USA Dot Com is a blog covering politics and government from a conservative Christian perspective. Verne Strickland is a 50-year veteran of investigative journalism. This blog offers a take-no-prisoners style with a modicum of biting satire. Verne and his wife of 55 years, Durrene, live in Wilmington, NC.
Voters Largely Against Patriot Act A nationwide survey found that 60% of likely voters believe that Congress should modify the Patriot Act to limit government surveillance. Conversely, only 34% believed that the law helped keep the country safe from national security threats like ISIS or Al-Qaeda. Additionally, 80% found the government’s collection and storage of personal information to be worrisome, while over three-quarters could identify examples of surveillance as personally concerning to them. These finding present a problem for more hawkish candidates going into 2016. Given the limited access to this information, it will be difficult to pinpoint cases in which government surveillance may have stopped acts of terror, meaning the public should continue to focus on the privacy side of the issue. This is good news for Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, who each filibustered the act this week. (via Global Strategy Group)
Government Dissatisfaction Tops List of Problems
In a poll of Americans nationwide, the plurality agree with Reagan’s famous sentiment that “government is the problem,” with 14% of voters citing dissatisfaction with Washington as the top problem facing the country. This disillusionment is followed by continuing concerns about the economy and unemployment, which poll at 12% and 10%, respectively. Perhaps in response to the Baltimore riots, race relations is fourth as the most important issue at 8%. While the economy has been a primary issue for the last four election cycles, dissatisfaction with government could be a major game-changer in 2016, particularly with candidates like Carson and Fiorina, who have never held elected office, and someone like Hillary Clinton, who has been a national figure for over 20 years. While the prominence of race relations may dissipate, it is something Republicans ignore at their own peril, particularly in light of the party’s well-documented struggles with minority voters in 2012. (via Gallup)
Congressional Republicans Polling Badly
At the 100 day mark of the 114th Congress, only 23% of Americans believe that the GOP kept its promises from the 2014 campaigns, compared to the 33% and 40% who said the same about new Congresses in 2011 and 2007, respectively. Moreover, just 4% say that Congress has accomplished “more than expected” in this time, though 53% believe their productivity has matched expectations. The dissatisfaction with Congress’ performance transcends party lines, as the accomplishment question yields statistically identical responses from all ideologies while only 37% of Republicans believe that Congressional leaders are keeping campaign promises. Of these Republican voters, most are dissatisfied with the way the party’s leaders have handled government spending, illegal immigration, and same-sex marriage, with nearly 60% expressing disapproval for each. While low poll ratings are hardly new for a body that regularly has a sub-20% approval, GOP leaders have a long way to go in the eyes of the public to demonstrate that the party can govern. (via Pew Research Center)
Jacob Cole is with Red Dome Group, a political consulting firm based in North Carolina. For more information visithttp://www.RedDomeGroup.com.