November 20, 1994 |
Political pundits look for revolution in each election. Searching through the rubble voters leave behind, they desperately seek the harbingers of a future that cannot be seen. One election cannot predict the next. With that disclaimer given, this reporter will now proceed to add his examination of the entrails to the pile. Some see this election as a permanent sharp rightward swerve on the public's part. But what happened is more complex.
September 18, 1994 |
Bill Clinton is suffering through what rightfully can be called "bad poll days." At the start of the year, it looked as if his job rating might break through the 60% mark that has so long eluded him. Instead, his scores have moved ever downward, from 58% in January to just 39% this month, according to the Gallup Poll. Political know-it-alls say presidential fortunes are hitched to the economy. But Clinton's, enigmatically, have gone south during a time of reported economic growth.
July 17, 1994 |
George H. Gallup, an inventor of modern opinion polling, idealistically believed that surveys of the public would enhance democracy by providing leaders with a true picture of peoples' attitudes and concerns. Sixty years have gone by, and polls are now as common as Big Macs on the American landscape. But their effect remains dubious at best, as does the effect of the burgeoning number of studies of all types that are now part of every public policy debate.
May 15, 1994 |
Consumer spending, say the experts, drives much of the nation's economy. So it's not surprising that economists, journalists and politicians hang on those periodic measures of consumer sentiment handed down from a number of sources. There's nothing magical about consumer confidence scores. They're taken from public opinion surveys that regularly ask Americans about the economy and measure changes from poll to poll.
March 13, 1994 |
By now we're all too familiar with the psychological and economic havoc wrought by January's earthquake. So it's nice to find the occasional piece of good news in the wake of the disaster. There's just such a bright spot, unearthed by a Times Poll of Los Angeles County conducted the week after the big shaker. The survey chronicled the physical and emotional losses suffered by a wide range of county residents, but the message wasn't all bad.
January 2, 1994 |
Pressures for deficit reduction have virtually quashed Bill Clinton's flirtation with a more activist economic policy. Since the demise of the middle-class tax cut, the President's economic program has lurched steadily to the right, nudged along by a Congress seemingly obsessed with budget cuts. That may or may not be good economics, but it's risky politics for a Democrat.