Polling OWS: protesters are leftists out of step with most American voters. Yet Democrats are embracing them anyway.

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    Oct 19, 2011 2:07 AM GMT
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204479504576637082965745362.html?mod=ITP_opinion_0

    Wall Street Journal, Opinion Section, October 18, 2011
    by Douglas Schoen

    President Obama and the Democratic leadership are making a critical error in embracing the Occupy Wall Street movement—and it may cost them the 2012 election. [not that they have much of a chance anyway at this point]

    Last week, senior White House adviser David Plouffe said that "the protests you're seeing are the same conversations people are having in living rooms and kitchens all across America. . . . People are frustrated by an economy that does not reward hard work and responsibility, where Wall Street and Main Street don't seem to play by the same set of rules." Nancy Pelosi and others have echoed the message.

    Yet the Occupy Wall Street movement reflects values that are dangerously out of touch with the broad mass of the American people—and particularly with swing voters who are largely independent and have been trending away from the president since the debate over health-care reform.

    The protesters have a distinct ideology and are bound by a deep commitment to radical left-wing policies. On Oct. 10 and 11, Arielle Alter Confino, a senior researcher at my polling firm, interviewed nearly 200 protesters in New York's Zuccotti Park. Our findings probably represent the first systematic random sample of Occupy Wall Street opinion.

    Our research shows clearly that the movement doesn't represent unemployed America and is not ideologically diverse. Rather, it comprises an unrepresentative segment of the electorate that believes in radical redistribution of wealth, civil disobedience and, in some instances, violence. Half (52%) have participated in a political movement before, virtually all (98%) say they would support civil disobedience to achieve their goals, and nearly one-third (31%) would support violence to advance their agenda.

    The vast majority of demonstrators are actually employed,
    and the proportion of protesters unemployed (15%) is within single digits of the national unemployment rate (9.1%).

    An overwhelming majority of demonstrators supported Barack Obama in 2008. Now 51% disapprove of the president while 44% approve, and only 48% say they will vote to re-elect him in 2012, while at least a quarter won't vote.

    Fewer than one in three (32%) call themselves Democrats, while roughly the same proportion (33%) say they aren't represented by any political party.

    What binds a large majority of the protesters together—regardless of age, socioeconomic status or education—is a deep commitment to left-wing policies: opposition to free-market capitalism and support for radical redistribution of wealth, intense regulation of the private sector, and protectionist policies to keep American jobs from going overseas.

    Sixty-five percent say that government has a moral responsibility to guarantee all citizens access to affordable health care, a college education, and a secure retirement—no matter the cost. By a large margin (77%-22%), they support raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, but 58% oppose raising taxes for everybody, with only 36% in favor. And by a close margin, protesters are divided on whether the bank bailouts were necessary (49%) or unnecessary (51%).

    Thus Occupy Wall Street is a group of engaged progressives who are disillusioned with the capitalist system and have a distinct activist orientation. Among the general public, by contrast, 41% of Americans self-identify as conservative, 36% as moderate, and only 21% as liberal. That's why the Obama-Pelosi embrace of the movement could prove catastrophic for their party.

    In 1970, aligning too closely with the antiwar movement hurt Democrats in the midterm election, when many middle-class and working-class Americans ended up supporting hawkish candidates who condemned student disruptions. While that 1970 election should have been a sweep against the first-term Nixon administration, it was instead one of only four midterm elections since 1938 when the president's party didn't lose seats.

    With the Democratic Party on the defensive throughout the 1970 campaign, liberal Democrats were only able to win on Election Day by distancing themselves from the student protest movement. So Adlai Stevenson III pinned an American flag to his lapel, appointed Chicago Seven prosecutor Thomas Foran chairman of his Citizen's Committee, and emphasized "law and order"—a tactic then employed by Ted Kennedy, who denounced the student protesters as "campus commandos" who must be repudiated, "especially by those who may share their goals."

    Today, having abandoned any effort to work with the congressional super committee to craft a bipartisan agreement on deficit reduction, President Obama has thrown in with those who support his desire to tax oil companies and the rich, rather than appeal to independent and self-described moderate swing voters who want smaller government and lower taxes, not additional stimulus or interference in the private sector.

    Rather than embracing huge new spending programs and tax increases, plus increasingly radical and potentially violent activists, the Democrats should instead build a bridge to the much more numerous independents and moderates in the center by opposing bailouts and broad-based tax increases.

    Put simply, Democrats need to say they are with voters in the middle who want cooperation, conciliation and lower taxes. And they should work particularly hard to contrast their rhetoric with the extremes advocated by the Occupy Wall Street crowd.

