Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago? 80% Say No

Another interesting data point from the poll Bryan highlighted earlier, as caught by NRO's Jim Geraghty:

Just 20% of Americans feel their family's financial situation is better today than it was four yearsago. 37% say it is worse, and 43% say it is about the same.

Obama's efforts to recycle Jimmy Carter's 1976 speech where he asked the same question have shown how inept the administration is. 

Family's Financial Situation Vs. Four Years Ago

  • Better today 20%
  • Worse today 37%
  • About the same 43%

It should also be noted that this poll, as would be expected from CBS and the New York Times, oversampled Democrats. As of 1 March, Rasmussen (full article behind paywall, sorry) found 36% identified as Republicans, only 32.4% identified as Democrats; yet in this poll, CBS/NYT polled 304 Democrats and only 263 Republicans, which has the majority on the wrong side (they also report 442 independents, which could be a way for Democrat-leaning respondents to hide).

A biased poll from state media? Say it ain't so! Most efforts to quell dissension in the overall populace are blowing up in the faces of the statists on both sides of the single party system. 

So, even with Democrats oversampled, more people say they're worse off today than better, and over twice as many say there's been no change rather than improvement in their financial situation. Of course, Harry Reid is spinning so fast that you could hook him up to a generator and power Las Vegas:

"I think this poll is so meaningless. It is trying to give the American people an idea of what 300 million people feel by testing several hundred people. I think the poll is flawed in so many different ways including a way that questions were asked. I don't believe in polls generally and specifically not in this one."

Not buying into polls that sample such a small portion of a population is a good thing. The smaller the sample, the less representative and accurate the data, basic statistics (which is an opinionated and manipulative field anyway, regardless of your political slant). 

Yeah, right, Harry. We all know that if this poll had fallen out the other way, you'd be trumpeting it in front of every camera and microphone you could find. But even with oversampling Democrats, it turned out wrong for you, so you're left with just desperate spin, and worse than that, it's obviously desperate spin.

I'll conclude with some free advice for Santorum and Romney: Whoever the GOP nominee is, he should dust off Reagan's old campaign ad question, and ask Americans, "are you better off now than you were four years ago?"

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