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Rasmussen: Kirk over Giannoulias 41-37, large majority concerned about violent react

Friday, Apr 9, 2010 - Posted by Rich Miller

* No surprise here. Embattled Democratic US Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias is losing ground in the Rasmussen Reports poll. But Republican Mark Kirk is not gaining anything. Instead, voters appear to moving to undecided and “some other candidate.” That combined number has risen from 14 percent in February to 21 percent in the new poll. Here are the latest results, with two previous Rasmussen polls from March and February in parentheses…

Mark Kirk 41% (41%, 46%)
Alexi Giannoulias 37% (44%, 40%)
Some Other Candidate 8% (5%, 4%)
Not sure 13% (10%, 10%)

From the pollster

Kirk holds a double-digit lead over his Democratic rival among male voters, but Giannoulias has a slight edge among women. Voters not affiliated with either party prefer the Republican by a four-to-one margin.

* Favorables

Giannoulias is now viewed very favorably by just eight percent (8%) of Illinois voters and very unfavorably by 21%. This marks little change from last month.

Seventeen percent (17%) have a very favorable opinion of Kirk, while the identical number (17%) view him very unfavorably. Both findings are up from a month ago.

At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with strong opinions more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.

* Rasmussen actually has a slight majority for repeal of the new health care bill, with 51 percent favoring and 44 percent opposed. However, a plurality of 48 percent thinks the legislation will be “good for the country,” while 44 percent think it’ll be bad. 52 percent say they support requiring everyone to buy or obtain health insurance.

* Other questions

When you think about the major issues facing the country, whose views are closest to your own President Barack Obama or the average tea party member?
50% President Barack Obama
38% The average Tea Party member
12% Not sure

How concerned are you that those opposed to President Obama’s policies will resort to violence?
27% Very concerned
29% Somewhat concerned
21% Not very concerned
20% Not at all concerned
3% Not sure

56 percent are concerned about violence? Fascinating.

…Adding… The more Republican you are, the less concerned about a violent reaction to Obama’s policies you may be, according to the crosstabs.

61 percent of Republicans were “Not very concerned” (33) or “Not at all concerned” (28) about the prospect of violence. Just 22 percent of Democrats weren’t concerned, while 65 percent of Dems were “Very concerned” (37) or “Somewhat concerned” (38) about violent reacts. 36 percent of Repubs were concerned.

* Related…

* ADDING: Preckwinkle’s campaign manager takes post with Cook Dems

* ADDING: Giannoulias Campaign Not Letting Kirk Off The Hook

* About 100 air frustrations with health care at Walsh forum: Walsh also has opposed the health care law and on Thursday repeated his promise to repeal the law if elected to the House. “It can be repealed,” he said. “It can be defunded.”

* No winners in America where citizens can’t talk to one another: Ultimately what’s troublesome here is the tone. One can certainly disagree with Hare on this or any issue; he’s a big boy who ought to be able to handle the heat. That said, we’ve known Hare for a few years now, he’s an amiable and well-intentioned sort, and he didn’t have this treatment coming. It’s quite a stretch to suggest this military veteran “doesn’t care” about the Constitution. Given his vote, nothing he could have said would have satisfied this crowd, which has every right to - and almost certainly will - express its displeasure with him at the ballot box. When Americans can’t talk to one another anymore, then it’s difficult to have a functioning democracy. Who would be surprised if Hare were far less eager to engage with such a group in the future?

       

38 Comments
  1. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:25 am:

    We are shocked anyone would mention violence. Not with CaribouBarbie putting bullseyes on her website and telling the knuckleheads in TeaBagVille to reload
    How could anyone think there would be violence.


  2. - Greg B. - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:33 am:

    Put me down as concerned about violence.

    I think it’s always a concern when someone radically moves the govt. in a different direction. When I say radically — I mean it in the sense of rapid change. I’m thinking of globalization in the 90’s and stuff like that.


