Essential Research: US visit, economic conditions, Middle East intervention

A new poll records a broadly favourable response to Scott Morrison’s US visit, mixed feelings about the state of the economy, and support for Australia’s new commitment in the Middle East.

Essential Research has released its fortnightly poll, once again without voting intention results. It includes a series of questions on Scott Morrison’s visit to the United States, with results generally more favourable than I personally would have expected. For example, the most negative finding is that 32% agreed that Donald Trump’s presidency has been good for Australia, compared with 49% who disagreed. By way of comparison, a Lowy Institute survey in March found 66% believed Trump had weakened the alliance, and only 25% had either a lot of or some confidence in him.

Only 38% agreed that a good relationship between Scott Morrison and Donald Trump reflected badly on Australia, compared with 48% who disagreed. Other results were probably too influenced by question wording to be of much value. Fifty-seven percent felt Morrison had shown “good diplomacy skills” during the visit, a quality that might be attributed to anyone who maintains a straight face in the President’s presence. The statement that Morrison “should have attended the UN Climate Summit, alongside other world leaders” is compromised by the words in italics (which are my own), but for what it’s worth, 70% agreed and 20% disagreed.

A question on the state of the economy likewise produces a result less bad than the government might have feared, with 32% rating it good and 33% poor. Fifty-one per cent supported Australian military involvement in the Middle East, after it was put to them that Australia had “agreed to provide military support to their allies in the Middle East to protect shipping and trade in the region”, with 35% opposed.

Essential has not yet published the full report on its website, so the precise sample size cannot be identified, but it will assuredly have been between 1000 and 1100. The poll was conducted online from Thursday to Sunday.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

1,065 comments on “Essential Research: US visit, economic conditions, Middle East intervention”

  1. Douglas and Milko, thanks for linking that Monbiot article again – I’d meant to do it this morning.

    I’ve been on intimate terms with my amygdala for some years so it resonated strongly.

  2. I still don’t understand why these far right media outlets can hold such sway over sitting Republicans. I mean Romney’s support in Utah isn’t going to waver just because someone in the nuttersphere had a rant. Would it?

    Rick Wilson has said since the impeachment that there is a real benefit to be had by those who go first in publicly opposing Trump for the good of the country. I can see the ‘early adopter principle’ being particularly salient with Trump and his corruption and obstruction of justice, esp if Democrats don’t stuff up the impeachment proceedings.

    In the conspiracy-obsessed echo chambers of conservative talk radio and far-right websites, Sen. Mitt Romney has some explaining to do — answering for ties to the Ukrainian gas company that put Joe Biden’s son on its board, and accounting for conversations with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about Republican support for impeaching President Trump.

    In reality, neither claim is true. No meaningful ties exist between the Utah Republican and Burisma, and he had no such conversation with Pelosi.

    The flood of baseless attacks and misleading innuendo buffeting Romney, which began after he became a rare Republican to express concern about Trump’s interactions with the Ukrainian president, serves as a preview of the viral attacks likely to be unleashed on GOP lawmakers if they buck their president during an impeachment showdown that Trump has denounced as a “coup.”

    Holding the line on impeachment, particularly by pressuring Republicans to remain in lockstep behind Trump, has quickly become the core mission of a squadron of pro-Trump television personalities, talk radio hosts, conservative blogs, fringe Facebook groups and Twitter accounts. Together, these voices form an alternative worldview, built on hostility to mainstream news media and capable of shaping the information consumed by core Republican voters.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-removal-would-require-republican-dissidents-but-those-who-speak-out-become-targets-of-viral-disinformation/2019/10/03/35c35ad0-e394-11e9-b403-f738899982d2_story.html

  3. Greensborough Growler:

    [‘I will also do all the right things at the Lower Plenty Hotel.’]

    And well you should!

    I’ve little experience of being a grandfather but have some experience of being an uncle, great-uncle with the result that I find that they need to be disciplined, like in the old days, where children were seen but not heard. I can’t believe I said that.

