DC Journalists Love GOP Obstructionists, But Americans Don't

Ben Smith has an interesting article on how pollsters are finding that there is a pretty big gap between what DC journalists think Americans think, and what Americans actually think.

No better example of this can be found than the "winners" and "losers" that DC media are proclaiming in the wake of the passage of the stimulus bill, and what DailyKos/Research 2000 polling on the subject indicates.

DC opinion:  It's good for the Republicans!

  • MSNBC's First Read lists among its winners "the Republican Party (which demonstrated unity after its big losses in November), and No.2 House Republican Eric Cantor (who raised his profile during the debate)." Reid gets a win, Pelosi gets a loss.
  • Chris Cillizza also declares Eric Cantor a victor for maintaining party discipline (although he tags him a loser too for the AFSME ad).  Reid gets a "win" her too, and House Democrats are deemed losers, because "it appeared as though this was a Senate-run production."
  • Fox News unsurprisingly says "Republican lawmakers may turn out to be winners. Most of them voted against the package, and in their largely unified opposition, they found an issue to galvanize the party after two consecutive dispiriting electoral defeats."  Reid and Pelosi don't exist.
  • Liz Sidoti also says the Republicans win:  "Adrift after back-to-back electoral losses, they found their voice against a Democratic speaker and an expanded majority. They held to the GOP's cornerstone of fiscal conservatism as they led the effort to define the package as too costly and too quick."  Likewise, Jon Boehner:  "He strengthened his hold on his job, keeping his rank-and-file united against the House version." Again, Reid gets a win.  She gives Pelosi and Mitch McConnell losses.

But according to Daily Kos polling, the change in public opinion from a poll taken from Feb. 2-5 to the latest one taken from Feb. 9-12 indicates that Pelosi, Reid and the Democratic Party have actually gone up in public approval -- all had a net change of +2 points, while the Congressional Dems scored a +3.  Conversely, Republicans went down -- the Republican Party had a net change of -2, while McConnell, Boehner and Congressional Republicans all had a loss of -3.

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