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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Who’s Telling Us Pork Is Popular and Sarah Palin Isn’t?



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This bit of news arrived in my e-mailbox late yesterday:

Despite being fed a steady diet of political vitriol about the evils of earmarking, Americans are more likely to vote for a congressional candidate who has a record of bringing home the bacon, according to the latest Society for Human Resource Management/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, conducted with the Pew Research Center.

Funneling money back to the folks back home was far and away the only factor that would indicate support for a congressional candidate.

53 percent of the public said they were more likely to vote for the person on the ballot who had brought government projects and money to the home district.

Only 12 percent said it would make them less likely to vote for the candidate.

A third of those surveyed, 33 percent, said it would make no difference either way in their decision.

In addition, the public is nonplussed about partisan standard-bearers. More respondents by far said it makes no difference to them if a candidate is affiliated with President Obama, former Republican Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, or the tea party movement.

43 percent said it would make no difference in how they voted if Obama campaigned for a candidate, virtually mirroring the 42 percent who said that about Palin. People were more positive about Obama, with 27 percent saying they would be more likely to vote for someone Obama vouched for on the trail, compared to 18 percent who said that about Palin.

The tea party movement didn’t get particularly high marks, either, with 41 percent saying a candidate’s support for the tea party would make no difference in their support.Palin and the tea party even fall short of majority support among Republicans for their abilities to sway opinions on a candidate.41 percent of Republicans said Palin’s campaigning would make them more likely to vote for her preferred candidate.

44 percent of Republicans said they were more likely to vote for a candidate who supported the tea party.Independents were down on Palin.

Only 15 percent of independents said they were more likely to support a Palin-backed candidate,36 percent of independents said her presence in a race would make them less likely to vote for a candidate.

Almost half, 47 percent, said her endorsement wouldn’t make a difference to them.

Who sent that to me? Ah, yes. “Linda Douglass.” Where do I know that name?

Really, Atlantic Media? You see no problem with sending me anti-Palin poll results from an ex-journalist who was slamming Obama critics from within the White House less than a year ago?

And of course the public will support bringing “government projects and money to the home district”; you would have a hard time finding a more generic description. If you say “Bridge to Nowhere” or  ”$4,481,000 for wood utilization research“ or $2.5 million for potato research, I think you’ll get a different reaction.

At least Douglass is consistent: propaganda a year ago, propaganda now.


Tags: Barack Obama , Linda Douglass , Sarah Palin


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