+ / 0-)

    to play around with the poll data? I clicked the link in the diary, but it only leads to a static page for party ID. Help appreciated - thanks!

  •  How on earth can 35% of those polled (0+ / 0-)

    have no answer to whether they approve/disapprove of John Boehner?

  •  I wonder why the SEIU poll is so (0+ / 0-)

    different from the latest Gallup poll.  Obama is tanking according to Gallup.

    Respect everyone, fear no one

    by sigsauerdude on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 11:56:14 AM PDT

  •  Two comments (0+ / 0-)

    1) The Obama approval numbers don't make sense. If it went from 49 qpprove and 48 disapprove to 48 approve and 49 disapprove, then the net change was - 2 and each time the undecided was about 3.

    2) Independents include people (like Bernie Sanders) who don't identify with a party because they think it's not strong enough in the direction of that party.. They can switch between one party and independent, but hey sure as hell don't like the other major party.

    Corporations are people; money is speech.
    1984 - George Orwell

    by Frank Palmer on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 01:07:43 PM PDT

  •  Obama was at 49-49 last week (0+ / 0-)

    So I think they meant he is at 48-48 this week, thus no net change.

  •  love the graphic in the Feature box! (0+ / 0-)

    did you guys buy the rights to it?

    can i use it for my avatar?

    FSM can thrash me with a wet noodle, but my version is, ahem, borrowed from a site to which i paid no royalty.

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    I am a volunteer for Bob Massie for MA-Sen

    by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 04:44:37 PM PDT

  •  "Swing Voters" - That would be me! (0+ / 0-)

    Or what used to be called swing voters - if that's what independents are, then how do the Dems appeal to them without losing their shriveled up, barely breathing souls to forces of the right wing.

    I suspect these independents that swing to the Dems side are not something to be proud of - esp. if it takes something like the death of bin Laden to impress them.

    Let's hope instead that the independents are someone like, ahem, modestly speaking, just for examle, well, me. Lifelong non-democrat b/c of Lyndon Johnson's insistence on focusing us on a small country in SE Asia, Vietnam.  Sound familiar to today's sand trap in northern Africa?  Does to me. Obama and the Dems can lose us all over again by being persistently evil (I say that advisedly as the force toward killing/death/inhumanity).

    The only reason I registered Dem in 2008 was because I perceived BHO as a force for good, a change of heart in DC, something far out of the ordinary.  Prove me right, please!

    "Always remember this: They fight with money and we resist with time, and they’re going to run out of money before we run out of time." -Utah Philips

    by TerryDarc on Fri Jun 24, 2011 at 09:11:40 AM PDT

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