Scorpio’s World

Thoughts on Politics, Race, and Middle Earth

“Let Us Decide”

Posted by scorpiomkm on May 20, 2007

American Optimism at New Low, Poll Finds


WASHINGTON (May 20) – It is gloomy out there. Men and women, whites and minorities – all are feeling a war-weary pessimism about the United States seldom shared by so many people. 


Only 25 percent of those surveyed say things in the U.S. are going in the right direction, according to an AP-Ipsos poll this month. That is about the lowest level of satisfaction detected since the survey started in December 2003.

Rarely have longer-running polls found such a rate since the even gloomier days of 1992, ahead of the first President Bush ‘s re-election loss to Democrat  Bill Clinton .

The current glumness is widely blamed on public discontent with the war in Iraq  and with President George W. Bush .

Women and minorities are less content than men and whites, which has been true for years. But all four groups are at or near record lows for the AP-Ipsos poll, and at unusually low levels for older surveys as well.

Ann Bailey, 69, a retired school secretary in Oklahoma, is a conservative who believes the country is on the wrong track. That sentiment should raise alarms for Republicans hoping to hold the White House and recapture Congress  next year.

She cites a widespread lack of honesty plus immigration , gasoline prices and Iraq – where a son and grandson are serving.

“As much as I hate it, I think they need to finish up what they’re doing and get out of there,” said Bailey. “I think we should step out and say, ‘OK, now you solve your problem. We’ve done the best we can do.”‘

Three in 10 men and two in 10 women said this month they think the country is on the right track, down from nearly half of each who felt that way at the end of 2003.

By race, 28 percent of whites and 18 percent of minorities said the same – just over half their rates of optimism from late 2003.

Asked in April why they felt things were veering in the wrong direction, one-third overall blamed the war and one-fourth blamed poor leadership.

Nine percent faulted the economy, 8 percent a loss of moral values and 5 percent gasoline prices.

“We need to get out of war, get our economy back up, quit spending money outside of America and bring it here,” said Democrat Lisa Pollard, 45, an insurance company analyst in Texas. “It all starts at the White House.”

When voter optimism hits such low levels, “It’s not being driven by any specific group. It’s a general kind of malaise that’s across the board,” Republican  pollster Neil Newhouse said.

Former President Jimmy Carter  used the word “malaise” to describe a time of low national self-confidence in the late 1970s. He lost his re-election bid in 1980 to Republican Ronald Reagan .

Today’s numbers are reflected in polls that show voters prefer the Democratic Party to the Republicans — without naming specific candidates — to win the White House next year. Early polling, though, shows specific front-running Republican hopefuls largely holding their own against top Democrats.

The mood prevailing in the polls is giving Democrats optimism about an election that is a long 18 months away. 

“You connect the dots back to Bush. He’s done more to undermine their brand than we could have done spending millions of dollars,” said Cornell Belcher, who polls for Democrats. “I’d rather be us right now.”

The especially low “right direction” numbers for women and minorities result largely because both groups tend to be more Democratic, less supportive of the war and more vulnerable to economic downturns, analysts say.

The percentage of white people who say Bush made the right decision to go to war in Iraq has exceeded that for minorities by 9 points to 25 points in AP-Ipsos polls over the past four years. The spread has been 5 points to 16 points when comparing men versus women.

For women, their pessimism extends across party lines. While 52 percent of Republican men said the country is heading the right way, only 33 percent of Republican women agreed.

Those who think the U.S. is heading in the right direction tend to be white male Republicans in strong financial situations who say they sense a solid economy and are satisfied with the country’s leadership.

“I feel like despite the nation’s problems, we’re going to work our way through them and be better, stronger for it,” said Robert Beard, 49, of California, a programmer for a bank.

The lowest level of overall “right direction” responses in AP-Ipsos polling was 23 percent in May 2006 – virtually identical to this month’s 25 percent because of the margins of sampling error in both polls.

AP-Ipsos polls last spring and in the fall of 2005 showed similarly low percentages of men, women, whites and nonwhites saying the country was moving in the right direction.

This month’s AP-Ipsos poll involved telephone interviews with 1,000 adults from May 7-9. It had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Associated Press News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius and writer Ann Sanner contributed to this report.


I’ll tell ya why Americans are so ‘Gloomy’ these days ~ and it cuts across all Races, Cultures, Nationalities, and Economic Class. It’s a ‘Human’ thing, okay!

See. You can’t govern by Fear & Intimidation, and expect People to ‘feel’ GOOD about themselves or their Country: ya just can’t!

You can’t reduce PEOPLE to mere Statistics or ‘Body Counts’ and expect People to ‘feel’ Whole and Hopeful about the Future!

You can’t have these Right wing Jokers vomit their Hatred and Ugliness over the airwaves (like Limbaugh, Hannity, and Savage) and expect People to ‘feel’ Spiritual and full of Goodwill toward their Fellow Humankind!

It’s that simple!

I mean …. what does HATE & INTOLERANCE really do to the Human Condition except cause it to turn INWARD and upon itself. As a Nation, we’ve become so screwed up that we can’t TRUST or have Faith and Confidence in our government, our Media, or even our ‘Way of Life’!

Listen to yourself as you THINK about the Immigration Issue!

Listen to your Ideas as you consider ~ REALLY CONSIDER ~ what you think about Iraqis and their miserable Plight THAT WE CAUSED!!

Listen to your thoughts as you weigh Obama’s Candidacy!

I say these things because I bet in most cases your THOUGHTS are tinged by Racism, or Intolerance, or raw Hatred, or just plain utter Ignorance. Conditions, I might add, that are the Lowest of ‘Base Instincts’ that contribute to the Negativity not against the victim …. but feed upon the perpetrator.

In fact, for all our High Sounding Boasting about how we’re a ‘Christian Nation’, I find little Christian Ideals on display in our Politics, our way of dealing with ‘others’, or in how we treat our Fellow Americans.

We don’t give a damn when the government cuts Social Programs or Mental Health facilities; we could care less about the Homeless (even will step right over them); or Cheer the police when they whomp on blacks …. just so long as you ‘feel’ Safe & Secure from “them” or ‘Those People’.

One would think that a Society that REALLY BELIEVES in those Values of Freedom, Justice, and Equality would hold the more tightly to same when under attack: but apparently that’s not the case in America as evidence America after 911.

This is ‘why’ we’re in a deep FUNK now. And this is why in short order we’re going to have t decide what kind of America do we want in the Twenty-first Century:

a ‘Shiny City on a Hill’ or Mordor.


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