    Mr. Schoen, who served as a pollster for President Bill Clinton, is author of "Hopelessly Divided: The New Crisis in American Politics and What It Means for 2012 and Beyond," forthcoming from Rowman and Littlefield.
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    Oct 19, 2011 2:17 AM GMT
    jpBITCHva saidYou are aware, I hope, that this particular piece of nonsense is at this very moment being laughed at across the entire internet?

    This is the man who suggested that Obama decline to run in 2012. No one cares about his opinions. Except, apparently, you.

    Those are their poll numbers. Not talked about on Huffington, eh.

    And if Obama dropped out and Hillary ran, the chances of the Democrats holding the WH would improve.
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    Oct 19, 2011 2:24 AM GMT
    socalfitness said
    jpBITCHva saidYou are aware, I hope, that this particular piece of nonsense is at this very moment being laughed at across the entire internet?

    This is the man who suggested that Obama decline to run in 2012. No one cares about his opinions. Except, apparently, you.

    Those are their poll numbers. Not talked about on Huffington, eh.

    And if Obama dropped out and Hillary ran, the chances of the Democrats holding the WH would improve.
    WHO's "poll"?

    "On Oct. 10 and 11, Arielle Alter Confino, a senior researcher at my polling firm," and the OP ED was written by 'Douglas Schoen'..



    Hand picking "nearly" 200 in "the park" will skew any poll to validate any direction of intent.

    Grade: failure of decent journalism
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    Oct 19, 2011 2:29 AM GMT
    Not surprising at all given the numerous videos - some that are posted proudly in unintentional self parody, that this is the case. I for one think that the Democrats should embrace the movement if they believe that it is their way to victory in 2012.

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    Oct 19, 2011 4:15 AM GMT
    riddler78 saidNot surprising at all given the numerous videos - some that are posted proudly in unintentional self parody, that this is the case. I for one think that the Democrats should embrace the movement if they believe that it is their way to victory in 2012.



    Riddler, great vid!!! I love it when one can express themselves so eloquently.
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    Oct 19, 2011 4:35 AM GMT
    This OP just shows how faux the populism on the right is, even on this board. Mainstream polls all show that the majority of Americans support the overall OWS movement.

    And as for riddler's video, which has has spammed this forum with countless times today, given the apparent illiteracy apparent in nearly every Tea Bagger sign on display at their rallies, pot meet kettle.

    BTW, I polled myself, my boyfriend and my dog and 100% of people and beagles polled think that Doug Schoen is a douche canoe.
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    Oct 19, 2011 5:00 AM GMT
    Christian73 saidThis OP just shows how faux the populism on the right is, even on this board. Mainstream polls all show that the majority of Americans support the overall OWS movement.

    And as for riddler's video, which has has spammed this forum with countless times today, given the apparent illiteracy apparent in nearly every Tea Bagger sign on display at their rallies, pot meet kettle.

    BTW, I polled myself, my boyfriend and my dog and 100% of people and beagles polled think that Doug Schoen is a douche canoe.


    I haven't laughed that much in a long time after seeing that video - turnabout apparently is fair play and I think far more indicative of many of the participants than you'd like to admit icon_lol.gif

    As to the general public? Yes, guess what, wall street isn't popular and therefore occupy wall street is an ideal that people like. Not surprising. Just wait as word slowly trickles out as to how popular these protests really are and the people they've attracted.

    I hope for everyone's sake that they get increasingly popular.
  • KissTheSky

    Posts: 1980

    Oct 19, 2011 5:06 AM GMT
    If you look at actual poll numbers, the OWS movement is far more popular than either major political party, because they are representing what the majority of voters actually want: higher taxes on the super rich, an end to the wars, universal health care with a single payer system, a real jobs program, and sensible regulations on the financial industry to prevent another meltdown.

    And yet all of these common-sense goals have been largely ignored by both parties because they are puppets for corporate donors.
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    Oct 19, 2011 5:09 AM GMT
    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/10/18/347165/breaking-doug-schoen-grossly-misrepresents-his-own-poll-results-to-smear-occupy-wall-street/
    At Capital New York, Azi Paybarah has obtained the full poll results, and Schoen appears to have grossly misrepresented the results of his poll. He writes that a “large majority” are bound together by support for a “radical redistribution of wealth.” But when he asked the protesters what they’d like the Occupy Wall Street movement to achieve, just 4 percent said “radical redistribution of wealth,” which tied for last on the list of answers given. There is no mention of “radical redistribution of wealth” anywhere else in the poll.

