Thursday, July 05, 2007

Mythbusters: Oregonians conservative? Nope.

With an exceedingly frustrating regularity, Americans are referred to as having by and large conservative political views. From taxes to abortion, the media (especially talk radio and cable infotainment) offer up the canard that US citizens have pulled a hard charge to the political right.

Oregonians haven't escaped this attempt to trap us into believing we're Goldwater bound. In fact we're inundated with right wing radio freaks whose sole purpose is to tell us how eeeevil and corrupt liberals are--so none of us will want to self-identify as such.

Except that we ARE liberal. According to the good folks at Media Matters for America, polling and studies prove as much.

Specifically relating to Oregonians, the Annenberg Election Survey of 2004 yields a pretty definitive result: Oregonians are NOT conservative.

For example:

“Providing health insurance for people who do not already have it—should the federal government spend more on it, the same as now, less, or no money at all?”
Percent answering “More”: 70%

The federal government helping to pay for health insurance for all children—do you favor or oppose this?
Percent answering “favor”: 73%

“The federal government helping employers pay the cost of their workers’ health insurance—do you favor or oppose this?”
Percent answering “favor”: 66%

“Providing financial assistance to public elementary and secondary schools—should the federal government spend more on it, the same as now, less, or no money at all?”
Percent answering “more”: 68%

“The federal government trying to reduce the income differences between rich and poor Americans—do you favor or oppose the federal government doing this?”
Percent favoring: 53%

“The federal government banning all abortions—do you favor or oppose the federal government doing this?”
Percent opposed: 72%

“Would you favor or oppose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution saying that no state can allow two men to marry each other or two women to marry each other?”
Favor: 36% Oppose: 56%

“Restricting the kinds of guns that people can buy—should the federal government do more about it, do the same as now, do less about it, or do nothing at all?”
Percent answering “more”: 53%

These are our fellow Oregonians believing in providing health insurance for everyone,opposing abortion bans,opposing bans on gay marriage and restricting certain types of guns.

Nationwide results follow this trend:

Three-fourths of Americans polled would be willing to pay more for electricity generated by renewable resources, and 57 percent feel immigrants have more of a positive than harmful impact on the country. Two-thirds believe immigration is good for the country.

As presidential hopefuls begin to announce health care reform platforms, the report revealed that 69 percent of Americans believe it's the government's responsibility to ensure coverage for all, and 76 percent believe access to coverage should take priority over maintaining the Bush administration's tax cuts.

While a majority of Americans identify themselves as conservative, Paul Waldman, a senior fellow at Media matters and a co-author of the report, said that when questioned on individual issues they are progressive.

Despite the chatter on radio, the rightosphere blogtocracy and cable infonews shows Americans are decidedly liberal on an array of issues. Even though the demon-label "liberal" will often push people to call themselves "moderate", they'll vote liberal if shown the way. The groundwork is already laid.