Will President Bush be blamed by Americans irked by rising gas prices? A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll suggests that the answer is yes.
More than six in 10 respondents -- and three in 10 Republican respondents -- said the president is at least partly responsible for the high cost of gasoline. But most Americans won't be angry at Bush over their canceled summer vacations: Two-thirds of respondents to a Gallup/USA Today survey said that gas prices won't keep them from traveling. (Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg, 6/28/06, 1,321 adults, margin of error +/-3%; Gallup/USA Today, 6/28/06, 1,000 adults, +/-3%)
A Different Stripe
Context is everything. When Gallup/USA Today pollsters asked respondents in a half-sample if they favored or opposed "a constitutional amendment that would allow Congress and state governments to make it illegal to burn the American flag," 56 percent favored an amendment, and 41 percent opposed it.
The other half-sample was asked a similar question, but it also described burning the flag as "a form of political dissent." Results were reversed: 45 percent said they thought the Constitution should be amended, and 54 percent said it should not. (6/27/06, 1,000 adults, +/-3%)
All Politics Is ... National
The late House Speaker Tip O'Neill's famous aphorism doesn't quite hold true in the latest Diageo/Hotline poll.
When respondents were asked which of six factors were most likely to affect their votes, "candidates' positions on national issues" came in first, with a 36 percent plurality. Positions on local issues garnered less than half of that -- 15 percent. Sixteen percent chose the candidates'positions on the war in Iraq, and 11 percent picked the incumbent's performance. Party affiliation and a candidate's support of President Bush were in the single digits. (6/29/06, 800 registered voters, margin of error +/-3%)
Message: We Care
Please tell me if you agree or disagree with the following statement: "When I cast my vote for U.S. Congress in November, I am not only voting to elect the candidate I believe is most qualified, but I am sending a message to the country's current leadership." (Diageo/Hotline)
Strongly agree 54%
Somewhat agree 30%
Somewhat disagree 6%
Strongly disagree 7%
Neither agree nor disagree 2%
Don't know/refused 1%
Blast From the Past
Two big-name pollsters recently dug through their archives to come up with midterm election comparisons between this year and 1994, when Republicans swept to power in both chambers of Congress.
In a Pew Research Center poll, 46 percent of Democratic respondents say they're more enthusiastic about voting this year than they have been in past elections. Thirty percent of Republicans agreed. But in a 1994 CNN/Gallup/USA Today poll, those numbers were reversed: 45 percent of Republicans said they were more excited about voting; 30 percent of Democrats were.
A Gallup/USA Today survey shows stronger feelings across the board: 50 percent of all respondents say they're more enthusiastic about voting than usual. (Pew Research Center, 6/27/06, 1,501 adults, +/-3%; Gallup/USA Today, 6/27/06, 1,000 adults, +/-3%)
71% of Americans say they are "extremely" or "very" motivated to get out and vote this year.
All Politics Is ... Loco?
Who do you think is crazier: the leader of North Korea or the leader of Iran?
All D R I
North Korea 31% 34% 26% 37%
Iran 26% 25% 32% 21%
(vol.) 27% 23% 31% 27%
(vol.) 5% 8% 2% 3%
Don't know 11% 11% 9% 11%
(Fox News/Opinion Dynamics)