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Suffolk University (PDF). 10/26-30. Registered voters. MoE ±3.8% (no trendlines):

Q: Do you think the Republicans are intentionally stalling efforts to jumpstart the economy to insure that Barack Obama is not reelected?

Yes: 49
No: 39
Undecided: 12

I find these numbers to be a cause for optimism—it shows that if Barack Obama and Democrats in general are willing to make this argument, it will meet with a receptive audience. (As Steve Benen notes, Florida may be only one state, but "it’s a large, diverse swing state that both parties take very seriously" and which I think is decently representative.) Greg Sargent, however, sounds pessimistic:

Of course, the natural follow up question is important: Will this matter? The Suffolk poll contains no signs that it does. Obama’s approval is at 41 percent in this key swing state, versus 50 percent who disapprove. He’s tied with likely GOP nominee Mitt Romney, 42-42. An equal number — 29 percent — say they will vote either Democratic or Republican “no matter what,” with another 13 percent saying they will only vote Democratic if the economy gets better, meaning Dems will be held accountable.

As I’ve been saying, it’s very possible that the GOP will benefit politically from blocking Obama’s jobs policies, even though they have majority support. This new Florida poll raises another possibility: That Republicans may benefit from blocking Obama’s policies even though voters accept the idea that they’re sabotaging the economy for political reasons.

The question is this: Even if voters are persuaded that this is the case, will they chalk it up to mere politics and still hold Obama accountable for failing to get his policies through in spite of politically-motivated GOP obstructionism? Will voters who don’t grasp the realities of filibuster abuse conclude that whatever the motives of Republicans, Obama’s failure to get around them proves he’s weak or ineffective?

Both Benen and Sargent suggest further national polling on this subject. I agree, and the good news is that we'll be including this exact question in our national poll this weekend. Look for the results early next week.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What happens when they can't fool enough of (15+ / 0-)

    the people enough of the time? Hmm?

    If it's
    Not your body
    Then it's
    Not your choice
    AND it's
    None of your damn business!

    by TheOtherMaven on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 02:32:02 PM PDT

  •  It is good to see good messaging at work (11+ / 0-)

    Dems need to take note, and not fear using this in races all over the country.

  •  OK, suppose things have reached a nadir (9+ / 0-)

    such that voters are so ill-informed that they think the President can pass budgets or laws without Congress, and think that Congress trying to block needed legislation in order to elect one of their own President is par for the course.

    Whither then, oh politician of good faith?

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 02:34:54 PM PDT

    •  Magical thinking (7+ / 0-)

      is it's own food group in this country right now.

    •  A plausible interpretation of these #s (0+ / 0-)

      ...except congress has abysmal approval ratings and the public seems to understand the concept of gridlock.  Negotiations between congress and the president are well-covered, even by our terrible media.  So people must understand congress does something though given people's capacity for contradiction, I think it's conceivable they simultaneously hate congress and believe the president has more power than he does.

      Democrats need to work to remind uneducated voters that its not just the Republicans' bad intentions that are the problem but their power from their numbers in congress.  (Of Obama's 4 years, only 1/2 of 1 did he have a super-majority.)  The GOP is standing between the American people and jobs.   It required overwhelming Democratic congressional majorities in Congress (bigger than the ones Obama had) plus Democratic control of the White House to create Social Security and Medicare sparing millions of seniors from poverty.  The same size majorities would create more jobs and stop Republican plans to shift the burden from the richest to the most vulnerable.

  •  A followup question is needed (5+ / 0-)

    David,

    Can you ask a follow up question that I feel is greatly needed?

    Even though some republicans recognize this is going on, can we find out who agrees with the strategy?  A tea partier may say "Hell Yeah!  Keep it up"

    Just because someone says they are aware this is going on does not mean they are upset about it....

    •  How about this one? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Julia Grey

      Do you think the president could be more effective in overcoming GOP sabotage?

      If half of those polled believe that the GOP is deliberately trying to sabotage the economy for political gain, but an equal number believe that the president could have been more effective and forcefull in the face of those efforts...then nobody gains.

      "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upwardly mobile." Hunter S. Thompson

      by Keith930 on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 03:15:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The news media has normalized (14+ / 0-)

    the Republican obstructionism.  For example the News Hour reported that the $60 billion infrastructure bill failed to gain 60 votes so it failed.  They did not report that the 60 vote threshold is a filibuster used by the minority party to obstruct a piece of legislation that has the support of the majority.

    This supports the contention that the public might see it as politics as usual and blame Obama for being weak or ineffectual.  

  •  I see that glass half-empty (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9, skillet, tari, Julia Grey, Matt Z

    Less than half of Americans think Republicans are purposely trying to sabotage the economy.  