  4. I am so enjoying the the Scottish legal claymores currently besetting Boris’s Brexit Bully Boys. I know PM Corbyn (“of the raven”) will make BW’s head explode, but it’s coming. This will be followed by Trumpolini’s GOP in Nov 2020, when McGoo McConnell’s Senate denies the howling mob the Impeachment that they all crave. Then it’s Scummo’s turn…

  5. briefly (sorry, I can’t come at RI after all these years):

    To win the presidency the Democrats need to field a candidate who can beat Trump, and make Trump the primary focus of the campaign.

    I don’t know about ‘moderate’ or ‘centrist’ voters, but I do know that the majority of election analysts and campaign strategists (former and current) have all said at the end of the day the election will be won in those key battleground states as per the electoral college. Also that Trump’s likely re-election strategy will be to lose the popular vote but win the electoral college. After all, he’s done it before.

  6. Confessions
    “I still don’t understand why these far right media outlets can hold such sway over sitting Republicans”

    I think that they are threatening their preselections (whatever they call them in the USA). The far right media arm in arm with the major right wing party, as here.

  7. Fess….call me brev for short….

    There is some analysis floating around which claims to show the Democratic candidates that were the most visibly partisan did best in the Mid-terms. They propelled turnout and this delivered wins even in places where the Republican turnout also surged.

    This makes a lot of sense to me. The Republican core will not shift. They will be very highly motivated and will turn out for Trump (if he survives til then) and for the down-ticket Republican candidates.

    538 make the claim that ‘moderate’ voters are not actually moderate. They are mainly Democratic-leaning voters who describe themselves as moderate because they don’t want to use the term ‘liberal’, which has become unfashionable. These voters, Trump-averse independents and Democrats easily outnumber Republicans. The project has to be to get them to turn out and vote.

    I think it makes sense for the Democrats to choose someone who is visibly the complete opposite from Trump – an anti-Trump. A self-declaring liberal/left (in the US context) candidate is likely to do this on the basis of the Blue-Wave experience of 2018…..or so they say.

    I think Warren, Biden or Buttigieg can do it….any of them can….and the most visibly not-Trump among them will do best of all….

  8. Mavis Davis,

    Douglas and Milko:

    [‘Retirement is bliss?

    I will let you know ‘]

    It’s not as bad as one thinks, so long as one has their marbles, their bank balance in credit. I lack the former, possibly?

  9. Quoted by Confessions
    “Together, these voices form an alternative worldview, built on hostility to mainstream news media and capable of shaping the information consumed by core Republican voters.”

    Just shows how different things are here. In Australia, “these voices” ARE the mainstream media.

    A few years ago, we were hopeful that new media would spell the end of the dominance of the Murdochs and their ilk. Now we see them taking over the new media. Hardly surprising, the “new media”, like the old, are owned and dominated by right wing billionaires.

  10. Fess……The impeachment process will run well into 2020. It will focus voter attention like nothing else. Trump himself will ensure this occurs. So this should also attract attention on the Democratic race and probably lift engagement in positive ways. Political friction will be heightened even by US standards.

    As well, Trump and Pence could yet be sacrificed…in which case Pelosi will become President. This would change everything.

  11. Steve777 @ #814 Friday, October 4th, 2019 – 7:50 pm

    Confessions
    “I still don’t understand why these far right media outlets can hold such sway over sitting Republicans”

    I think that they are threatening their preselections (whatever they call them in the USA). The far right media arm in arm with the major right wing party, as here.

    I get that. But Romney? Utah mormons were never into Trump, and Romney is their guy. Perhaps things in Utah have changed since 2016.

  12. This makes a lot of sense to me. The Republican core will not shift. They will be very highly motivated and will turn out for Trump (if he survives til then) and for the down-ticket Republican candidates.

    This is true, and there is evidence that with Trump on the ballot for president those core supporters will turn out in greater numbers than they may have done so in the midterms.

    These voters, Trump-averse independents and Democrats easily outnumber Republicans. The project has to be to get them to turn out and vote.

    I also agree with this, esp with the Trump-averse independents, but also Republicans who are looking to vote Trump out, but not vote for a strident Democrat. I don’t know that Warren or esp Buttigieg fits this bill, but Biden at least can claim executive governing experience in a WH that didn’t really do crazy shit. Unlike his predecessor, or the president who came after him.

