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Congressional Insiders Poll

What is your expectation for the economy between now and Election Day?

Democrats (30 votes)

Improve a lot: 13%
Improve a little: 80%
Stay about the same: 7%
Worsen a little: 0%
Worsen a lot: 0%


Improve a lot

“We are in a sustained recovery.”

“If Obama were a Republican, they would insist he be on Mount Rushmore.”


Improve a little

“But every little bit helps.”

“But reality won’t stop Republicans from claiming otherwise.”

“The economy will continue to steadily improve, but the overall condition of the economy remains quite fragile.”


“It’s hard to tell. I think everyone was surprised by the latest numbers. But doubt this will hold through the election.”

“At the very least, it should continue to improve a little more in the coming months, unless the E.U. goes to hell in a handbasket or the situation with Iran blows up.”

“I think it will improve a little, but enough to give us all hope of a much better 2013.”

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“If President Obama actually did something effective about underwater mortgages and the foreclosure crisis, we would see actual economic growth.”

“Any upward trend, however small, will be to the advantage of President Obama.”

“The political impact will depend on the direction of economic change (positive) and the extent to which Republican fingerprints are on our economic and political difficulties (considerable).”

“Republicans lose.”


What is your expectation for the economy between now and Election Day?

Republicans (22 votes)

Improve a lot: 0%
Improve a little: 0%
Stay about the same: 0%
Worsen a little: 0%
Worsen a lot: 0%

Improve a little

“Fits and starts, but overall a positive trend line.”

“Even the Obama administration can’t keep the American economy down forever. But this administration will run for reelection with the worst economic numbers and performance since Jimmy Carter.”

Stay about the same

“Unless Europe unravels.”

“Unless energy prices spike, I imagine the economy will stay about the same.”

“Although CBO suggests it will be worse.”

“Because Europe going into recession will hurt our exports.”

“The good news is, unlike 2009-10, the federal government won’t make things worse.”

“There’s room for growth, but we’re stuck in fits and starts until businesses know what to expect, which all comes down to who’s getting sworn in next January.”

“This election will be a referendum on the president’s economic policies, and with 8 percent-plus unemployment for 36 straight months, the White House should be very worried.”

“Three years into this administration—consecutive years of trillion-dollar deficits, $800 billion in failed stimulus money, 37 months of national unemployment above 8 percent, broken promises, and failed policies later—the market is correcting itself. Thanks to this administration, generations of Americans have a much higher debt load to show for it.”

“Then a big boost if the Republicans take the trifecta!”


Is the STOCK Act a necessary measure to curb insider trading in Congress, or an unnecessary solution in search of a problem?

Democrats (30 votes)

Necessary: 43%
Unnecessary: 43%
Other (volunteered): 13%


“ ‘Necessary’ in terms of public perception more than the coverage of present law.”

“The STOCK Act is a necessary solution to a political problem.”

“But could have been dealt with under current law. Current law allows prosecution of lawmakers for insider trading. A letter from members could have urged prosecution when appropriate, no exceptions.”

“Should have included a prohibition on stock ownership.”

“A rule that makes it clear that a member cannot knowingly seek to profit from insider information or use of public dollars they affect shouldn’t be necessary, but in these times it probably is.”


“But helpful for public confidence.”

“It is already clearly unethical and probably illegal. Some consider it necessary purely for political-perception reasons.”

“This measure creates a minefield that will yield unintended and very serious consequences.”

“Members are already prohibited from insider trading; most members don’t have any inside information, but no one can oppose the superfluous STOCK Act now that the president has said we are corrupt.”

This article appears in the February 11, 2012 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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