Apparently, Watching the Horse Race is Easier
Blogging about Darrel West’s latest poll yesterday, I mentioned that the Clinton/Obama race would probably get the major play. This morning, I see that both the ProJo and Ian at the Phoenix have taken that line and extended it to reporting on the approval ratings of various public officials as well as the right track/wrong track bit. Now, to be fair, there is a substantive difference between Ian blogging about the results and the ProJo reporting on it. That’s why it’s disappointing (if unsurprising) that the ProJo buried the answers to the question, “Which of the following items would you support or oppose to close this deficit,” deep in their report.
As I mentioned yesterday, I think those answers are important insofar as they give our state officials a heads up on how the average Rhode Islander thinks we should solve our current fiscal mess. Then again, even West chose to focus on the “track” question versus the solutions preferred by the Rhode Island public…and he seemed a little disconnected from the results of his own poll:
“People’s assessments are influenced much more by what they are seeing in their personal circumstances … [than] how politicians try and spin the situation,” West said. “People are worried about the economy. They don’t like all of the budget proposals that have been put forward and they want better results than they are getting.”
Wha…? The Governor had to clean it up:
Carcieri chose to look at the upside. A statement issued by his office said: “By wide margins, Rhode Islanders support the Governor’s efforts to significantly reduce state personnel costs, to privatize state services, to reform the state welfare system and to make Medicaid more effective for Rhode Island seniors. And like the Governor, Rhode Islanders also oppose broad-based increases in the income and sales taxes.”
Finally, four paragraphs later–after sufficiently framing (or burying) the issue–the ProJo actually provides the answers to the poll question, which confirm that the public essentially does agree with the Governor’s proposals . But that’s less important than the popularity of various state officials in February, I guess.