    They SAY they are.  And they SHOW they are.  And at every turn they openly waste time (In God We Trust resolutions, anyone?  There is no conceivable doubt that their every act is a calculated impediment. So if the majority of voters still don't know it, or at any rate are not willing to say it ...  it sounds grim to me.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 02:45:25 PM PDT

  •  Some of those people APPROVE of the effort (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9, Ky DEM, tari, Matt Z

    to ensure Obama is not re-elected.

    So keep that in mind when looking at the supposedly "positive" news in that question.

  •  Most of the MSM has neglected to mention (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ky DEM, wdrath, Matt Z

    this caveat. however, Chris Jansening of MSMNBC did mention this morning her monologue. Kudos to her.

  •  apparently, the American public (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tari, wishingwell, SaintC, CupofTea, Matt Z

    is not as stupid as the Republican Party thinks they are. Hmmm...that actually sounds like a good theme for an ad.

  •  The RW pollsters use their questions to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CupofTea, Matt Z

    propagandize.  Dem pollsters, the real ones and not Doug Schoen from Fox, should use the language of their polling questions to educate.

  •  Like a snowball rolling down a hill...its growing. (0+ / 0-)

    GOP 2012....You Betcha!!!......Ryan, Pense, Barbour, Christie, Thune, Jeb...etc.....are not the stoopiest animals on the planet.

  •  You know, I have lived here.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CupofTea

    almost 4 years now, and I will tell you what.  I have no idea what they consider "economic activity" around here, but it isn't and can't be, building spec housing and operating leaf blowers.  It is a product of Florida's underperforming educational system, along with being a magnet of Northeners who, sick of the cold weather up north, don't want to go to college, and work on lifestyle first, and career second.

    Flame on me all you want, but I have seen this repeatedly time and time again.  You go to Florida to 1) retire, or, 2) your job takes you there......

  •  Just don't rely on FL to win in 2012 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Julia Grey, karmacop

    Regardless of what polls say, it's still a crazy, lawless place where Dem presidential campaigns go to die.  

    "When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Betty Pinson on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 02:59:07 PM PDT

  •  Well DUH (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Julia Grey

    Obviously a recovery now would not be to their benefit.

    My fear is that the cycles of history might work against us.  Consider the following graph:

    If the pattern holds, we should be due for another boom period soon.  If that happens, whoever is elected next year stands to be the beneficiary.  And if that's Mitt Romney or, worse, Rick Perry...  Well, you get the idea.

    "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

    by Jon Stafford on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 03:03:37 PM PDT

    •  EXACTLY! (6+ / 0-)

      And of course, as soon as Romney is president, Congress will suddenly discover that "deficits don't matter" again, and open the funding floodgates.

      And, voila, the economy, just as it did when Reagan started spending like a drunken sailor, takes off like a rocket. Since they will also make the Bush tax cuts permanent at the same time, they will claim -- just as they did in Reagan's day -- that it's the TAX CUTS and not the SPENDING that is doing the magic.

      Oh, and just to finish us off then we'll get a nice fat conservative on the Supreme Court to replace Ginsberg and overturn Roe, finish the transition to total corporate financing of our elections, and put stakes through the hearts of unions, voting rights, environmental laws.....

      Obama HAS to win next year. He HAS to. I get sooooo angry when people say they're not going to even bother to vote because he hasn't made them happy enough. I want to scream.

      •  Ee gads. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z

        That scenario is just too plausible ... and oh so depressing.  Is it too early to start drinking?  :(

      •  No. The economy will not grow under Romney. (0+ / 0-)

        The recent bank actions putting high-risk portfolios into taxpayer insured accounts will bite the Republicans hard.  The closing of schools and health clinics, pensions taken away from police and firefighters, cutbacks on streets and sanitation.

        No we'll see riots under Romney as austerity measures will strangle our beloved democratic republic.

  •  This proves why it's better (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Julia Grey, Diebold Hacker, wsexson

    to fight republicans and lose, than to pursue some inane grand bargain that appeals to nobody.  If Obama had fought the GOP and lost on important middle class issues, voters would have a clearer understanding of what GOP obstruction entails.  

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 03:07:00 PM PDT

  •  Yay! Thanks, Kos! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Julia Grey, CupofTea

    Been hoping we'd be polling this question. We've shown before that our polls can drive the narrative – even if major news orgs won't take a DKos poll at face value (and I can't blame them; we're not an unbiased source), striking results tend to get other pollsters to follow up.

    Formerly known as Jyrinx.

    “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” ― Emma Goldman

    by Code Monkey on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 03:14:13 PM PDT

  •  David Nir, will PPP start asking this question? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sirclown, Julia Grey
    •  Sounds like it (0+ / 0-)
      Both Benen and Sargent suggest further national polling on this subject. I agree, and the good news is that we'll be including this exact question in our national poll this weekend. Look for the results early next week.

