"He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water." Isaiah 49:10

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Poll Results - What Poll Results?

By Fidel "Butch" Montoya

President Obama has been in office for about a month now and already the poll numbers are showing some interesting results. USA Today/Gallup conducted a poll January 30 – February 1 asking Americans of what they thought of seven specific orders the President has taken.

Interestingly enough, in just three weeks President Obama’s overall job performance ratings have not faired very well. As President-elect, Obama’s overall job expectations were very high. 83 percent of Americans were optimist of the new President.

And yet in those three weeks, President Obama’s overall job rating dropped 19 percent. Still his overall job performance rating today is 66 percent. A favorable position no doubt, but troubling none the less as Americans realize their new President is not the Messiah after all.

The poll highlighted some interesting results showing that Americans support many of the President’s decision. 76 percent of Americans polled agree that naming special envoys to troubled areas of the world are a good idea. President Obama plans to have special envoys to the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Obama Administration is facing a difficult task in defining its new policies in these diplomat hot spots. There is no question we could face serious consequences if singular attention is not given to these problems.

Americans also supported the President’s decision to tighten the rules about people working as lobbyists before they came to work for his administration or after they leave. 76 percent of those polled felt this was a good decision.

While some of the positives of the USA TODAY/Gallup polling were discussed in the news media, some poll results simply did not make the cut. The President’s decision to shut down Guantanamo Bay’s terrorist jail was not universally accepted. In fact 50 percent disagreed with that decision.

Part of the concern about shutting the terrorist jail in Cuba was the question as to what was going to happen to those detained there for terrorism concerns. There was a loud out cry about bringing them to homeland prisons where the thought of having terrorists in the neighborhood.

The other decision that has caused many evangelical leaders to pause in their support of the new President was his decision to reverse the Bush’s Administration prohibition on funding for overseas family planning organizations that provide abortions. This executive order was only supported by 35 percent. 58 percent of those polled disapproved.

Those poll results were not reported as widely as one would have expected. In fact the impression by some of the news reports that mentioned the abortion executive order was that it was a favorable decision that Americans were waiting for the President to make.

For the President to make this executive order on allowing abortion one of his first decisions is troubling. Obama is already being called by some pundits as “the most extreme pro-abortion president in history.” The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), which would provide unlimited, unrestricted taxpayer funding of abortion is one of the strongest polices supported by President.

The news media has been accused of favoring the President and overall the impression is that they have not been as tough on his new policy orders as one would expect. 38percent feel the news media has not been tough enough.

I have to agree with that assessment of the news media. Watching the news media throughout the presidential election, and especially during the coverage of the inauguration, I cringed at times as reporters gushed over the new president. It was as if to mention any negative reference to the special events of the day was a no no.

As a broadcast journalist of over 24 years experience, I can tell you the news media is missing the boat. While we all want our president to succeed, the news media needs to get a reality check and start reporting the real news.

Hearing or reading fairy tale news that does not mention the challenges we face, is part of the problem we face today. For too long we have allowed the news media to create their own version of reality….and as we are learning today, that reality is far from the truth.

Happy days are here again…or world wide depression?

Fidel “Butch” Montoya
H. S. Power & Light Ministries  – Latino Faith Initiative
Denver, Colorado 80212

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