  3. - wordslinger63@gmail.com - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:37 am:

    Next thing you know we’ll have federal wage and price controls, like under the Bolshevik Nixon.

    –Voters not affiliated with either party prefer the Republican by a four-to-one margin.–

    Yikes. How do you knock that down?


  4. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:41 am:

    ===How do you knock that down? ===

    Part of the challenge with polling today is that a whole lot of Republicans have stopped identifying as Repubs and now say they’re independents. It skews the independent numbers far more GOP than in the past. How much, though, is up for debate.


  5. - The Doc - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:41 am:

    Greg B., I glean from your statement that the administration’s policies, and not the opposition party’s reaction to and description of them, are responsible for the growing concern about violence? I just wanna make sure I understand your position.


  6. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:44 am:

    What the…! I will not have pity on any congressperson who so thoroughly blows their scheduled presentation during a campaign! I don’t care what they issues is, or who they are!

    Phil Hare melted down. Congresspeople are at their best when they are fully prepared and able to handle pressure. He wasn’t. His failure to handle this reflected on him, as he is the Congressperson, not the questioner. Strike one.

    He later sat down and read a prepared statement. So, what did he say, and how did he say it? Not well. He still looked like a bumpkin, not a Congressman. He still couldn’t appear sincere or humble enough. He still blew it. Strike two.

    And the Peoria Star’s farcical attempt to appear neutral here by remarking about how Americans can’t talk to one another anymore is simply melodramatic and untrue. They are a paper, right? Do they talk to people? Have they noticed a problem today they never experienced before in their long history? Their hand-wringing is unprofessional. It is not their job to come up with excuses for Phil Hare.

    Hare blew it. He made an controversial partisan vote on a partisan law that effects every person’s life. If he didn’t expect some drama, he was sadly mistaken. You don’t jack with what 79% of Americans don’t have a problem with and expect applause. You don’t sink a life raft in order to pull more people into it, and expect to be a hero.

    Yes, he is well intentioned. Well goodie for him! Being well intentioned isn’t enough. Congressman Hare needed to have been kept his cool and needed to have prepared himself better. His melt down and sloppy answers did him harm, and he should do a better job next time. He couldn’t even come off well, even with preparation. Are we supposed to lower our standards because he is so lovable?

    We live in a different age. Congresspeople can’t pretend to live in a vacuum anymore. What they say and do is on TV. So they have to do a better job, regardless of the issue. “Honesty is the best politics” as Stan Laurel famously said in the movie, “Sons of the Desert”. Voters will forgive a sincere politican. We give our leaders the benefit of our doubts. He still blew it!

    After two full terms, Phil Hare is still not ready for prime time. Congresspeople are expected to be ready, especially after a year’s worth of debating the issue.


  7. - Easy - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:44 am:

    What kind of knuckleheads would invite cariboubarbie to their hometown to speak? I’m sure no one in Illinois would be that crazy.


  8. - phil sanders - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:45 am:

    I think we have seen this movie before and its main character was Todd Stroger. He was beat up from day one and NEVER tried to defend himself, never seemed to care and made one bad decision after another, almost as if he did it on purpose. Sounds like Quinn is doing the same thing.


  9. - dupage dan - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:52 am:

    The perception of many folk that there is the potential for violence is fueled, in part, by what they see in the MSM. If you dig a bit deeper the facts don’t necessarily support the claims. Having said that, it is important to remember that there are nasty, ugly, dangerous people out there at the extremems of the political spectrum capable of some bad actions. I have always tried to avoid blaming strong partisan advocates for the deeds of the wackos unless direct provocation can be proved. The speech and actions of these twisted persons is fodder for the other side to use as proof that their opponents are wild dangerous crazies. Been going on since the dawn of “civilizaton”.


  10. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:56 am:

    These people who “fear” the Tea Party people must be afraid of being hit over the head by a walker, because most of these Tea Partiers are more like Aunt Bea in Mayberry, than Bill Ayers.


