Poll: Reagan 58, Obama 42

Posted: Apr 11, 2013 10:38 AM

Stupid, but way too fun to ignore (via the LA Times):

If presidential politics ever involved time travel, President Obama might be in a little trouble. If an election between Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama were held today, 58% would vote for Reagan over Obama, according to a survey of 1,000 Americans age 18 and older conducted by Kelton Research for the National Geographic Channel. Though when the field is narrowed to people ages 18-34 -- those either too young to have known Reagan as president or too young to remember much -- the gap shrinks to 51% in favor of Reagan.  

Reagan and the modern youth vote for the win!  (Reagan won the youth in his day).  Who's responsible for this feel-good silliness?

The survey was conducted by NatGeo to promote its upcoming miniseries "The '80s: The Decade That Made Us." And, in what appears to be good news for the ratings of the series, Americans surveyed seem to have re-embraced the decade of big shoulder pads and breakdancing.

There are precious few political lessons to learn from this hypothetical time-traveling survey, except that Reagan's reputation and accomplishments endure -- even among those who are too young to really remember him, myself included.  Reagan was a conservative, but he was also the Great Communicator, which allowed him to persuade people of the rightness of his policies.  Too much Reagan nostalgia is probably unhealthy for the current GOP, and the search for the "next Reagan" erects an impossible standard for candidates to achieve . But Republican voters should think about the personal qualities -- not just the issue positions -- that made Reagan such a success, and try to apply those lessons when selecting future nominees.  All that being said, the "Reagan Crushes Obama" headline was irresistible content.  I suspect Reagan and Thatcher are smiling somewhere.  Over to you, Mr. President:

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