It’s always an interesting day when Pew releases on of its big reports. Today’s gift-bag of opinion goodness comes courtesy of a national survey from the Center for People & the Press. Because I’m emulating punditry and trying to enjoy the absence of school deadlines, I get to nitpick the results.
A majority of people blame the GOP leaders for this Congress doing less while simultaneously losing on the extremity of their positions, their willingness to compromise, their ability to manage the government better, and are considered far less honest and ethical. It’s always interesting, though certainly water cooler speculation, to imagine the effects of messaging in helping people inform their opinions on certain subjects. Given the prevalence of talk radio and the popularity of Fox News, coupled with the mainstream media’s insistence on equating both parities complicity in Congressional outcomes, it’s hard for me to imagine these results are greatly effected by any left-wing messaging war. You can also see the trend of a majority thinking most congresspeople should not be elected, while at the same time they think their congressperson should be reelected.
Wealthier people are more likely to oppose the Occupy Wall Street movement. The further left you go on the political spectrum the more support we see. Both unsurprising, yet it’s interesting to note that support is consistent among most age groups until you get to 65, and that the middle-income brackets are more supportive than the lower one.
Finally, here’s where the gold nuggets start showing up in the silt of human opinion:
1. 77% think there is too much power in the hands of a few rich people and large corporations.
– This is true of Republicans, Democrats and Independents. Of course for the Republican’s it is a slim majority, but I don’t see or hear this represented in the rhetoric of Republican politicians and conservative leaders when talking about the “will of the American people,” let alone their political base of support.
2. 61% think the country’s economic system unfairly favors the wealthy.
– Here is where the partisan divide comes into play. Seems like pretty standard fare, though I wonder how much the Tea Party movement is affecting the 39% of Republicans who side with the Democrats and Independents.
3. 51% believe Wall Street hurts the economy more than it helps.
– Again there is partisan divide, but I chuckled to myself seeing the greater number of people willing to say they weren’t sure. It’s a strange bit of comparable honesty in expressing one’s ignorance on this question but not the others.
There’s one thing that’s always true: Opinions, people have them. Yet I can’t help but think that, among other things, this survey continues a trend wherein we see popular opinion not being represented in Congress or in the fabled land of punditocracy.