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No, I Don’t Care About Your Polling Data

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The polls show that Americans want Congress to pass another stimulus package.

While Congress is still struggling to come together on a stimulus package, support for getting one done has only grown: According to a new poll from Vox and Data for Progress, 81 percent of likely voters would like to see lawmakers approve another bill before the end of the year. That’s up from 67 percent of people calling on Congress to approve more stimulus before the election in an October Vox/DFP poll.

Right now, it’s unclear whether lawmakers will reach an agreement this month. Although Republicans and Democrats both support several key measures including funding for schools, vaccine distribution, and small-business aid, there are still major hold-ups regarding the inclusion of liability protections and state and local funds.

Meanwhile, Americans are continuing to navigate severe economic fallout from the pandemic. In the Vox/DFP poll, one in five respondents said they’ve applied for unemployment insurance since the pandemic began, about three in 10 have applied for SNAP food aid or gone to a food bank, and one in five have struggled with at least one rent or mortgage payment. This poll was fielded with 1,080 likely voters from December 4 to 6, and has a margin of error of 3 points.

The top stimulus provision that most likely voters are interested in seeing is another round of stimulus checks: 75 percent of poll respondents said this was what they’d want prioritized in another package.

Food aid, expanded unemployment insurance, money for coronavirus testing, and small-business support were other areas respondents highlighted. At least half of those polled signaled that these provisions were important to them.

Liability protections for businesses — something that’s been a top issue for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and an ongoing sticking point in negotiations — was not seen as vital, however. Just 23 percent of people listed it as a priority for them. State and local aid, which has been another point of contention, was also less popular, though it saw slightly more support, with 31 percent of respondents citing it as a priority.

OK. Also, who cares?

The polling data that really matters–the election that just happened last month–shows that whatever American voters think, 46% or so are just fine voting in a fascist. They are fine with keeping Mitch McConnell in charge of the Senate. And they reduced the Democratic House majority by 13 seats. So I don’t really care what the polls say. First, the polling industry is totally broken, possibly permanently. It may be so skewed now by people not answering their phones that we simply can’t actually poll properly. Disastrous polling in recent elections should make us all question the entire enterprise. Second, and really more important, is that people say all the time that they support this and that. Unions for instance poll very well. But lost of people don’t act on those beliefs by voting in the politicians who would see those policies through.

This isn’t all that hard to understand. For instance, you might be pro-union, at least in theory. You also might think that the white race is threatened by immigration and that abortion is the greatest crime in human history. Which position is likely to move your vote? Moreover, lots of people just aren’t that bright and are not engaged with politics. This is why people need more politics in their lives. And not electoral politics per se. They need more issue based politics that engage them outside the electoral cycle that help to educate them to vote the way they need to in order to see their preferred policies be enacted.

Either way, if I’m Mitch McConnell, I see this polling data and blow my nose with it. Why should he care if the vast majority of voters want a big stimulus package? What are they going to do, vote out Susan Collins and Thom Tillis and Joni Ernst? Ha ha ha. Of course not.

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