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Commentary by Scott Rasmussen

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March 15, 2013

Beware of the New Elites By Scott Rasmussen

James Carville famously kept the 1992 Clinton campaign on message with the simple refrain, "It's the economy, stupid!" That's just as true for politicians today as it was two decades ago.    

March 8, 2013

Health Care Law Now Faces Biggest Challenge: American Consumers By Scott Rasmussen

President Obama handily defeated congressional Republicans in the political fight over his health care law. But the law will now face a much tougher opponent.

March 1, 2013

Let's Speak Plain English About Spending Cuts By Scott Rasmussen

To borrow a phrase, Mainstream America and Washington's Political Class have become two nations separated by a common language. This gap was highlighted by a recent Pew Research Center poll showing that "for 18 of 19 programs tested, majorities want either to increase spending or maintain it at current levels."

February 22, 2013

Sequester Puts Elected Washington on Trial By Scott Rasmussen

There's a panic bubbling to the surface in Washington, D.C.

It's being brought about by the so-called sequester, scheduled to take effect next Friday, March 1. The sequester, a series of automatic across-the-board spending reductions, is a gimmick the politicians came up with in 2011 to force themselves to reach some kind of long-term deficit reduction deal.

February 15, 2013

For GOP, There's Plenty of Learning to Go Around By Scott Rasmussen

There's still a lot of confusion in the Republican Party in the aftermath of the 2012 election. Part of the confusion stems from the struggle between the party establishment based in Washington and the party's base of voters all over the country. Sixty-three percent of Republican voters nationwide recognize that their leaders in Washington have lost touch with the base.

Added to that challenge is the debate over what type of change is needed. Some argue that the party needs to simply change the message and find a better way to sell its product. Others argue that more substantive policy changes are needed.

February 8, 2013

For Obama, It's Chiefly About Firing up His Base By Scott Rasmussen

As President Obama prepares for his State of the Union address, he has indicated that gun control and immigration will be two of his top priorities. His administration's actions also indicate an ongoing commitment to place a high priority on environmental concerns. These items, though, tend to rank fairly low on voter lists of priorities.

February 1, 2013

Real Border Control Has to Come First in Any Immigration Deal By Scott Rasmussen

A bipartisan group of eight U.S. senators has proposed an immigration reform plan that appears to broadly reflect what voters would like to see. But there's a catch.

January 25, 2013

Politicians Need to Catch Up When It Comes to the People's Money By Scott Rasmussen

President Obama in his inaugural address made it clear he intends to protect the nation's entitlement programs. In the world of Washington politics, this amounts to a pledge that the president will make sure that no changes will be made to programs like Social Security and Medicare.

January 18, 2013

Searching for Answers After Newtown By Scott Rasmussen

Following the school shooting horror in Newtown, Conn., our nation shares a heartfelt belief that something must be done. Polls instantly showed an increase in support for stricter gun control laws. Fifty-one percent of American adults expressed that view in Rasmussen Reports polling.

January 11, 2013

Republican Establishment Declares War on GOP Voters By Scott Rasmussen

Official Washington hailed the deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff as a significant bipartisan accomplishment. However, voters around the country viewed the deal in very partisan terms: Seven out of 10 Democrats approved of it, while seven out of 10 Republicans disapproved.

Just a few days after reaching that agreement, an inside-the-Beltway publication reported another area of bipartisan agreement. Politico explained that while Washington Democrats have always viewed GOP voters as a problem, Washington Republicans "in many a post-election soul-searching session" have come to agree. More precisely, the article said the party's Election 2012 failures have "brought forth one principal conclusion from establishment Republicans: They have a primary problem."

January 4, 2013

Avoiding 'Fiscal Cliff' May Be a Bad Deal for Official Washington By Scott Rasmussen

In Washington, many are celebrating the deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. Some, like The Washington Post, are hailing the "strong bipartisan votes (on) a big, contentious issue."

Outside of Washington, however, the reviews aren't nearly as strong.

December 28, 2012

Tax Reform Works for Voters, Not for Political Class: By Scott Rasmussen

Tax reform with lower rates and fewer loopholes would be good for America and popular with voters. But substantive reform won't come any time soon. To understand why, it's helpful to remember that America's political heritage did not begin in 1776 but on the streets of London in the 16th to 18th centuries. Those were the formative years for the political ideas embraced by our Founding Fathers. Like America today, those years in London saw a high level of tension between the general public and the elites.

December 21, 2012

Boehner’s Plan B Hurt the GOP By Scott Rasmussen

President Obama and congressional Democrats are still winning the messaging battle in the debate over the impending "fiscal cliff."

December 14, 2012

Health Care Law Is Still Fighting For Its Life By Scott Rasmussen

Having survived the Supreme Court and the November elections, President Obama's health care law now faces an even bigger hurdle: the reality of making it work.

December 7, 2012

Republicans Miss the Point on 'Fiscal Cliff' Debate By Scott Rasmussen

President Obama is winning the messaging wars in the "fiscal cliff" debate largely because Republicans aren't even in the game.   

The GOP leadership in Washington keeps talking as if the issue is deficit reduction, while the president is talking about fairness.   

November 30, 2012

President's First-term Gamble Will Determine Success of Second Term By Scott Rasmussen

One little noticed and quite remarkable aspect of Election 2012 is that Barack Obama won a majority of the popular vote for the second consecutive time. With the exception of Franklin D. Roosevelt's four-term run in the 1930s and '40s, it's the first time the Democrats have won a majority of the presidential vote in back-to-back elections since 1836.

November 23, 2012

Respecting Voters Matters More Than Policy By Scott Rasmussen

The Republican Party has won a majority of the popular vote just once in the last six elections. That dismal track record followed a party revival in the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan led the GOP to three straight popular vote majorities.

November 16, 2012

Americans Favor a New Approach to War on Drugs By Scott Rasmussen

More than 40 years ago, the federal government launched a war on drugs. Over the past decade, the nation has spent hundreds of billions of dollars fighting that war, a figure that does not even include the high costs of prosecuting and jailing drug law offenders. It's hard to put a price on that aspect of the drug war since half of all inmates in federal prison today were busted for drugs. 

November 9, 2012

Parenting Politicians Is Hard Work By Scott Rasmussen

One of the strangest aspects of Election 2012 is that voters are demanding change but didn't change politicians. They left Republicans in charge of the House, elected an even more Democratic Senate and re-elected President Obama. They're unhappy with the status quo in the country but left the political status quo in place. 

White letter R on blue background
November 2, 2012

An Unpredictable End to a Very Predictable Election By Scott Rasmussen

Election 2012 has had few surprises. So it's somewhat surprising that heading into the final weekend of the election season, we are unable to confidently project who is likely to win the White House.