Occupy Wall Street Now Less Popular Than Tea Party Movement
Public opinion on the Occupy movement has turned increasingly sour.
Democratic-leaning pollster Public Policy Polling is out with a new poll that shows a tremendous drop off in support for the Occupy movement:
The Occupy Wall Street movement is not wearing well with voters across the country. Only 33% now say that they are supportive of its goals, compared to 45% who say they oppose them. That represents an 11 point shift in the wrong direction for the movement’s support compared to a month ago when 35% of voters said they supported it and 36% were opposed. Most notably independents have gone from supporting Occupy Wall Street’s goals 39/34, to opposing them 34/42.
Voters don’t care for the Tea Party either, with 42% saying they support its goals to 45% opposed. But asked whether they have a higher opinion of the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street movement the Tea Party wins out 43-37, representing a flip from last month when Occupy Wall Street won out 40-37 on that question. Again the movement with independents is notable- from preferring Occupy Wall Street 43-34, to siding with the Tea Party 44-40.
Of course, the poll also shows that Republicans in Congress aren’t faring so well with the public these days either:
Voters continue to be very unhappy with the new majority in the House. Only 37% of voters think the Republicans have been an upgrade from when the Democrats were in charge, to 41% who believe they’ve been worse. Among independent voters, whose overwhelming support fueled the new GOP majorities, 26% think the Republicans have been an improvement to 37% who believe they’ve made things worse. That unhappiness extends to John Boehner’s personal poll numbers as well- just 30% of voters approve of the job he’s doing to 46% who disapprove. That -16 spread is a whole lot worse than the -6 we find for Obama’s approval, but you don’t see the Speaker being described as unpopular whenever you read about him the way you do the President.
As unpopular as the House Republicans are we find a tie in the generic Congressional ballot with 45% of voters favoring a Democratic candidate and 45% going for a Republican. That’s because Congressional Democrats, with a 28/63 approval spread, are almost as unpopular as their GOP counterparts
This last part isn’t really a surprise, of course. Hating Congress is something of a national pastime, and neither party on Capitol Hill has done much over the past several years to inspire respect from the public.
The drop-off in support for the Occupy movement, though, is interesting. Obviously, a good part of it can be attributed to the movement itself. In the beginning, the press coverage of the protests was fairly positive and sympathetic, but as weeks have dragged on into months, most of what we’ve seen on the news has been about violence in various cities, public health threats, and even rapes at a few locations. Additionally, try as they might, the “residents” of places like Zuccotti Park could only keep up the illusion that they really do represent “the 99%” for so long, eventually the seedy underbelly of the movement became far too prevalent to ignore. Yes there were regular people at the protests but at some point it came to be dominated by the drum circles, the “consensus meetings,” and people whose response to a request for dialog was to elect a Border Collie as their leader. Most Americans looking at things like that, even though they’re likely sympathetic to arguments based in the frustrations created by a stagnant economy, are going to be turned off.
The movement still doesn’t seem to understand the extent to which it has become its own worst enemy either. Having been prevented from sleeping overnight at Zuccotti Park, the people of Occupy Wall Street are apparently prepared to mark tomorrow’s two-month anniversary of their protests by engaging in activity that is only likely to make the people of New York City dislike them even more:
Occupy Wall Street leaders announced today their plans to rachet up their wild antics — vowing to wreak havoc on Thursday by shutting down Wall Street and the subways to mark the renegade group’s two-month takeover of Zuccotti.
According to their Web site, the day will include “Mass, Non-violent Direct Action” to “Shut Down Wall Street” at 7 a.m., “Occupy the Subways” in all five boroughs at 3 p.m. and “Take the Square,” referring to Foley Square, at 5 p.m.
Protest organizers were also touting signs alluding to China’s infamous Tiananmen Square revolt.
The poster advertising the event uses the image of the lone Chinese protester confronting tanks in China’s Tiananmen Square as rows of supporets stand in the background.
The demonstrators, the poster reads, aim to “resist austerity, reclaim the economy [and] recreate our democracy.”
The protesters also plan to march from City Hall to the Brooklyn Bridge at some point.
They said they’re expecting a turnout larger than that Oct. 1, when more than 700 arrests were made on the bridge.
Organizer Senia Barragan said their goal is to “rebuild our economy, and the bridge is a quintessential symbol of that message” because infrastructure projects would create jobs.
