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Rasmussen: Only 63% know who controls Congress

Rasmussen: Only 63% know who controls Congress

Who’s to blame?

Rasmussen Reports has released new data showing that just 63% of likely U.S. voters know which political party controls the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Twenty percent (20%) mistakenly believe Democrats control the House, while 17% are not sure. Similarly, 18% think the GOP is in charge in the Senate, but 19% are not sure.

This is even less awareness than voters expressed in March of last year. Remember, too, that these are respondents who are the likeliest to vote this November and so presumably are more politically aware than most other Americans.

Less than sixty days out from the midterms, and 47% of our most well-informed voters have no idea what this election is about. No wonder the media gets away with murder every time they report on Congress.

I’ve written before about the dangers of pulling away and limiting conservative outreach to voters we’re reasonably sure are comfortable with our platform. Polling data like this should only serve to reenforce that idea; unless we are reaching outside of the bubble, we’re leaving valuable votes on the table:

Women and those under 40 are less aware of who’s in charge of both congressional chambers than men and older voters are. Republicans are more aware than Democrats and unaffiliated voters, but a sizable number of GOP voters don’t know which party controls which house of Congress.

It’s no surprise that two of the most sought after demographics by political campaigns—women and young people—are also demographics that are less politically engaged. There’s a reason why women and young Americans aren’t drawn to the Republican Party, and it’s not because we’re inherently and philosophically flawed. They aren’t drawn to us because we’ve never gone to them and made the case for conservatism.

This is the heart and the key of outreach: talking to voters that we’ve never talked to before. Turning around the numbers that you’re seeing in this poll is a two-step process; not only do we have to start a conversation, we also have to figure out who to start that conversation with. (This is why you may be receiving phone calls and door knocks from frazzled campaign volunteers asking about your preferences on gun rights, environmental programs, and government spending.)

The awareness and political preferences of the various voting demographics aren’t going to change overnight; if we wait to reach out, however, we could see the data start to shift in a direction that favors the progressive media machine, and rejects the conservative ideas that they, unfortunately, have never been exposed to.

The bitter irony in all this? Behold:

Ninety percent (90%) believe voters in countries with democratically elected governments have a responsibility to be informed about major policy issues, but just nine percent (9%) think most Americans are informed voters.

This small piece of data could be key to Republican victories in both national and local election. If 90% of voters believe they have a responsibility to educate themselves about the political process, then the fact that their fellow Americans have no faith in voters at large should scandalize them into action.

In electoral politics, every decision is a tactical decision. Every ad, palm card, and e-mail contains an ask, no matter how subtle. It’s time to start asking voters to hold themselves and their communities accountable for the dysfunction that runs rampant at every level of government.

For now, at least, I think the other 91% are right.

You can read the full report here.


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TrooperJohnSmith | September 12, 2014 at 10:23 am

That is why we live in a kakistocracy.


Put the same questions to actual members of Congress and the percentage drops to 58%, so that’s encouraging.

I still remember in 2008 that most Obama voters thought the Republicans still controlled congress.

The reason people are so poorly informed is mostly due to the state media and mostly intentional.

In 2008 people wanted to “throw the bums out” which should have meant opposition to Reid, Pelosi…and Obama. But the state media “dealt” with that issue.

The political climate now is again in the throw the bums out…and clearly the bums are Reid and Obama as Boehner continues kowtow to Obama…so I’m not surprised that we continue to see press muddling the issues of who is driving policy in DC…

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to 18-1. | September 12, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Are they still deliberately labeling any Democrat caught with their “pants down” as GOP – the way they were a few years back?

Everyone knows that the IRS and the EPA control the government chess game.

Congress members are pawns. Czars are Bishops. The DOJ and the liberal Federal courts are the Castles. The knights are the MSM. The Queen is Obama. The King is Michelle.

Actually Valerie Jarrett controls EVERYTHING.

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to meyou. | September 12, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    That’s “President Jarrett” and smile when you say that!

    The Millionaire, Chicago Land Lord will have no other way.

    Snark Snark.

This is the heart and the key of outreach: talking to voters that we’ve never talked to before.

In the Soundbite Era, the message has to be short, simple, and clear. And good conservatives also want it to be accurate and honest.

So, what is this message?

The fiscal conservatives have a message which is reasonably short, simple, and clear.

So do the social conservatives.

Unfortunately, those two messages are not the same. Even worse, they actually conflict.

The message of the fiscal conservatives is one the libs can’t easily counter; hence the usual liberal insistence that fiscal conservatives are racists – the standard knee-jerk leftoid dodge – or are really the same thing as the social conservatives – and the social conservative message is none too popular with the voters.

And neither message will suggest to anyone that they consider voting Republican, since the current crop of Republicans are a disappointment to all varieties of conservatives.

    Ragspierre in reply to tom swift. | September 12, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    I doubt very seriously you could even truthfully relate what a “social conservative” position would be.

    I have no trouble with articulating a unified, simple vision of Conservatism.

    But why gild a lily? Look up any of excellent videos Bill Whittle has done the the subject.

    Estragon in reply to tom swift. | September 13, 2014 at 1:33 am

    Of the Fiscal, Social, and Foreign Policy conservatives, each places highest emphasis on the area of their primary concern. But 90% of those in each category share 90% of the beliefs of the other two as well. There is no Great Divide.

    There are some major gaps between the latter two groups and libertarians, of course, but that’s not the question, and the libertarians are not so numerous as their volume might indicate.

JackRussellTerrierist | September 12, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Too much bread and circuses.

“Only 63% know who controls Congress”

Big Money?
The Illuminati?

40 years of ever-increasing control over education at all levels by the federal government, academics, and unions inevitably resulted in a less-informed, less literate electorate.

Cut off the $$$ or it will only get worse.