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Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Monday | August 19, 2002

Poll: GOP controls congressional agenda

Bush has been traveling through the nation, urging voters to elect Republicans to Congress so that he can "get control of the agenda." However, a new Ispo-Reid poll suggests the president's efforts are wasted. Voters believe, 55-32 percent, that the GOP controls the congressional agenda. Why is this significant? I'll quote wholesale:

“This demonstrates why it is always a hard sell for the President to travel out to a state and ask voters to help him by electing fellow partisans so that he can ‘get control of the Congressional agenda.’ Even in the 50-50 political world we live in, voters assume the President and his party already control the Congressional agenda,” says Thomas Riehle, President of Ipsos-Reid US Public Affairs, which conducts the survey the first and third weekend of every month. “Most don’t agree with the President that obstructions created by the other party’s control of Congress are a problem. In fact, most don’t agree that the other party controls the agenda in Congress.

“Democratic voters think that Republicans control the agenda, and are not likely to be persuaded to cross party lines to help out even a popular President if they believe his party already controls the Congressional agenda. Independent voters assume that, too, although many confess they do not know for sure.

“In fact, it is mostly frustrated Republican voters, who won a Presidential election in 2000 and have not yet seen enough of the Republican agenda passed into law to satisfy their tastes, who now say Democrats control the Congressional agenda—and probably think that’s a problem—but Bush probably already has their votes in the midterm elections,” Riehle concludes.

One can speculate further. Since the GOP controls the congressional agenda, they are at fault for lax corporate oversight, the failure to pass any prescription drugs, and of growing deficits. Regardless of how the numbers are analyzed, they do not look good for congressional Republicans.

Posted August 19, 2002 12:35 PM | Comments (1)


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