  13. The plural of hippocampus is hippocampi. Funnily enough, most science writers refer to it in the singular as in “the hippocampus is important in coding new memories” when it should be hippocampi as humans have two symmetrical hippocampi.

  14. briefly (or whomever):

    I’ve read countless op-ed pieces that argue the impeachment process needs to be swift and concise for the very reason it doesn’t carry over into the election. I agree this would benefit Trump, but also because dragging this out benefits Republicans who can stonewall and throw up barriers in order to make the impeachment process lag into the campaign.

    This is why I want Dems in the House to manage this properly.

  15. Anthony ScaramucciVerified account@Scaramucci
    2h2 hours ago
    Yesterday @realDonaldTrump SHOT the US Constitution on 5th Avenue.

    And as Trump himself infamously predicted, he got away with it.

  16. HK slipping further into dictatorship. It’s basically martial law. They’ll resurrect the Riot Act next.
    “Ms Lam added that a ban on face masks would take effect at midnight tonight under the emergency laws that allow authorities to “make any regulations whatsoever” in the public interest. ”
    Australia piss weak as usual.

  17. Mavis Davis

    It’s not as bad as one thinks, so long as one has their marbles, their bank balance in credit. I lack the former, possibly?

    Actually, I have never had all my marbles – I definitely dance to the beat of a different drum.

    I may need to need a frugal life, but luckily I can afford to retire.

  18. Dio

    The plural of hippocampus is hippocampi. Funnily enough, most science writers refer to it in the singular as in “the hippocampus is important in coding new memories” when it should be hippocampi as humans have two symmetrical hippocampi.

    I think the English language is evolving yet again. I work in radioastronomy, and I used to persist in calling more than one antenna, antennae.

    I gave up some years ago – apparently radio astronomy dishes are different to those funny protuberances insects have. So, antennas it is.

    So, yes, I am an elderly pedant, but willing to suspend disbelief (of language) for the sake of clear communication.

  19. C@tmomma
    says:
    Friday, October 4, 2019 at 10:33 pm
    Does anyone know if a Sitting President can step down voluntarily mid-term and hand over to their VP?
    __________________________________
    Yes.

  20. Since the beginning of the 2016 election cycle, some of President Donald Trump’s supporters have claimed that the Republican is more cunning than he appears, playing “four-dimensional chess.” But what was never totally clear was the extent to which Trump believed the most extreme claims he made in public. Was he playing to the fringe? Or did he really believe this stuff?

    But now, thanks to the impeachment inquiry, we know that the president has spent months fixated on a conspiratorial web of right-wing fan fiction.

    His attempt to extort the Ukrainian government into investigating Democrat Joe Biden, one of the leading contenders for his party’s nomination for president, has made it clear: Donald Trump is part of a digital human centipede of his own making.

    This week, we learned that Trump and Attorney General William Barr investigated three pieces of “Russiagate.” The conspiracy theory maps out an intricate machinery of blather, but here is the core: In 2016, the Democrats faked the hack of the Democratic National Committee’s servers to frame Russia so as to make Trump’s presidential win look illegitimate. In the years since, it has spiraled out into a tangled paranoid contraption involving state-sponsored killings, pedophile sex rings, and even, in some cases, demonic sacrifice.

    Within this vast conspiracy, Trump and Barr have latched on to three specific elements that circulate among right-wing blogs, pro-Trump subreddits, and white nationalist message boards — namely the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, the Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, and Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud. Bear in mind that basically none of what follows is true.

    But the president of the United States seems to think it is.

    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanhatesthis/donald-trump-is-stuck-in-a-human-centipede-of-boomer-memes

  21. Dio

    HK slipping further into dictatorship. It’s basically martial law. They’ll resurrect the Riot Act next.
    “Ms Lam added that a ban on face masks would take effect at midnight tonight under the emergency laws that allow authorities to “make any regulations whatsoever” in the public interest. ”
    Australia piss weak as usual.

    This is very nasty and depressing.

