A new PPP survey of Vermont found that Sen. Bernie Sanders one of the nation’s most left leaning senators is so well liked at home that he is the nation’s third most popular senator.
Sen. Sanders has an approval rating of 67% in Vermont, with only 28% of those polled disapproving of him. Sanders will be facing his first reelection campaign next year, and no matter whom he is matched up against he gets at least 56% of the vote. The closest any potential opponent comes to Sanders is Jim Douglas, and he trails the Senator, 56%-38%.
The real takeaway nugget from the poll is this,
Of his colleagues on which PPP has polled, the only ones who can claim to be more beloved are Hawaii’s Daniel Inouye and Wyoming’s John Barrasso, but they serve states with much more overwhelming partisan registration advantages. An independent who caucuses with the Democrats, Sanders’ unabashed democratic socialist views have nevertheless served him well with independent voters, 68% of whom like the work he has done for them. Democrats are unanimously behind him, 93-5, and even a quarter of the state’s more moderate Republicans give him good marks.”
As Bill Maher pointed out last week even conservative Americans love their socialism,
Americans don’t want less spending on healthcare, by almost 2 to 1 they want more. Only 7% of Americans are willing to do away with either Social Security or Medicare, and even 62% of tea party members say those programs are worth the cost, yet 91% say they want smaller government with fewer services. They’re like the guy whose been to prison and says sure I gargle with a guy’s balls once in a while, and there’s nothing I love more than ass play with other men, but no I can’t stand fags.
Remember this guy, the keep your government hands off my Medicare guy? He’s not alone. In one survey, 40% of people who get Medicare say that they have not used a government program. Really? Who do you think paid that hip replacement, your secret Santa? The actor and not very bright person Craig T. Nelson once said about hitting some rough spots in his life that, “I’ve been on welfare and food stamps, but anybody help me out? No.”
Medicare and Social Security are broadly supported across all areas of the political spectrum. In fact, it has been estimated that 92% of Americans have some element of their economic beliefs that leans towards socialism.
Ask yourself this question, if Bernie Sanders is one of the most popular members of the Senate, why have our policy discussions been moving further to the right?
Sen. Sanders’ success is evidence that while America as a country isn’t socialistic, the elements of socialism that we do have in our current system are very, very popular. Democrats need not fear going more to the left on these issues, because the public is behind them.
There is a reason why a new National Journal poll released today found that 79% of those asked said that it is time for new people in Congress. This Congress, Republicans and some Democrats don’t represent the will of the people on entitlements. Sen. Sanders is closer in position to where the American people are on Medicare and Social Security.
It is important to note that the top three most popular senators all come from small states. Sanders’ success does not mean that he should challenge President Obama in a primary, which won’t happen anyway because Sanders isn’t a Democrat, or that Democrats should run candidates who embody more of a hard left ideology across the country. (This strategy would be doomed to failure as large parts of the country will never elect someone with hard left positions).
Washington has joined many Americans who are also living in denial about the nation’s love affair with socialism, but the most certain path to a huge congressional overturn in 2012 is if the GOP lead attacks on entitlements continue.
In wake of the debt ceiling fiasco two things have become very clear. Voters have been embarrassed by the spectacle that they were forced to endure, and Washington is only angering voters more by messing with entitlements.
The American people have one clear message for Congress, leave our socialism alone.