by Cat Tieger, XVII

At the last ACE education session of the GNL season, attendees sat in rapt attention as national pollster Bill McInturff told 118 attendees that 63% of Americans believe our country is headed in the wrong direction.

McInturff spoke for over an hour on polling in general and what the American public is thinking as we head full-speed into the Presidential election. Bill is a partner and founder of Public Opinion Strategies (POS), one of the most highly respected political and public affairs research firms in the United States. POS conducts, along with Peter Hart Associates, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll, as well as economic polling for CNBC.

His presentation was choked full of statistics, and his humor was priceless as he laid out data as well as his own views, on what we should expect in the fall. According to Bill, among the reasons for voter anger are two specific issues not being covered by the media.
The wealth of U.S. families increased from 1983 to 2007, but has sharply declined since then. In fact, according to PEW Research, the median net worth of families in 2007 was almost $138,000 per year, which dropped to more than $82,000 in 2013.
Middle class voters also believe that everyone, including large banks, corporations, wealthy and poor people, have all benefited, except them, from government economic policies since the recession.
Another eye-opener for GNL’ers was McInturff’s pronouncement that “just 158 families have provided nearly half of the early money for efforts to capture the White House.” He also showed a slide that received gasps by the audience when he revealed just how large the divide between the two parties has become. Specifically in 1982, in the U.S. House of Representatives, there were 344 members where there was ideological overlap on how they viewed certain issues and how they voted. Stunningly, today, there are only four.

“While the turnout by GOP voters in the primaries has increased by 58% since 2012; Democrats have seen a 19% declined,” he said. McInturff told GNL’ers to wait and take a hard look at where the polls are on May 29, 2016. The reason: May 29, 2012 was the date when Mitt Romney had over 50% of the Republican delegates locked up. Bill discussed voters’ thoughts regarding specific candidates, especially whether the candidates made them feel scared or optimistic. Both Trump and Clinton were at the bottom of the pack in both categories.

While it is virtually impossible for any of us to say with complete confidence where we will end up in November, if you missed Bill McInturff’s presentation, please follow this link to his powerpoint, and YOU decide based on his data and insights. Enjoy the long hot political summer!!!