One protester said the plan to “Occupy the Subway” is an effort to bring the OWS message to the outerboroughs
The story of this planned “Day of Action” is detailed on their website. All this is guaranteed to do is annoy the people of New York who rely on the subways to get from one location to another, and to lead to a lot of these protesters getting arrested for no reason. They may think that they are engaged in some grand political struggle, but all they are really doing is giving a master class in how to lose friends and annoy people. That’s not how you create political change.
None of this is to say that the issues that have come up among more serious pundits in the months since September 17th will fade away, they won’t because they are issues that have come up many times before in American politics. If they’re going to become a part of the wider political debate, though, it will be when the serious people take them up, not because of a bunch of people who quite obviously have no real idea what they’re doing.
“The drop-off in support for the Occupy movement, though, is interesting. Obviously, a good part of it can be attributed to the movement itself. In the beginning, the press coverage of the protests was fairly positive and sympathetic, but as weeks have dragged on into months, most of what we’ve seen on the news has been about violence in various cities, public health threats, and even rapes at a few locations. ”
So the mass media, owned by the very corporations the protestors are fighting against, spend weeks portraying them as subhuman animals rutting in their own filth, and now public opinion is turning against them. And even as he types that sentence he claims this is proof that the decline in popularity is the protestors’ fault.
Yeah, that must be it.
You left out the best line, Doug:
“Polling we did in some key swing states earlier this year found overwhelming support for raising taxes on people who make over $150,000 a year. “
Facts are stubborn things — John Adams
That’s hardly surprising to anyone who pays attention to these things. Heck, last December, there was overwhelming support for ending the Bush Tax cuts for “the rich” and yet that great statesman Barack Obama folded like a cheap deck of cards.
While I support the Occupy movement I’m more concerned about the ethical implications of this movement then I am of the movement itself. Police brutality, the effort to break up the crowd, the lack of respect for freedom of assembly – these things should be of concern to the tea-party and occupy folks. When you can’t make your point by staying in one place, as Ghandi did, what do you turn to next as a form of protest?
So it’s a fact that OWS campers are subhuman animals?
That facts being what OWS and its progeny did to themselves, those facts being reported in the media.
I think the point was the corporate news went out of its way to smear OWS because OWS was attacking their parent corporations.
As I said in another OWS thread, the soldiers from my local military base inflict a constant stream of murders, rapes, robberies and drunken car accident deaths upon the people who live in the area, but these stories rarely get further than the back pages of my local newspaper.
The corporate news made sure that every crime that happened near an OWS protest, no matter how small and how unconnected to OWS, was broadcast nationwide.
Initially OWS enjoyed a cloying media, one very favorable to it’s occupation, as opposed to their coverage of the teas when they first came onto the public scene. However, like a child who is overly indulged, the ensuing temper tantrums, spectacles of indecent, violent, rude/crude behavior being flung out by attention-grabbing occupants, it is becoming more of an insufferable gathering versus a movement of the suffering.
Today’s Drudge stories:
Basically, their behavior is underminding their message.
OWS is smearing itself. And, the rationalizations of some here, for how OWS is presenting it’s case to the public, are hyper partisan and pathetic..
MSNBC and CNN basically bent over backwards to give laurels and credibility to OWS so that argument doesn’t really hold up
Anti-war protests in the 70’s weren’t popular either…but they changed the country for the better.
Protesting is not a popularity contest…it’s the expression of a groups objections to a given situation…in this case the current elite running the government for their own selfish purposes and doing a piss-poor job of it. Now it’s true that elites have always run the government and always will…the founders were elites, not common men…but for the last 30 years +/- the elite have screwed the pooch. Supply-side economics…military imperialism…war waged on the middle-class. The list of f**k-ups is long…and the much more popular Tea Party is supports of the most wrong-headed of the wrong.
While OWS may not be popular they certainly are effective…they have already created political change…in a short time they have changed the national conversation from total f’ing nonsense about debt and uncertainty…to inequality, jobs, and demand. Rock-on OWS.
Jan, in accusing others of hyper-partisanship quotes Drudge.
So stupid you couldn’t make it up.
@Doug Mataconis: And you know these “facts” because… they were reported by the media?
Fact — some guy committed suicide at one of the occupy sites.
Fact — Media reports this as “shooting at protest site! Violence spreads!”
People consuming media believe the “fact” that there are waves of violence at the protest sites.
Yeah. “Facts.” Because the way they’re reported has nothing to do with it at all. There’s nothing but objective truth out there.
@jan: You quote DRUDGE to prove that it’s not the media turning on OWS, it’s the icky protestors themselves?
I might respond to your points, but at this point you’re just a joke.