  11. - dupage dan - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 11:03 am:

    VM, Are you saying we have more to fear from the elderly weatherman Ayers? Wearing his professor patches on his tweed jacket?

    The MSM hypes up this stuff about the Tea Partyers as being so radical - like the gray panthers they are! Which Marx brother wrote that once the middle class gets radicalized then the revolution will come. Was it Groucho or Gummo?


  12. - Greg B. - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 11:06 am:

    Pretty much, yeah… when you ram something that major through like that you are going to create a backlash. I think that following the heals of the bailouts and TARP (Bush Admin. policies) the Administration has been throwing gasoline on the fire.

    That overheated reactions occur to such policy changes are part of national discourse. It always has been that way. Our discourse is actually far less incendiary than it has been historically. Putting the blame on the opposition is just a lame attempt to censor them.

    But you look at the 70’s and political violence; the 90’s and the WTO riots and you tend to have violence accompanying radical changes. I don’t think these are necessarily tied one direction or another on the left - right continuum but instead a disruptive moment.

    I also think after Oklahoma City, people have come to expect violence with rapid changes…


  13. - Conservative Veteran - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 11:11 am:

    I went to three tea parties, and I didn’t see any violence or threats of violence.


  14. - Adam Smith - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 11:14 am:

    Two polls in two days show that Alexi is being seriously hurt by the drumbeat of scandal. It is now being fueled by comments from Dems and others on the left questioning his place on the ticket.

    Rassmussen noted, and Rich highlighted, that Kirk hasn’t moved up. Kirk has not launched a major push as of yet. He’s made a small tv buy but hasn’t made a dent in his $3 mil on hand so that is not a surprise.

    With Alexi’s mounting negatives he won’t be able to win by just highlighting policy differences with Kirk.

    Sure Alexi and the Dems will spend millions to “accuse” Kirk of being a Republican, but the fight is among the Independents and they will probably react much more to the accusations that Alexi is ethically unfit for office.


  15. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 11:16 am:

    ===comments from Dems and others on the left questioning his place on the ticket===

    Which Democrats are questioning his place on the ticket? All I see doing so are a few hyperventilating pundits.


  16. - Tom Parking - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 11:17 am:

    Non stop liberal coverage of Republican “violence” is a joke. Never covered left wing hatred toward Bush.


  17. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 11:22 am:

    It’s so funny to watch the MSMers wring their hands about the fear of violence.
    When the angry crowds were from the left they would lionize them, justfy their sometmes violent behavior and blame the powers in charge for the tension.
    There arelways crazies. The Bush administration did not jail them all, nor will Obamas.


  18. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 11:26 am:

    ===justfy their sometmes violent behavior ===

    What violent behavior?

    And, TP, hate and violence are different things.

    Also, this isn’t the MSM we’re talking about here. It’s the majority of Illinoisans. Let’s try to stick to that point, instead of your talking points.


  19. - John Bambenek - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 11:35 am:

    It isn’t the Tea Party, it isn’t the Democrats… it’s the political consultants who do media marketing that is hyper-polarizing the debate.

    Here’s how it works. You’re an activist on X issue. A media consultant tells you that you must find a “saint” who’s intentions are as pure as the wind-driven snow who is victimized by the system. Then you need to find a demon. They’re the other side. They are completely evil, the anti-Christ, whatever term you want to use. You can accept no redeeming qualities from them. You can recognize no part of their position as redeeming in any way. They are motivated by evil. They want to eat your children and gas your kitties. That’s political debate in this country.

    It isn’t the ideas, it’s about who can convince people more on who the saint is and who the demon is. And everyone does it all over the place.

    That’s why you see this violence discussion. There are legitimate concerns about the health care bill, but consultants say you can’t recognize that… it’s pure evil motivating the opposition. Racism, hatred, whatever.

