ABC News and The Washington Post are using their poll to suggest massive majorities for liberalism in the new year. "Optimism High About Obama Policies, Poll Finds" is the front-page headline in Sunday’s Post. Three pie graphs showed 84 percent favor efforts to "Require electricity companies to increase the use of renewable sources of energy," 77 percent support plans to "Make major changes in the U.S. health care system," and 75 percent want Washington to "Implement policies to try to reduce global warming."
Pollsters Jon Cohen and Jennifer Agiesta reported: "Majorities think Obama should help make major changes to the health-care system, enact new energy policies and institute a moratorium on home foreclosures. Majorities expect him to end U.S. involvement in Iraq, improve health care and turn around America's image abroad."
Post pollsters with their short survey questions aren't trying to explain any potential costs to the public in further nationalizing of health care, or drastic cap-and-trade energy restrictions. Why emphasize the downside when it seems like you're asking the public if they're for "hope and change," price no object?
It certainly suggests that conservatives and Republicans will have their hands full explaining their objections and predictions about the cost of these "Popular Concerns," as the Post calls them.
Only late in the piece would Post readers discover a lack of enthusiasm for one liberal agenda item: "One item on Obama's agenda that few said he needs to pursue in the short term is the shuttering of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Only among Democrats do a majority want him to attempt to close the facility, and even among them, more said he should do so later in his presidency."
Here's a few other poll results not in the Post's Sunday story, which emphasized all their Obama questions:
Question 17: "Thinking about the next 12 months, would you say you feel (optimistic) or (pessimistic) about (ITEM)?"
The state of the national economy: 48 percent optimistic, 50 percent pessimistic.
The situtation in Iraq: 65 percent optimistic, 30 percent pessimistic
The country’s ability to defend itself against terrorist attacks: 67 percent optimistic, 30 percent pessimistic.
The situation in Afghanistan: 49 percent optimistic, 47 percent pessimistic.
We certainly would not expect the Post to see some of these numbers and write the headline "Optimism High About Iraq, War on Terror."
Question 35: "Do you think the United States is or is not making significant progress toward restoring civil order in Iraq?" 56 percent said yes, 40 no, which displays a large amount of liberals who aren't making a "reality-based" assessment. (That said, in July it was 46 percent yes, 51 no, so the tide is turning.)
Question 40: "As you may know, Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has been arrested on charges that he sought bribes in exchange for official actions, including appointing someone to take over Obama's seat in the U.S. Senate. Obama has not been implicated in this case. Do you think Obama has or has not done enough to explain any discussions his representatives may have had with Blagojevich about the Senate seat?" Here, the press's gentleness toward Obama is working so far: 51 percent said yes, he's explained enough, despite his failure to elaborate; only 34 percent said no.