    Meanwhile, 35 percent said they would like to “influence the Democratic Party,” Here are the full results of that question:
    SECOND.jpg
    Similarly, while Schoen writes that a “large majority” express “opposition to free-market capitalism,” when asked what frustrates them most about the U.S. political process, only 3 percent named “our democratic/capitalist system.” Out of 198 respondents, that amounts to five or six people, which is quite the opposite of a large majority. Here are the full results for that question:
    FIRST.jpg
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    Oct 19, 2011 5:10 AM GMT
    KissTheSky saidIf you look at actual poll numbers, the OWS movement is far more popular than either major political party, because they are representing what the majority of voters actually want: higher taxes on the super rich, an end to the wars, universal health care with a single payer system, a real jobs program, and sensible regulations on the financial industry to prevent another meltdown.

    And yet all of these common-sense goals have been largely ignored by both parties because they are puppets for corporate donors.


    Um no - they are popular because the media isn't covering the full breadth of what they want and the class warfare they seek and precisely because Wall Street is highly unpopular. Puppets for special interests? You'll find those apparently occupying wall street.
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    Oct 19, 2011 5:20 AM GMT
    Christian73 saidThis OP just shows how faux the populism on the right is, even on this board. Mainstream polls all show that the majority of Americans support the overall OWS movement.

    This is a pretty mainstream poll, USA Today/Gallup, reported in LA Times blog, and it directly counters what you claim.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2011/10/gallup-poll-occupy-wall-street.html?track=icymi
    ...A majority of Americans, regardless of party affiliation, said they were neutral about the Occupy Wall Street and tea party movements. About 26% of those surveyed described themselves as supporters of the Occupy movement and 19% said they were opponents. About 52% said they were neither, with 4% having no opinion....
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    Oct 19, 2011 8:07 AM GMT
    A recent Fox poll among its own adherents of well over 50 thousand respondents, showed that 70% identified with some of the points behind the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.

    Of course this information didn't fit into their belief system so the news didn't get published so the likes of SoCal could read it. but if he would look up CommonDreams.org he could find it there, the poll is only 7 to 10 days old.

    Don't take my word for it look it up !!



    Anything coming from Wall Street Journal and FOX News has an agenda, and it isn't fairness or equal treatment for apposing views.
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    Oct 19, 2011 9:17 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    KissTheSky saidIf you look at actual poll numbers, the OWS movement is far more popular than either major political party, because they are representing what the majority of voters actually want: higher taxes on the super rich, an end to the wars, universal health care with a single payer system, a real jobs program, and sensible regulations on the financial industry to prevent another meltdown.

    And yet all of these common-sense goals have been largely ignored by both parties because they are puppets for corporate donors.


    Um no - they are popular because the media isn't covering the full breadth of what they want and the class warfare they seek and precisely because Wall Street is highly unpopular. Puppets for special interests? You'll find those apparently occupying wall street.


    Again, you're either living under a rock in Canada with no access to telelvision or the Internet, or you're being deliberately disingenuous.

    The right-wing and corporate media have been screaming "class warfare" at anyone who dares suggest that raising taxes on the rich, forcing companies to pay their taxes or - Heaven forbid - placing a modest financial transaction tax on securities long before the OWS even started. And they have only sped up those attacks in the last month.
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    Oct 19, 2011 11:46 AM GMT
    realifedad said A recent Fox poll among its own adherents of well over 50 thousand respondents, showed that 70% identified with some of the points behind the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.

    Of course this information didn't fit into their belief system so the news didn't get published so the likes of SoCal could read it. but if he would look up CommonDreams.org he could find it there, the poll is only 7 to 10 days old.

    Don't take my word for it look it up !!

    Anything coming from Wall Street Journal and FOX News has an agenda, and it isn't fairness or equal treatment for apposing views.

    That is nothing new. I agree with some of the points of the demonstrators, that the economy is in the crapper, for example.
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    Oct 19, 2011 1:38 PM GMT
    socalfitness said
    realifedad said A recent Fox poll among its own adherents of well over 50 thousand respondents, showed that 70% identified with some of the points behind the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.

    Of course this information didn't fit into their belief system so the news didn't get published so the likes of SoCal could read it. but if he would look up CommonDreams.org he could find it there, the poll is only 7 to 10 days old.

    Don't take my word for it look it up !!

    Anything coming from Wall Street Journal and FOX News has an agenda, and it isn't fairness or equal treatment for apposing views.

    That is nothing new. I agree with some of the points of the demonstrators, that the economy is in the crapper, for example.


    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/the_job_destroyers_jKzAjk6AR2kjkkLRRejQuN
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    Oct 19, 2011 3:10 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    KissTheSky saidIf you look at actual poll numbers, the OWS movement is far more popular than either major political party, because they are representing what the majority of voters actually want: higher taxes on the super rich, an end to the wars, universal health care with a single payer system, a real jobs program, and sensible regulations on the financial industry to prevent another meltdown.