    Same goes on the other side.

    A few more years of this and people WILL pick up weapons. It’s the logical and inevitable conclusion of seeing someone who disagrees with you as the embodiment of everything wrong with the world with whom their can be negotiation.


  20. - The Doc - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 11:37 am:

    ==when you ram something that major through like that==

    I see. “Ramming” a bill through multiple committees in both houses of Congress over the course of an entire calendar year is the problem.

    C’mon, Greg. You can reasonably argue that Dems have, perhaps unnecessarily, exploited violence and threats of violence against their members, but to suggest that such acts and threats were purely the result of process is utter nonsense.


  21. - dupage dan - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 11:42 am:

    Mr Bambenek, You could be quoting from the book, Recipes for Radicals.

    As a trained community organizer who learned from acolytes of Alinsky, I can tell you that demonizing your opponent is SOP. It actually pre-dayes the modern political era. Muckraking newpapers and their reporters were doing that 100 years ago. Even Og was beating lies out on his log in 1,000,000 BC. I know, I watched the movie.


  22. - Shore - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 11:45 am:

    the violence is a creation of the new york times and msnbc and the obama administration justice department. No one complained when mark kirk was harassed and threatened for 8 years, largely because the people leading the charge were in the same eating and finals clubs as the ivy leaguers over at the new york times.

    And for crybabies on the gun issue remember obama won’t take up renewing the assault weapons ban.

    thanks for playing.


  23. - D.P. Gumby - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 11:58 am:

    Deny what you will, the Rovians and, before them, the Lee Atwater school of vitriol, create an atmosphere of hate that encourages those with violent instincts to bring that violence to the surface w/ the potential for action. But saying we are not responsible for promoting these reactions is like the old argument of yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre–at some point the harm exceeds the freedom to speak. thank god we haven’t seen it…yet.


  24. - John Bambenek - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 12:13 pm:

    Dupage Dan-

    Didn’t say it was new… with mass communication however, it reaches more people faster with modes of communication more likely to sway an audience. For instance, we knew about Abu Ghraib months before the pictures became public. However, once those pictures came out, it became an issue.

    The Doc-

    They called President Bush’s decision on Iraq a “rush to war” even though that was like 14 months of buildup and telegraphing we were going in… a large part of the reason we never found much.


  25. - ABCBoy - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 12:47 pm:

    ===
    The more Republican you are, the less concerned about a violent reaction to Obama’s policies you may be, according to the crosstabs.
    ===

    So basically, the more a person is likely to actually KNOW Tea Party folks, the less one is to be concerned about any possible violence. In other words, the closer to the ground one is to the stuation, the less they are concerned about that possibility. The more somebody gets their information 2nd or 3rd hand–perhaps through biased and narrow images selected by the media–the more fearful they are of violence.

    Have these people ever BEEN to one of these protests? It’s grandmas & little kids everywhere. They say the pledge at the start of each rally and pick their trash up after they’re done for goodness sake…

    And then with any rally, there are maybe 1% kooks who have the craziest signs, and the media features THEM and plays them up. Not the rational normal stay at home mom who has a thoughful comment, but the wacko that will make for “good visuals.”

    And John B is right: deamonizing one’s opponent is SOP for all sides unfortunately. Conservative Senator Tom Coburn got into hot water simply for saying that Nancy Pelosi is a ‘nice lady’ personally despite his disagreements with her. Supporters of Obama’s healthcare legislation don’t bother to recognize the legitimate concerns people have with the bill and instead paint opponents as being violent racists (in short, their counter-argument is: shut up; you are evil.)

    Why this happens is simple: it’s effective. There is a very, very narrow group of people who will respond to thoughtful discourse and forums. Nuanced arguments in 30 or 60 seconds is impossible. So it comes down to whipping up the base w/ red meat and then hoping that the base can convince a few independent acquaintances to vote their way simply by osmosis.

