Poll: Obama, Oswald, Te’o

Written by . Posted in Featured, Polling

Published on January 25, 2013


Conservative Intelligence Briefing is proud to announce a partnership with Harper Polling.  Starting with a poll this week that covers everything from Obama to the Kennedy Assassination, Harper Polling will be providing several polls through Conservative Intelligence Briefing a month.

The first poll covered nine questions related to topics of interest and current events.  We’ve already released the question regarding Lance Armstrong.  Check it out here.  We’ll release the full poll and analysis on the Conservative Intel site next week.

We’ve selected three questions of interest.  Check them out below.  Let us know your thoughts!

How’s Obama Doing Lately?

This is a variation on the standard presidential job approval question.  It asks for more current opinions about the personal impact of President Obama’s actions in office.

Question: Is President Obama making things in this country lately, better or worse?

Electable Republican: 43%
Tea Party Conservative: 34%
Not sure: 23%

This poll was taken the day after President Obama’s inauguration speech that was laced with progressive ideology.  It may have dimmed the outlook of some middle-of-the-road voters.  For someone who was just re-elected with 51% of the vote, only 42% of the people believe Barack Obama is making the country better off.

In the Northeast, 45% believe the President is making things better as opposed to 39% who say worse.  Southerners say he’s making it worse by a 51%-40% spread.

There is a significant gender gap.  Women say Better (46%-40%) and Men say Worse (52%-37%).  The demographic most supportive of the President are 56-to-65 year olds approaching retirement who say Better by a 52%-38% spread.

Kennedy Assassination

Last week, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. criticized the findings of the Warren Commission’s official account of his uncle’s assassination.  He claimed his father, the President’s brother, called the Commission a “shoddy piece of craftsmanship” and was himself convinced others were involved beyond Lee Harvey Oswald.

Since every voting-age American has written a school report on President Kennedy’s assassination, we thought we’d survey an educated audience.

Question: Regarding the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, do you believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, or others helped Oswald plan and carry out the assassination?

It’s pretty remarkable that only a quarter (25%) of the people believe the central finding of the Warren Commission.  Nearly twice as many people (45%) believe there was a conspiracy to assassinate our 35th President.

There is not a lot of variation in the numbers.  Though Kennedy was a Democrat, voters of his party (45%) are no more likely than Republicans (45%) to buy the single bullet theory.

Self-avowed Liberals are the most likely to believe that Oswald acted alone (29%-38%).   Very Conservative voters are the most likely to believe that others helped Oswald (49%-22%).

The Kennedy assassination is one of the iconic debates in American society.  Over time, the silver bullet theory has not held up well in the minds of the public.  Whatever you believe, this 889-page legal document has no chance against JFK in the court of public opinion.

Manti Te’o: Hoax or Liar?

A story so bizarre that Americans can’t stop debating it.  Fortunately for Manti Te’o, he has not lost them yet.

Question: As you may have heard, Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o revealed that the girlfriend he claimed died tragically never existed.  Which of the following comes closest to your opinion:  Te’o was the victim of an Internet hoax, Or Te’o made up the story?

Men and women have a slight difference of opinion.  Men are deadlocked at 32%-32%.  Women think Te’o was a victim (33%-27%).  Seniors are the demographic who most strongly believe it was a hoax (38%-26%).  Democrats take Te’o’s side (36%-28%) while Republicans are divided (33%-33%).

The sooner Te’o can put a bow on this affair and move on the better.  Get out before the 37% that’s undecided gets an opinion.  The guy’s got an NFL paycheck to cash.

The sample size for this national survey is 1900 likely voters.  As a result of the large sample, the margin of error is +/-2.25%.  The poll was conducted January 22, 2013 by Harper Polling.

About Brock McCleary

Brock McCleary has spent more than a decade formulating polling and analyzing data as a political operative, public affairs consultant, press secretary, ad maker, and party strategist.  Prior to founding Harper Polling, Brock spent four years at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) where he served in several senior roles including Polling Director.