Check out the links about rapes then tell me it’s just media hype. You sound as bad as people on the right who complain when the media reports something negative about their favorite politician
@Doug Mataconis: CNN? I guess you missed the Erin Burnett report where she essentially said the protestors were all a bunch of stupid hippies who didn’t undertand the glory of the free market. Or you saw it and just decided this was more of the “facts.”
I think you’d call that hearsay.
Yesterday I watched Diane Sawyer, who makes $15 million a year, practically foaming at the mouth while yelling about who was going to pay for the cleanup of Zuccotti Park.
The members of the press are herd animals, and it’s quite clear the decision had been made by them to start portraying OWS members as filthy subhumans undeserving of any Constitutional protections.
Oh dear! A reporter critical of the left! Someone alert the thought police!
Interesting qoute from the Public Policy Pollster that the perpetually perfect non-partisan poster neglected to cut and paste:
So yeah…unpopular…but effective. I’m not saying the shift is entirely due to OWS…and no question they aren’t helping their own PR. It was Obama who proposed the Buffett rule…and he has been out there taking the message to the people for a while now and it’s effectiveness is showing in the polls. The Tea Party, of course, is more about coddling the rich. A nice clear ideological divide. I guess you could say 1% vs 99%.
It appears Tom Coburn (R) Muskogee – is on the side of OWS.
@Doug Mataconis: There’s a difference between “crime committed at this site” and “this site responsible for wave of crimes.” That you choose to ignore this has more to do with the fact that it plays into your unshakeable preconceptions about “hippies” than anything else.
I am just commenting on the factors likely to have impacted public opinion. Quite honestly, the Occupy movement has been its own worst enemy when it comes to public relations so they’ve really got no grounds or blaming anyone but themselves for this. Although clearly, some of you are still wearing rose-colored glasses
Have you ever met a real hippie?
I once walked the streets near Haight-Ashbury. I realized I missed nothing by not being around for their “contribution” to the 1960s
@Doug Mataconis: No, Doug, worshippers of the status quo who insist that rich and poor are where they are because they deserve it are the worst enemies of the OWS movement. The Randians and Calvinists and self-styled libertarians are the worst enemies of the OWS movement.
And by some astonishing coincidence, they’re also the worst enemies of the poor and middle class, and of the idea that America is better off not turning into a third world country.
You may choose the side you feel you belong on.
Well, then you probably know everything there is to know about the hippie movement and the 60’s.
I would think a libertarian might be more appreciative of the people that brought the concept that there are alternatives to simply conforming to what is expected of you into the forefront.
Maybe you should post juvenile comments like this with the 2000+ tweets you crank out each week.
I knew when James made fun of the pregnant women and the 13 year old boy who were run over near the Washington D.C. OWS protest that this blog wasn’t going to be the place for an intellectual debate about OWS, but I think it’s time you guys dropped the topic altogether.
That’s why I called some people’s responses here as being “hyper partisan.” If you visit far right sites, their language is the same — their guys, their POV are always on the side of being correct — the same as people here would argue for loser issues and people. It’s less getting in touch with truth or reality, than holding on to same-old, same-old politics and ideology, as usual
The hippie era was also far more ‘peaceful’ and less destructive than the current occupiers are showing themselves to be as a whole. Certainly there are good, well-intentioned people in the movement. But, they are being overwhelmed by anarchists, misfits, free-loaders, comprising a petri dish of people forcing themselves onto the daily lives of others.
That’s just not going to cut it for good PR or support from the majority in this country.
Wait a minute. Did anyone even bother to look at the specifics of the poll? The sample size was a whopping 800, with no methodolgy in how they were selected reported. All were interviewed by “automated telephone”, meaning the sample was heavily biased toward older, more conservative people who still have landlines.
You can find all that information in the poll report itself [PDF
The most significant fact in the cross tables is:
1. Democrats comprise 41% of the sample, with Republicans 36% and independents at 23%.of the sample. If anything, that’s a sample that is biased toward Democrats. based on turnout models from 2006, 2008, and 2010.
2. Those identifying themselves as somewhat or very liberal were 27% of the same, self-identified moderates were at 31%, somewhat to very conservative 35%.
If anything, this is a sample one would have expected to be more receptive to OWS than the Tea Party
@Doug Mataconis: The sample size alone means the poll is suspect, and how interviewees report their political affiliation isn’t as relevant as their age. Younger people are going to be more supportive of OWS, period. Phone interviews skew heavily toward older Americans.
Sample size by itself does not invalidate the poll if the sample is balanced.
lolz, but the only way to know it is well-balanced is with a larger sample size!
