What Washington Does Not See
By Bruce Walker
August 27, 2012
The Gallup Poll seems no different than most establishment organs. As I have noted in the past, when Gallup reports on the ideological composition of the nation its title for these releases seems more to hide than to reveal the big story. Still, Gallup – unlike many other news organizations which issue polls at irregular intervals that seem calculated to demoralize conservatives – has a vested interest in credibility. The same is true of Rasmussen: Scott Rasmussen pretty clearly is conservative, but his polls make sense, show trends, and present conservatives with unwelcome news at times.
Gallup has recently released a poll showing which parts of America are most confident economically and which are least confident. The District of Columbia, of course, is not a state but rather a federal district, but it is included along with the fifty states in the poll. In every state, the Gallup Economic Confidence Index is negative: there are more respondents pessimistic about the future than optimistic. But there is one place in America in which residents have a very positive economic outlook: our nation’s capital, the District of Columbia. The gap in economic outlook between the home of federal bureaucrats and the least negative state, Minnesota, is huge. DC has a +29 positive outlook and Minnesota has a -6 economic outlook.
Those who hold federal power treat themselves luxuriously at our expense. Where are the richest Americans? As Forbes noted in an article earlier this year, the richest counties in America are those in Maryland and Virginia surrounding Washington. The United States has 3,007 counties: six of the richest ten counties are right next to Washington, D.C.
These rich Americans are also the most strongly Democrat of any state in the nation. Indeed, the gap between the District of Columbia and the most Democrat state of the union is jaw-dropping. The Democrat partisan advantage in the District of Columbia is 66 percentage points. The most Democrat state, Rhode Island, has only a 26 percentage point advantage. Is it any surprise that Republicans have carried every state of the union in presidential elections since 1972, but have never come close to carrying the District of Columbia?
The divide between Washington and America is more than just partisan; it is ideological. Gallup has had a number of polls over the last few years dealing with the ideological inclination in different states. The latest, in 2012, showed that in every state except Massachusetts, conservatives outnumbered liberals. (The article title, was “ Mississippi the most conservative state, D.C. the most liberal”) In fact – forgetting that D.C. is not a state – the difference is huge. No state was remotely as leftist as our federal district. This is a pattern which has been true in every Gallup poll on that subject.
Other research shows that the ideological voting pattern in the District of Columbia is wildly disproportionately left of center: 9.59% conservative to 90.41% liberal. Out of the 237 cities reviewed in this study, Washington D.C. was not the most liberal. Detroit, Gary, and Berkeley were slightly farther to the left, but it was profoundly leftist nevertheless.
Is it any wonder that Obama, who has lame job approval ratings by almost every poll around, has a dumbfounding job approval rating of 83% in the District of Columbia? This is far higher than his native state, and Democrat stronghold, Hawaii or any of the other eleven states which give Obama a positive job approval rating.
Bruce Walker is a long-time conservative writer whose work is published regularly at popular conservative sites such as American Thinker.