Asked, "Do you think the Republicans are intentionally stalling efforts to jumpstart the economy to insure [sic] that Barack Obama is not re-elected?" a poll found that 34 percent of Florida conservatives said yes. Conspiracy, political posturing, savvy strategy-- call it what you want, but the Suffolk University poll gives evidence that the theory is not just a partisan position. As Peter Scorsch, from SaintPetersBlog points out, it's the Republican answers that surprised:
...49 percent said they believe that the Republicans are intentionally hindering efforts to boost the economy so that President Barack Obama will not be reelected. Thirty-nine percent disagreed. As expected, most registered Democrats (70 percent) agreed that Republicans are intentionally hindering the economy and hurting Obama, but independents (52 percent) and even some Republicans (24 percent) also agreed.
Kevin Drum from Mother Jones expands on the point:
What's interesting isn't just that half of all voters think the answer is yes, it's the breakdown: a quarter of all Republicans and a third of all conservatives also think the answer is yes. In other words, this isn't just a liberal conspiracy theory. Even a lot of conservatives recognize what's going on. I wouldn't make too much of a single state poll, but those numbers are high enough that they might represent a glimmering recognition of something that's only been Beltway chatter up to now.
Drum's figures on conservative answers were gleaned from the poll's breakdown of the numbers. But it's also worth nothing that there weren't any followup questions if (perceived) Republican subterfuge would sway a vote. You know, questions like "Is this going to change your vote?" or "Doesn't that just make you really depressed and mad that they'd harm American jobs just for political gain?" or "Is this a brilliant strategy?"
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.