(Is anyone keeping count of Doug’s “OWS doesn’t matter” posts? I mean, the shear dedication proves the converse, but the number has to be incredible by now. And how much longer can it go on? Months?)
You guys are just like my friends on the right when confronted with news you don’t like. It’s funny how identical you all really are.
The poll might have bothered me if I hadn’t seen all that TV coverage last night, with the OWS questions taken quite seriously by the BBC and NHK.
Remember, you’ve been the stubborn outlier all along, refusing to see the point that so many do.
Did you ever read that Tyler Cowen piece?
lol, he is the main writer at OTB…..This a trick question?
I have never said there aren’t real issues lurking somewhere in OWS. The problem is that they are completely incoherent unwilling to actually take a position on anything, and seem to be more concerned with drum circles, electing border collies, and making the lives of average New Yorkers difficult.
Time for them to get off the stage and let the adults among them do some serious things.
Come on, we know the 3 step:
Doug – These protests are breaking the law
Us – That’s what protests do
Doug – Yeah, well they don’t stand for anything
Us – Actually, they do
Doug – Yeah, well until they have solutions I won’t listen
Coming to a Mom’s basement near you.
(Oh, I forgot “go to 1” at the end, creating the Doug Loop.)
@Doug Mataconis: “Time for them to get off the stage and let the adults among them do some serious things.”
Which is, of course, exactly what all the “serious” people said about all those noisy, stupid, unserious idiots who said that invading Iraq would be a costly disaster and that the reasons for the invasion were all false.
Because “seriousness” isn’t judged by wisdom or correctness. It’s all about being in the right club.
So yeah, everybody, let’s sit back and let the serious people fix this problem. Of course, they’re the ones who created the problem, and whose only answer before OWS was to cut social services to give bigger tax breaks to billionaires. But they smell good! And they don’t drum! And they don’t make Doug feel icky!
BTW, if DHS was indeed involved in the shutdown, how would you feel?
Is that the role for a federal agency?
Oh jesus-god the drum circle thing again. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Congrats on smearing OWS for the 100th time.
Can I call you partisan yet? Of course not. Only leftists are partisan.
By the way, is the any single issue I can expect to see you protest in the street and risk arrest in the future? At all? Or will you just hide behind the smug twitter spam in your office all day?
I’m sure on March 5th, 1770, Doug Mataconis would’ve been a Boston loyalist cheering on the Redcoats.
Long live King George, Doug.
Where’s the evidence of DHS involvement outside of one blog post somewhere?
Let OWS advocate one single policy proposal and work to get it passed. Just one. Until then, they’re just playing games as far as I’m concerned.
1.OWS had a very loose organizational structure; this allowed outsiders with no interest in the issue of wealth inequality to come in and become a distraction;
2. News Corp. and its many tentacles made a deliberate strategy of attacking OWS whenever possible.
3. Polls are a lagging indeicator; the events of the recents days may create an uptick in support for OWS;
4. The basice premise of OWS is still a powerfully latent force in American politics, even if OWS should become discredited.
All insurgent groups have these struggles- the feminst movement was derided as a bunch of hairy legged dykes, even as they were changing laws. Labor unions were portrayed as thuggish goons during the Depression (and still are, by the Rightwing)
Public opinion is a fluid, ever-changing thing; We attacked the global empire of Wall Street banks and international corporations- did we think they would meekly surrender just because we sat in a park? If Occupy can earn the support of the 99%, it will win, regardless of Goldman Sachs or News Corp.
But earning the trust of the people takes skill and discipline- just having a “correct” opinion, just seeing the injustice isn’t enough- we need organization, structure, and allies.
Yes they are….
I think it’s more like the saying, “You’re never too young to have a Vietnam flashback.”
Hatred of hippies is a disease all D-list right wing bloggers suffer from, even though none of them are old enough to have to have supported the Vietnam war.
“Turn out the lights, the party’s over”
At first, the people of OWS did have some good ideas and arguments, along with some incoherent statements that sometimes seemed like they came from planet Altair 7. As October rolled around, the temperatures sank, Halloween came up, and most of the OWS people suddenly realized that exams were near and they had better get back to campus (and their parents probably threatened to cut off their beer and pizza allowances).
“turn out the lights, the party’s over.
So then, their places were taken by: vagrants/freeloaders looking for a handout, predators/perverts, people on the run from the law, drug dealers and addicts, serial killers, mentally ill persons.
“turn out the lights, the party’s over”
Recent polls have shown that support for OWS has plummeted.
