First thing to note is how long it takes (and what she writes in the mean time) for her to get to the bad news about the Republican-controlled Congress:
No matter how you frame it, Americans are dissatisfied with Congress and President Obama, divisional politics and the direction the country is going.And that's the only mention of how much more, according to this poll, Americans are dissatisfied with the (Republican) Congress than with the (Democratic) President.
“I have got a lot of uncertainty towards both sides with how they govern once they get to Washington,” said Mike Delauder of Garrett, Ind. “I am sure it is a difficult job, and I don't doubt that they try hard, but when they get stuck on party-line politics, it is incredibly frustrating because nothing gets done.”
Sixty percent of those surveyed nationwide for the Tribune-Review by Harrisburg-based Susquehanna Polling and Research think the country is heading in the wrong direction. Sixty-one percent believe the country is more divided than ever and that the division will worsen.
Fifty-four percent are unhappy with Obama's job performance, and a whopping 73 percent disapprove of Congress's performance. [Emphasis added.]
Isn't that interesting?
Also we should note the polling company itself: Susquehanna Polling and Research. Zito offers no description other than "Harrisburg-based." How do they describe themselves?
Pennsylvania-based Susquehanna Polling and Research (SP&R) is a leading survey research and political polling firm for both candidates for public office (GOP only)...Oh, so it's a Republican polling firm!
Funny how conservative columnist Selena Zito writing for the conservative Tribune-Review fails to mention that.
But even if they are a Republican polling firm, they could still be accurate right? There's no reason to think that one automatically discounts the other, right?
So how did they do in, say, the last Presidential Election?
Take a look:
President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney entered the final days of the presidential race tied in a state that the campaigns only recently began contesting, a Tribune-Review poll shows.In reality, Obama won by a little more than 5 percentage points.
The poll showed the race for Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes locked up at 47 percent in its final week. Romney was scheduled to campaign in the Philadelphia area on Sunday, and former President Bill Clinton planned to stump for Obama on Monday. The campaigns have begun to saturate the airwaves with millions of dollars in presidential advertising.
“They're both in here because of exactly what you're seeing” in this poll, said Jim Lee, president of Susquehanna Polling & Research, which surveyed 800 likely voters Oct. 29-31. Most of the interviews occurred after Hurricane Sandy inundated Eastern and Central Pennsylvania. The poll's error margin is 3.46 percentage points.
And that's not the only miscalculation on the part of Susquehanna in the 2012 election. Take a look:
The National Republican Senatorial Committee consistently had a more upbeat assessment of races in North Dakota and Montana, among others, than their Democratic counterparts. One GOP poll even showed Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock holding even with his opponent, even as public polls showed the embattled Republican hemorrhaging support. A Republican poll taken by Susquehanna Polling and Research showed Pennsylvania Senate candidate Tom Smith leading Democratic Sen. Bob Casey by 2 points a few weeks before the election; Casey won by 9 points. [Emphasis added.]So, are the numbers from Susquehanna Polling and Research really as trustworthy as Zito would like us to believe? Give the source of the article, the source of the numbers and some recent history, I'd vote no.
But that's just me.