      You will never know what it’s like to work on a farm until your hands are raw, just so people can have fresh marijuana. Jack Handey

      by skohayes on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 03:30:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sargent is wrong (4+ / 0-)

    in fact this question shows the way to an Obama victory. Obama has shown that by his recent rise as he agressively goes to the people with his jobs program. Americans want and need to see solutions and they'll punish those who either don't have any or stand in the way of Obamas.

    The problem is that it hasn't been pursued hard enough yet but if and when the American people become convinced that the GOP is purposely sabotaging the nations economy for political reasons they'll turn away from them in droves.

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 03:23:16 PM PDT

  •  Yes they did..but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    a majority didn't care, they still blamed Obama..What do you expect when nearly all the media feels that way.

    In one breath they say the Repugs are working against but in the next they say it is Obama that can't get anything done.

  •  If the voters response isn't F the GOP than... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Julia Grey, wishingwell, NancyK

    It might actually a response of frustrated surrender.

    The masses may actually vote for the GOP, incorrectly figuring that putting them back in charge is the ONLY way the economy will get jump started. If the choice is The GOP way or nothing, voters are justifiably desperate enough to give the GOP another chance.

    It is caving to a hostage situation and 2004 convinced me this nation is dumb enough to do just that.

    We lose if we choose to forget; the lives of men, and money spent.

    by DeanDemocrat on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 03:24:03 PM PDT

    •  Justifiably desperate? (0+ / 0-)

      Justifiably?  Really?  You are willing to throw my life away?  BofA just suckered us all out of trillions and the Republicans who defend them hook, line, and sinker...the Republicans don't even hide that fact...you are willing to call it justifible? To let them continue to pilfer?  Unabetted?  No checks?  Let 'er rip.  Fire the teachers!  Demolish the court system!  Raise the taxes on those making less than $100,000 and lower them on everyone else? (Herman Cain's plan.)

      And you sincerely, honestly call that justifible?  Why?

      •  I agree with DeanDemocrat (0+ / 0-)

        I think they will punish Dems because that is what electorates do.  If you are too weak to win, you are too weak to live.  A lot of people think this way (although they have a neat way of disassociating themselves from this dynamic).

        I also believe that if the GOP wins, the economy will grow rapidly.  There is soooo much corporate cash on the sidelines, and while I know it is also a demand issue, I know that markets can CREATE demand.  I think that if Romney wins, they will find and inflate the next bubble, and we'll see good growth and lower UE (although not below 6.5% or so - they see this as the new normal - keeps the rif-raf hungry to work for less).

        The minute Mitt is in the WH, they'll start moving heaven and earth to make his first term the second coming of Reagan.  And, on economic issues, Mitt will be right where they want him to be.

        That said, if Obama wins, I am not sure they can hold out for four more years (afterall, there is money to be made!).  Expect growth and lower UE even in a second Obama term.  Also expect a Clinton-like pursecution on every trumped-up scandal you can think of to discredit Obama and ensure a GOP victory in 2016.  Biden won't run in 2016, so it will be a defacto open seat.

        Either way, I think we get a little relief economically in the next president's term.

  •  Their behavior is bordering on treasonous (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare

    Given the dire straits our country and economy currently find themselves in, no one I know can recall EITHER party playing such an outrageous game of chicken with American lives and livelihoods.  Nothing in living memory.

    OWS would do well to play this up, for all it's worth.

    Republicans are none other than the representatives of the 1%.

    Who is going to represent the rest of us, the 99%?

    If this hand is played well, there could very well be such a sea change in American politics as to change the game for generations to come.

    The Republicans really have no clue the fire that they are playing with here.

    And I can't wait until they find out the hard way!

    Burn it the fuck down!

    by Lavocat on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 03:24:27 PM PDT

  •  Sargent is typical bubble mentality. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    He oozes the "I know the answer, so I'll intrepret the data to fit my answer."

    Nice try, Sarge.  You're not fooling anybody but those who already think like you.  Those who need to explain their way of thinking that Republicans some how in some way represent normal people.  They do not.  

    There are schmucks out there who buy Republican branding.  And, sure, there are even intelligent people that cling dearly to tired Norquist ideology.  But unbeknownst to this crowd, time has marched on and the very word "government" has changed meaning to "We the People."  And people do things like that, don't ya' know?

    And, almost as important, the Republican party is seen as purposely tanking the economy for potlicial reasons. So, no, you can't twist your way out of that one.

    LOL.

  •  I tend to think it's more about punishing ... (0+ / 0-)

    the American people for having the temerity to elect a honorable human being as president  , if re-elected expect an assasination .

  •  Shouldn't the next question be... (0+ / 0-)

    Do you believe the Republicans should be rewarded for keeping Americans broke and out of work?

    And the choices would be (A) Yes, (B) No, and (C) Duh, gee, I don't know, I guess that would be all right. Why, is there some kind of problem with that?

  •   florida poll (0+ / 0-)

    i'm not quite sure if the proper questions were asked regarding this poll, a lot of the people in fla. are saying this isn't a good poll  , don't know?

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