    Which is why media, PR, and “spin” is so critical.


  26. - JonShibleyFan - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 12:53 pm:

    “the violence is a creation of the new york times and msnbc”

    Really? David Brooks broke those windows? Jeff Zeleny spat on members of Congress, and called them racial epithets? Andrea Mitchell and Joe Scarborough held signs that said “If Brown can’t do it, by Browning Can.” and “We can umarmed (this time).?

    “No one complained when mark kirk was harassed and threatened for 8 years”

    Maybe because it didn’t happen. Honestly, Susan Kuzcka wouldn’t have given a write up if that were so?

    Give me a break.


  27. - ABCBoy - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 1:11 pm:

    And as for actual violence, I assume at some point some fringe people have actually been violent. But to think it’s the norm or accepted is another thing. For every “violent racist” on the Right, I’ll show you a an un-hinged communist who wants to firebomb the Pentagon on the Left.

    And in fact, much actual violence has been on the Left–student protests, the SDS bombings w/ Bill Ayers, vandalizing Bush/Cheney ‘04 campaign offices, the WTO protests. There’s even a film fantasizing about the assasination of President Bush–it even won a film festival award. Tell me that if somebody created a similar film about President Obama that it wouldn’t be an absolute outrage and all over the MSM. And yes, Palin (or if you prefer the sexist term ‘Caribou Barbie’), used the “target” language. But the Democratic Leadership Council in 2004 used the exact same language. They even had a chart:

    http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2010/03/figures-dnc-has-its-own-target-map-like-sarah-palins/

    But I don’t seem to remember the MSM flapping their arms in panic that the DLC was incting “violence.”

    Let’s face it: certain wings of the Democratic party are very good at the agrieved victim posture. Like Puss-In-Boots from ‘Shrek’, they are as tough as any political group, but when they get backed into a corner, they play victim in the hopes it will guilt people into submission.

    This is all just a giant spin game and everybody knows it.


  28. - ABCBoy - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 1:15 pm:

    ===
    Really? David Brooks broke those windows? Jeff Zeleny spat on members of Congress, and called them racial epithets? Andrea Mitchell and Joe Scarborough held signs that said “If Brown can’t do it, by Browning Can.” and “We can umarmed (this time).?
    ===

    1) You’re cherry-picking incidents and ignoring the overall picture. One brick through a window does not a “violent movement” make. Homes with GOP signs get vandalized in Chicago frequently and it doesn’t get reported.

    2) As for the racial slurs: there has been a $100,000 reward to anybody who can post video proof of that incident. Scores of media cameras and people’s camera-phones were on the entire time–including several from the delegation that walked though the crowd like Jesse Jackson Jr. Nobody has stepped up to claim the reward yet. So basically people are buying into the accusation simply because it was made. Even if it were true, it doesn’t invalidate an entire movement because a few wackos lost their tempers.


  29. - Greg B. - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 1:31 pm:

    Doc, please read the whole post.

    My hypothesis is that big societal changes cause upheaval and can lead to political violence. I don’t think it’s a far fetched theory.

    I think that big policy changes in this country are more often than not done on a broad consensus and in a bi-partisan nature. After the financial collapse, TARP and the auto bailouts a lot of people are upset at the pace of things. Ramming an unpopular bill through the both Houses of Congress and then changing the rules in the Senate and using reconciliation pours gasoline on a fire that’s all ready lit.

    Big societal changes disrupt lives. Some are more stable than others and some are more prone to violence. It makes sense that people would get that and come to expect it.


  30. - JonShibleyFan - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 2:06 pm:

    “You’re cherry-picking incidents and ignoring the overall picture.”

    That there are incidents to “cherry pick” proves the point. They happened. They weren’t made up by the NY Times or MSNBC.

    “As for the racial slurs: there has been a $100,000 reward to anybody who can post video proof of that incident.”

