A couple of weeks ago, an ABC News/Washington Post offered Republicans some bad news during the ongoing debt-reduction talks: the clear majority of Americans back President Obama and oppose the GOP's ideas. Yesterday, a Quinnipiac poll showed similar results: the public trusts Democrats when it comes to the fiscal fight, and by a wide margin, want to see higher taxes on income over $250,000.
But Karl Rove, who still has a column in the Wall Street Journal, insists Republicans are on the right track anyway.
While Americans favor raising taxes on the wealthy, a Winston Group poll two weeks ago (conducted for the GOP House leadership) found just 26% of respondents agreeing that "given the state of the deficit, those making over $250,000 a year should have to pay 40% of their income in federal taxes." Some 68% disagreed.
For now, let's put aside the fact that Rove is mischaracterizing how marginal income tax rates work. Instead, let's consider the question about polling.
In this case, we have public polls, conducted by independent organizations, which show the public siding with Democrats and strongly supporting higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans, returning them to the rates they paid during the Clinton era. On the other hand, Rove has a Republican poll, conducted for Republican lawmakers, that says most of the public agrees with the conservative position.
Refresh my memory: how did it work out for the GOP the last time Karl Rove urged his party to overlook independent polls and focus more on partisan polls that told Republicans what they wanted to hear?