The Harvard/Harris poll surveyed over 2,000 Americans a few days ago. The results are interesting, in some ways confounding and in other ways encouraging. You can look at the whole thing and draw your own conclusions. Here are a few observations:
* More respondents say we are on the “right track” than at any time in recent years. I assume this mostly has to do with the fading of COVID, but for what it is worth, the “right track” number of 53% is well above pre-COVID sentiment.
* Along the same lines, Joe Biden seems weirdly popular. In this survey, his total approval stands at 59%. No doubt this is largely partisan sentiment–I sincerely think that Biden could die, and his approval/disapproval numbers wouldn’t move much. But hard-core Democrats don’t get to anywhere near 59%, so I think Biden’s numbers include quite a few centrist types who are mostly relieved not to have to hear about Donald Trump all the time. Having a cadaver in the White House feels like a return to normalcy.
* For some reason, the Republican Party is getting more popular, now standing at 53%, up from 43% in January. I have no idea why this would be true, unless perhaps it is due to President Trump leaving office. The Democratic Party’s approval rating is 55%. Amazingly, approval of Congress is now in the black, at 54%. I am not sure when that last happened. Most likely Americans are just in a good, post-COVID mood.
* Harris tested the favorability of various institutions. Not a lot of surprises here: the military is on top at 78%/12%, with the police at 68%/21%. Interestingly, Amazon is popular at 72%/19%, Facebook does pretty well at 51%/38%, but Twitter is under water at 37%/39%. Who ranks lowest? Hamas at 16%/43%, and Antifa at 20%/48%. This is good, I guess, but it is a little scary to think that somewhere around one-fifth of our people say they approve of foreign and domestic terrorist organizations.
* Probably the most important results are those relating to specific issues. Here, there is reason to think the Democrats are in trouble in the near term. Thus, for example, 85% of voters are concerned about inflation.
* Immigration is a huge problem for the Democrats. Voters understand that illegal immigration has skyrocketed under the Biden administration, and they don’t like it. A whopping 80% say that illegal immigration is a serious problem. Further, by 55% to 45%, voters think the Trump administration’s anti-illegal immigration measures should be kept in place. I think the Democrats are ideologically committed to open borders, and cannot do anything that would meaningfully address these well-founded concerns, so the issue, from their perspective, is likely to get worse.
* Critical Race Theory is a major loser for the Democrats. By 61% to 39%, respondents oppose teaching our children that “America is structurally racist and is dominated by white supremacy.” Here again, I think the Democrats are committed to this fraudulent world-view and can’t back away from it. The issue will be toxic in 2022, to the great advantage of the GOP.
At the same time, politics aside, I am appalled that two-fifths of our fellow citizens think that children should be taught to hate our country. Can any nation survive a Fifth Column of this magnitude? Is there any basis on which people with such radically different views of our country’s character can continue to live together, or is disunion becoming more likely?
* I have been saying for a while that the Democrats’ control over the “mainstream” media matters little. Somehow, I suppose in part through sites like this one, information seeps out. Thus, respondents say by a 60%/40% margin that the COVID virus originated in a Chinese laboratory. They didn’t get that idea from the New York Times or the Associated Press. And by 62% to 38%, respondents believe that “Anthony Fauci and the National Institute of Health funded gain of function research that takes naturally occurring viruses and makes them more powerful.” That was supposed to be a secret.
But here is an example of the kind of frustrating contradiction that crops up so often in opinion polling: 49% say that Facebook was “right to censor any posts that suggested that the virus may have originated in a laboratory in China,” while 51% say Facebook was wrong. So there are apparently a considerable number of people who think the virus came from a Chinese laboratory, but Facebook was right to suppress that fact.
* Many surveys in recent years have suggested that Americans’ support for free speech is weak. Take it for what it is worth, but this Harris poll finds broad support for the First Amendment: 81% say that “elementary school students be taught about the first amendment and importance of free speech,” with just 19% disagreeing. Take that as today’s day brightener.