    I hope for your own personal well-being and the well-being around you that sort of tortured logic doesn’t drive your day-to-day decision making.

    It’s like a child who closes her eyes and assumes no one can see her because she can’t see herself.

    By that logic, GOP signs are never molested in Chicago Dem areas, because in Dem areas I’ve been to, I’ve not seen GOP signs molested.

    Hey, the sun is up. Where has the moon gone?


  31. - Segatari - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 2:11 pm:

    Mark Kirk not gaining anything…that can be traced to him starting to act more and more like a Democrat with his declaration that he would not vote to repeal a very unpopular health care bill. The more he acts like a Democrat, conservatives may cast their lot toward a third party which Kirk has no chance of winning the senate seat without support from that large chunk of the voters.


  32. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 2:35 pm:

    ===”So basically, the more a person is likely to actually KNOW Tea Party folks, the less one is to be concerned about any possible violence. In other words, the closer to the ground one is to the stuation, the less they are concerned about that possibility. The more somebody gets their information 2nd or 3rd hand–perhaps through biased and narrow images selected by the media–the more fearful they are of violence.”===

    This is my experience after meeting a bunch of them. And as time goes on the false spin that they are all violent stupid ignorant lunatics will fail. These people are a force who were previously apathetic about politics. Those who got their attention now should fear them not for usage of violent behavior which clearly has been trumped up, but should fear their use of the ballot.

    They are suddenly interested in how the system works and how they can impact it. That should scare the heck out of any incumbent, most of whom are Democrats.


  33. - Amalia - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 3:03 pm:

    there are lots of angry and violent people involved in politics now. but i’m more concerned with another trend, those purporting to show that the women are the majority of the Tea Party/conservative charge. I’ve about had it listening to Palin and Bachmann. Palin is all freedom and liberty until it comes to a woman making reproductive choices. and Bachmann’s policies are nuts but with a cheerleader smiling veneer. these people are dangerous. the devil comes in a friendly form. perhaps they
    are the conservative alternative to the rock star who is Barack Obama. didn’t like that either. but I fear Bachmann/Palin overdrive (as Chris Matthews calls it) much more because their
    policies don’t match their catchy friendly manner. time to find
    our own spunky women who can reach the crowds even if in
    another fashion. you betcha in our own way.


  34. - Conservative Veteran - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 3:22 pm:

    Rep. Kirk has acted like a Democrat, most of the time that he has been in Congress. His latest rating from Planned Parenthood is 100%. His latest rating from Gun Owners of America is 0%. He opposed the Iraq surge.


  35. - Brennan - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 3:49 pm:

    One day you might be speaking to room full of New Party members. The next day you might be speaking to a plaza full of Workers World Party members. The next day you might be President of the United States.

    You can even use statements like “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”

    But if you went to a Tea Party then you’re the “crazy one”.


  36. - Anonymous - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 4:26 pm:

    What must be running through those people’s minds to treat someone the way they treated Hare in that video.

    I aways think of the “Band of Brothers” episode where Sobel wouldnt salute Capt. Winters - Winters stops him and says (calmly) “Capt Sobel, we salute the rank, not the man”.

    Perhaps even more concerning is the fact that they then post on youtube so that they can publicly set such a fine example for our youth and maybe even their own children on how to treat your fellow man.


  37. - The Southern - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 7:26 pm:

    The only violence I recall at Tea Party/ Town Hall event was in St Louis last summer when a couple of thugs with SEIU shirts beat down a single black man selling conservative t-shirts.

    If I were at an event, this might make me mindful of any purple-shirted dissent destroyers! I somehow doubt they were conservatives.

    Google Kenneth Gladney and check out the video yourselves.


  38. - VanillaMan - Monday, Apr 12, 10 @ 9:04 am:

    We don’t salute Congresspeople. They work for us. Demanding answers from them when they vote against your personal interest is the right thing to do. Taking a stand for your liberties is something even Phil Hare would salute to.


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