Talking Points

Stunning New Poll on Politics and the Media



Stunning new poll on politics and the media, that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." Survey done by Politico and George Washington University asked 1,000 likely voters about the current state of politics and the media in the USA. The results may surprise you.

First, 45 percent strongly disapprove of the job President Obama is doing, 35 percent strongly approve. But, personally, this situation is reverse, 47 percent of likely voters say they strongly approve of the president as a person. Just 19 percent strongly disprove.

On the subject of his possible re-election, 44 percent say they will vote against Barack Obama the next time around, 38 percent say he deserves to be re-elected. Forty two percent of Americans say the president is very liberal, and 41 percent say the new "Obamacare" legislation is terrible, just 18 percent favorite enthusiastically.

So, the mood of the country is obviously running strongly against Mr. Obama's policies. As for the Republican Party, Mitt Romney has a 45 percent favorable rating, 28 percent don't like him. Sarah Palin, 44 percent like her, 49 percent do not. Mike Huckabee 49 percent like him, 25 percent do not. And Newt Gingrich clocks in at 35 percent favorable, 39 percent unfavorable.

Turning to the media, listen to this, 81 percent of likely voters now get their information about politics from cable news; 71 percent say they get it from information from network news. On the cable news front, 42 percent of respondents say Fox is their main source of information about politics, 30 percent say CNN. Just 12 percent cite MSNBC, which is disastrous.

The Politico-George Washington survey also polled media people. When asked who has the greatest positive impact on the political debate in America, your humble correspondent, the O'Reilly guy, comes out far ahead. Forty nine percent of Americans cited me as having a positive impact on the political debate in this country.

Now, I know I'm not a humble man, but that's really something. I appreciate it very much. I should note that 32 percent of the public say that I am a negative influence. Of course, they are misguided. Glenn Beck comes in second; 38 percent saying he has a positive impact, 32 percent negative. Rush Limbaugh third; 36 percent positive, 52 percent negative. Sean Hannity fourth; 35 percent positive, 25 percent negative, and Jon Stewart fifth; 34 percent positive, 22 negative.

So, what does all this mean? Well, clearly the Fox News Channel has become the most important media outlet in the country. I don't think there is any question about that. Secondly, our cable competition doesn't even show up. Third, network news does remain a force but no longer leads. Fourth, the Republican race in 2012 wide open. And fifth, President Obama has enormous problems to overcome. And that's "The Memo."




And finally, "Pinheads & Patriots," the TV edition. And as you may know, comedian Stephen Colbert testified in front of a congressional committee on immigration last week, mocking the entire system. Well, some Democrats are divided on whether that was a wise thing.


STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, COMEDY CENTRAL'S "THE COLBERT REPORT": My great grandfather did not travel across 4,000 miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this country overrun by immigrants. He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland.

That's the rumor. I don't know if that's is true. I'd like to have that stricken from the record.

REP. STENY HOYER, HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER, ON "FOX NEWS SUNDAY": I think his testimony was not appropriate. I think it was embarrassment for Mr. Colbert, more than the House.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: He was called by the Democratic chair of the subcommittee.

HOYER: You asked me, Chris, whether the testimony was appropriate. I think it was not appropriate.

NANCY PELOSI, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Of course it's appropriate. He's an American. He comes before the committee, has a point of view. He can bring attention to an important issue like immigration. It was great.


You can decide who the pinheads and patriots are in that morass.