* No one cares about filibuster reform. While that previous sentence is an exaggeration, it’s only a slight one. The people who do care about filibuster reform are liberal activists and liberal donors. They believe that the rules as they currently stand are a perversion of democracy and must be fundamentally altered. For the rest of the country, however, the filibuster barely registers — much less the attempts to reform it. Doubt it? Check out this 2010 Pew poll where just 26 percent of people knew it took 60 votes to break a filibuster. Given that lack of care/concern among the general public, it made little sense for Reid to risk poisoning the Senate well with bigger fights on sequestration and funding the government looming.That was the number one issue listed in Chris Cillizza's paeon to Beltway savvy today, titled "Why filibuster reform didn’t happen."
Thing is, that 2010 Pew poll is, well ... from 2010! It was actually one of the reasons we designed the filibuster reform campaign the way we did, and since that poll was taken, pretty much every major newspaper in the country has editorialized about the issue, and there have now been two rounds of filibuster reform fights, and two PR blitzes around them since that poll was taken. I don't know that it's a very good bet that filibuster awareness numbers from January 2010 have very much to tell us about public opinion three years and two filibuster reform campaigns later.
Now, people aren't exactly in love with issues of Senate procedure, and it's entirely possible that no more people know about the filibuster now than knew about it then. But I was going to use the same poll to illustrate the starting point of this campaign in my post from earlier today, and here's Cillizza using it as his conclusion! A three year old poll!