A Washington Post / ABC Poll Profiles the Electorate

        President Obama in battle for the working class                   

 What does it tell us about the American Voter?

From April 5-8, 2012, the Washington Post and ABC News conducted a scientifically sampled telephone poll to determine how Americans feel about President Obama and his likely Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, in the coming elections.  As I pondered the meaning of the results, I was reminded of a conversation between a female interviewer on the “Today Show” and V.S. Naipaul, a Nobel Laureate in literature of East Indian heritage.

Naipaul had just finished a book, “India: A wounded Civilization,” and the interviewer said she had always wondered what the red dot on the foreheads of Indian women means and asked him to explain it.   To wit a cynical Sir Naipaul replied: “It means my head is empty.”  That’s the feeling I get about the American electorate upon reading this latest poll.

By a better than two to one margin Americans found the president more “likable” and “inspiring” than Mitt the Stiff.  They also gave strong approval for his handling of women’s issues, concern for the economic welfare of the average Americans, his health care policies, international diplomacy, and being more consistent in his political positions than Romney.

Yet on the matter of job creation the President and Mr. Romney are running neck and neck; 46% to 43% favoring the President.  And on the question of who can best manage the economy Romney tops the President at 47% to 43%.  When it comes to who can best solve the federal deficit problem, Romney beats the President by 13 percentage points: 51% to 38%.

According to the emerging political theology that economic issues will decide the coming elections, this poll is heresy.  When asked who they would vote for President if the election was held today, Barack smacks down Mitt at 51% to 44%. The problem with this poll is that it makes no sense.

It appears that large segments of the electorate  is an untutored mob that makes critical political decisions based on a non-rational process where facts play a minor, and in some cases insignificant, role.  And people are choosing who they will support for President based on intuition, ignorance, racism, mysticism and whimsy.

Mitt Romney opposed the bank bailout, which saved us from the horror of a world financial collapse.  He went thumbs down on the Economic Recovery Act that prevented the onset of another Great Depression.  He also opposed the auto-industry rescue, which saved over a million jobs and preserved the last major American manufacturing sector.  Romney’s answer to the housing crisis brought on by the loosey goosy “free market” economic folly of the Bush Administration, that he not only supported but yearns to reinstate, is to let the market “bottom out.”

In the private sector he was a job destroyer and exporter; hence if we are to believe his claim that “corporations are people” he is a serial killer!   as Governor of Massachusetts he was 47 of 50 governors in Job creation, and he has cosigned the notorious Ryan Budget, which would take us back to before the New Deal of the 1930’s in terms of the entitlements that form the “social safety net” that has enriched the life chances of millions of Americans for three quarters of a century.  It is an approach to social welfare that President Obama correctly labels “thinly disguised Social Darwinism.”

Mitt also refuses to come clean on his taxes and financial assets, and is known to have millions in off shore tax havens like the Cayman Islands and Switzerland.  The only reason for such accounts is to avoid paying taxes on the money, and he is already paying a much lower rate on his income than the average American worker.

Yet most Americans still believe Mitt is the best guy to manage the American economy?   Duh?….that’s like putting a hawk in charge of the hen house!  Alas, I am compelled to conclude that the most important thing these latest poll numbers tell us about millions of American voters is that “their heads are empty!”  This is a frightening revelation, because it means that without an effective mass political education campaign anything can happen in the coming elections.

 Mr One Percent

The hawk who wants to guard the chickens!


Playthell Benjamin

Harlem New York

April 12, 2012

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