@john personna: DHS serves at the behest of the White House. if u seriously think the WH wants ows shut down then i fear i cant help you…. and i wonder who can
The WH might very much like OWS to go away at this point, Eric, figuring they’ve changed the debate and now it’s time for the Democratic Party establishment to take it from here. Remember also that Obama is tight with Wall St. He’s the sort who wants to tinker around the edges, but avoid any radical reforms. I doubt too many within OWS agree with that.
Yes, yes, I know. You think the Obamamonster is a radical Kenyan anti-colonialist commie. Save your keystrokes.
The chart I saw claimed that OWS supporters were 70% independent.
There is this right-idea that if OWS is not right, they must be “conventional left,” when that isn’t supported by much of anything. The OWS say they are down on Wall Street, and the right says “how can this be, Obama is backed by Wall Street!”
Figure it out.
Occupy Wall Street people poop on your facts and yell loud chants in your general direction.
That facts being what OWS and its progeny did to themselves, those facts being reported in the media.
Facts are easily manipulated things, Doug. Truth is a bit more difficult to get at. And “what OWS and its progeny did to themselves” is a statement of opinion, NOT fact. I’m a surprised that an ATTORNEY in private practice in northern Virginia” doesn’t know that.
MSNBC and CNN basically bent over backwards to give laurels and credibility to OWS so that argument doesn’t really hold up
Doug: This is a statement of opinion unsupported by evidence (evidence being not the same as facts, either). I watch CBS local and national news every day, and I haven’t seen any “bending over backwards to give laurels and credibility to OWS.” The national news has been more fair than the local news, but neither has really presented an accurate or a fair analysis of what the movement is about. And this, by the way, is an opinion not a fact. I know the difference between facts and opinions.
It’s not rocket science people. The media was willing to give a voice to OWS because they were airing concerns about corruption, cronyism, and injustices many of us were already talking about.
The thing they didn’t realize was that when the media puts it’s eye on you, you have to remember that you are going to be scrutinized for everything. You don’t get a free pass. It’s a reporter’s job to cover relevant stories, and it’s definitely a story we should be concerned about when people claiming to be a part of a movement start trashing private property, or when rapes have taken place in their camps.
You can’t just pin that on “the media” as if it were some monolithic conspiratorial organization out to oppress the little guy..This isn’t just Fox either, because this stuff was being picked up by CNN as well.
The fact is that OWS had no coherent message, just vague calls of “the system” being broken. Because there was no strong ideological base to stand on, that left the door open for all kinds of loonies to wander in and generally make a mess of the place. So that anyone vaguely left of the political spectrum with a bone to pick could show up and wave signs.
I’m not saying that all OWS supporters are bad, because that’s really not the point of my post. The point I’m trying to make is that it’s frustrating to see people blindly trying to defend a movement that has ruined it’s own credibility with a lot of average Americans, in no part due to the influence of the media, who initially received them with some enthusiasm.
I know there are well intentioned, peaceful protestors who are genuinely concerned about the state of the American political system. But they are being drowned out by the nutters, the teenage anarchists, the burnt out new-agers, socialist radicals. The rhetoric is all about oppression and victimhood and getting a fair share, no solid policy proposals or plans.
This is a problem for me personally as a liberal because I’m tired of being represented by the flesh and blood caricatures of what right wingers think I am.
All I’m sure they might, at least now that it’s getting negative attention. Now that the polling numbers are large enough that they can’t be hidden.
There is a school of thought that suggests that the movement has been coerced it by establishment democrats. People like SEIU, and other unions, as well as by the democrats themselves. I’m unconvinced. Rather unconvinced they were part of the deal from the beginning. As I’ve suggested many times, OWS was never a grassroots effort.
Erin Burnett is a commentator- SHE is not CNN news. Just like the bad rap Fox news gets because people confuse news with commentary- Hannity and O’Reilly are commentators, not reporters. Erin Burnett is not a reporter. Yes, CNN news hyped up this movement, NBC of course hyped it up- and all this movement is doing is costing cities a ton more money they don’t have. This won’t change corporate America- that is the engine of the country like it or not- Corporations get tax breaks because they create jobs and drive more business to all the restaurants, hotels, and stores around them. That is why they get tax breaks. If you don’t like capitalism, move to another country. Wealthy people worked hard to move up the chain, it’s their right to be greedy if they choose, like or not- What this movement is doing is just as bad- Don’t piss all over the taxpayers, literally. That is hypocrisy at it’s best, and just as greedy as the people you are trying to take down.