The Latest Gallup Poll: An Opening For Change ?by Doug Mataconis
According to the latest Gallup Poll, a full 3/4 of the American public are dissatisfied with the current state of the United States:
NEW YORK What’s going on? Gallup reports today a sudden plunge in its regular “satisfaction” index. Only 25% of Americans now say they satisfied with the state of their country — down 8% in just one month — and one of the lowest ever measured.
“The current 25% satisfaction level is very low by historical standards,” Gallup explained. “Since Gallup first asked this question in 1979, the average percentage of Americans saying they are satisfied with conditions in the country is 43%.”
Iraq continues to weigh the most on minds. “Even though skyrocketing gas prices may contribute to the public’s sour mood this month,” the organization revealed, “the issue is not mentioned by an especially high percentage of Americans as the nation’s top problem.”
The latest poll finds 45% of Republicans saying they are satisfied, compared with only 12% of Democrats. Over the past month, satisfaction fell more among Democrats, suggesting that some of them may be souring on their party’s actions or inactions in Congress.
The poll of 1,003 adults was taken May 10-13.
The conventional wisdom will be that this is bad news for Republicans. After all, George Bush is the President of the United States and the person the public is most likely to blame for the current state of the country. That analysis is correct, but it’s incomplete.
The Democrats are in control of both Houses of Congress and a large percentage of the state legislatures around the country. Their approval ratings aren’t any higher than President Bush’s.Â And, like the Republicans their 2008 frontrunners are all Washington insiders of one form or another.
In this climate, the possibility exists that a outsider candidate who talks about real change could have a significant impact on the race. The question is whether such a candidate exists.
You can’t find such a person among the Republican frontrunners. McCain ? Senior Senator from Arizona and the man responsible for one of the most egregious violations of the First Amendment in centuries. Giuliani ? Former career DOJ prosecutor, NYC Mayor, and Republican fundraiser. Romney ? You’re kidding right ?
The same is true of the Democrats, of course.
Some may ask, what about Ron Paul ? Well, he certainly is a different kind of Republican and, as I’ve said already, he not only talks the talk of individual liberty, he follows through on his rhetoric with action. He’s far from perfect, though. As Tuesday’s debate demonstrates, he’s not entirely articulate sometimes. And, well, he’s just not going to get the nomination.
That said, I think that the reason that we’ve seen so much attention being paid to Ron Paul in the blogosphere, and the reason why he’s frequently at or near the top of Technorati and Google Blog searches is because people are looking for someone different. He’s filling a void that nobody else can fill right now.
Now, all we need is a candidate with the charisma of Ronald Reagan, the money of Ross Perot, and the ideals of Ron Paul and we’ll be set.