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Monday, July 19, 2010

Politico Poll: DC Elites Vs Us Everyday Normal People

I really wish I could write with an "accent" the headline sounds so much better using a fake southern drawl, but no matter, the meaning behind it remains the same.

Starting with The Politico who states "elites in Washington have a strikingly divergent outlook from the rest of the nation."

To qualify as a DC Elite for The Politico's poll, it is explained as "must live within the D.C. metro area, earn more than $75,000 per year, have at least a college degree and be involved in the political process or work on key political issues or policy decisions."

Everyone else is "us normal people"... heh

The differences in how DC Elites see political issues as compared to the rest of Americans is astounding, showing they live in a bubble, so to speak, and they acknowledge their differences as shown in the paragraph below.

Washington elites seem conscious of the fact that they have a different point of view than the rest of the country, as 74 percent said they have felt the current economic downturn less than most Americans.

One of the few points of agreement is seeing economy and jobs as a major issue and both types having a very low approval rating for Congress.

Everyday Americans:

Only 27 percent believe the country is headed in the right direction, compared with 61 percent who think the nation is on the wrong track. Likewise, when asked whether the national economy is heading down the right or wrong track, just 24 percent chose the right track, compared with65 percent for the wrong track.

DC Elites:

Yet among the 227 Washington elites polled, more think the country is on the right track, 49 percent, than the wrong track, 45 percent. On the economy, 44 percent of elites think the country is on the right track, compared with 46 percent who believe it is not.

Other differences:

Sixty-five percent of the general population views Social Security as “very important,” compared with only 41 percent of Washington elites. The same goes for immigration — 53 percent of the general public says it’s very important, compared with 36 percent of Washington elites — and family values — 62 percent versus 23 percent, respectively.

Taxes areanother issue where Washington does not appear to have its finger on the pulse of the country. Fifty-three percent of the general public ranked taxes as a “very important” issue, while 37 percent of elites said the same.

“The poll highlights in dramatic terms the stark contrasts between D.C. elites and the American people, as D.C. elites are far more isolated from the economic crisis and yet far more plugged into other issues,” said Mark Penn, CEO of Penn Schoen Berland and a veteran Democratic pollster.

The first paragraph in another Politico piece explains the differences in reality for the DC Elite vs ordinary Americans:

America is struggling with a sputtering economy and high unemployment — but times are booming for Washington’s governing class.

The headline there calls it a "reality gap" and the data provided in the actual poll results confirms that gap.

Poll after poll, from Washington Post/ABC News to Gallup show an electorate unhappy with Washington, disapproving of Congress and lacking any confidence in Barack Obama, yet the political class, the DC Elites in the Politico poll are disconnected from those realities.

The next time a politician claims their own internal polls are divergent with all other polls from multiple organizations, perhaps the next question they should be asked is if they are focusing their polls on DC Elites or everyday, normal Americans.