    And yet all of these common-sense goals have been largely ignored by both parties because they are puppets for corporate donors.


    Um no - they are popular because the media isn't covering the full breadth of what they want and the class warfare they seek and precisely because Wall Street is highly unpopular. Puppets for special interests? You'll find those apparently occupying wall street.


    Again, you're either living under a rock in Canada with no access to telelvision or the Internet, or you're being deliberately disingenuous.

    The right-wing and corporate media have been screaming "class warfare" at anyone who dares suggest that raising taxes on the rich, forcing companies to pay their taxes or - Heaven forbid - placing a modest financial transaction tax on securities long before the OWS even started. And they have only sped up those attacks in the last month.


    Yes because making capital allocation less efficient makes for excellent government policy?
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    Oct 19, 2011 3:37 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    KissTheSky saidIf you look at actual poll numbers, the OWS movement is far more popular than either major political party, because they are representing what the majority of voters actually want: higher taxes on the super rich, an end to the wars, universal health care with a single payer system, a real jobs program, and sensible regulations on the financial industry to prevent another meltdown.

    And yet all of these common-sense goals have been largely ignored by both parties because they are puppets for corporate donors.


    Um no - they are popular because the media isn't covering the full breadth of what they want and the class warfare they seek and precisely because Wall Street is highly unpopular. Puppets for special interests? You'll find those apparently occupying wall street.


    Again, you're either living under a rock in Canada with no access to telelvision or the Internet, or you're being deliberately disingenuous.

    The right-wing and corporate media have been screaming "class warfare" at anyone who dares suggest that raising taxes on the rich, forcing companies to pay their taxes or - Heaven forbid - placing a modest financial transaction tax on securities long before the OWS even started. And they have only sped up those attacks in the last month.


    Yes because making capital allocation less efficient makes for excellent government policy?


    If there were such a thing as a "free market", perhaps the $0.001 tax on transactions would mean something. Since they're not and speculation helped driving the bubble and resulting collapse a tax that a) inhibit speculation would perhaps lead to more useful investment and b) create a reserve to pay for future collapses in the industry.
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    Oct 19, 2011 4:21 PM GMT
    socalfitness said
    realifedad said A recent Fox poll among its own adherents of well over 50 thousand respondents, showed that 70% identified with some of the points behind the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.

    Of course this information didn't fit into their belief system so the news didn't get published so the likes of SoCal could read it. but if he would look up CommonDreams.org he could find it there, the poll is only 7 to 10 days old.

    Don't take my word for it look it up !!

    Anything coming from Wall Street Journal and FOX News has an agenda, and it isn't fairness or equal treatment for apposing views.

    That is nothing new. I agree with some of the points of the demonstrators, that the economy is in the crapper, for example.



    Look up the poll, I think you missed its point and the fact that FOX's poll backfired on FOX. Fox viewers aren't leftists are they ?
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Oct 19, 2011 4:50 PM GMT
    Here we go again

    The OP starts off with a poll that was cited in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
    Do you think for a moment that the Wall Street Journal is going to have any other out come when they cite a poll? ..... Really ?

    Now as far as what each group stands for ..... A larger majority of Americans stand with the OWS protesters than with the tea party
    And judging by the sheer frustration that is seen here in our little gay microcosm of republicans ...... It bugs the shit outta them.... Ain't that so republicans ?
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    Oct 19, 2011 6:20 PM GMT
    GQjock saidHere we go again

    The OP starts off with a poll that was cited in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
    Do you think for a moment that the Wall Street Journal is going to have any other out come when they cite a poll? ..... Really ?

    Now as far as what each group stands for ..... A larger majority of Americans stand with the OWS protesters than with the tea party
    And judging by the sheer frustration that is seen here in our little gay microcosm of republicans ...... It bugs the shit outta them.... Ain't that so republicans ?

    Nope, not at all. The characters there amuse me, and I'm looking forward to the election.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Oct 20, 2011 10:55 AM GMT
    socalfitness said
    GQjock saidHere we go again

    The OP starts off with a poll that was cited in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
    Do you think for a moment that the Wall Street Journal is going to have any other out come when they cite a poll? ..... Really ?

    Now as far as what each group stands for ..... A larger majority of Americans stand with the OWS protesters than with the tea party
    And judging by the sheer frustration that is seen here in our little gay microcosm of republicans ...... It bugs the shit outta them.... Ain't that so republicans ?

    Nope, not at all. The characters there amuse me, and I'm looking forward to the election.


    Au Contraire SoCal ... otherwise you wouldn't be so ardently trolling the rightwing waves for anything and everything that's derogatory about them icon_wink.gif