    The people in Hong Kong who negotiated the return of Hong Kong to China, under the “One Country Two Systems” did so assuming they were negotiating with an authority who would negotiate fairly.

    I have said this before, but I was at the last public event to which Xi Ji Ping (sorry if spelling is not correct) gave a public talk, in Beijing , in 2012, before he was disappeared for 14 days, before emerging as the glorious leader. He is an engineer, and made a lot of noises about supporting science – which I believe he has kept.

    On the other hand, as my Chinese friends have pointed out, he is an authoritarian technocrat, and has completely dismissed letting Hong Kong be under the “Two systems, One Country” arrangement.

  22. Thanks. I was thinking more along the lines of a President Biden maybe stepping down after a couple of years due to his advanced age and handing over to his hand-picked VP, in order to get up and running before the next election.

  23. Nath

    C@tmomma
    says:
    Friday, October 4, 2019 at 10:33 pm
    Does anyone know if a Sitting President can step down voluntarily mid-term and hand over to their VP?
    __________________________________
    Yes.

    Noooo!

    Yes, it can probably be done, but Pence is straight out of the Handmaid’s Tale.

    And, of course, it will be done.

    Welcome to Gilead everyone.

  24. C@tmomma
    says:
    Friday, October 4, 2019 at 10:41 pm
    Thanks. I was thinking more along the lines of a President Biden maybe stepping down after a couple of years due to his advanced age and handing over to his hand-picked VP, in order to get up and running before the next election.
    ________________________
    A politician voluntary giving up the greatest power and a lifetime of ambition to let another guy get settled? I’ve got some land I want to sell you.

  25. “Does anyone know if a Sitting President can step down voluntarily mid-term and hand over to their VP?”

    It’s happened before, e.g Nixon resigned in 1974, handing over to VP Gerald Ford.

  26. “On the other hand, as my Chinese friends have pointed out, he is an authoritarian technocrat, and has completely dismissed letting Hong Kong be under the “Two systems, One Country” arrangement.”

    Such is the resentment left over from the Opium Wars. 🙁

  27. I just have this crazy theory that Biden is the electable Democrat that most people trust but that, in the interests of the Dems being able to hang on to the Presidency for long enough to reverse the crap that Trump has done, it would be good if he chose a VP he could hand over to when he turns 80.

  28. Confessions says:
    Friday, October 4, 2019 at 10:08 pm
    briefly (or whomever):

    I’ve read countless op-ed pieces that argue the impeachment process needs to be swift and concise for the very reason it doesn’t carry over into the election. I agree this would benefit Trump, but also because dragging this out benefits Republicans who can stonewall and throw up barriers in order to make the impeachment process lag into the campaign.

    It will be public regicide without the blood. The longer it takes the greater will be Trump’s anguish; and the greater the turmoil in America. He will want to fight. So it’s not only up to the Democrats. It depends on the Republicans and Trump too.

    I hope it lasts for months and the agony is unforgettable. Trump should suffer for his infamy.

  29. 4/5 Democrats prefer someone other than Biden and his numbers are ebbing. Warren is the most popular second or third choice among those who do not rank her first.

    I think she’d be a unifying figure. She’s smart.

    Buttigieg is younger and is exciting – also very smart – and everything Trump is not. Punters like him…throw money into his campaign…

  30. I really worry that what has been seen, cannot be unseen.

    I love Wagner, but worry that the Ride of the Valkyries in Apocalypse Now gives the true meaning to the music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojOdYMSw2W0

    That being said, I still intend to go to Bayreuth to hear the whole Ring Cycle.

    Does anyone have a good suggestion for activities that might amuse a partner, not so enthusiastic for Wagner, for about three days?

  31. Imacca

    On the other hand, as my Chinese friends have pointed out, he is an authoritarian technocrat, and has completely dismissed letting Hong Kong be under the “Two systems, One Country” arrangement.”

    Such is the resentment left over from the Opium Wars.

    Spot on! My Chinese friends bring this up all the time. They will not (and probably should not) forget that Western rule meant that opium was sold openly, and with advertising incentives for the locals to use it.

    Echoes of the oxycontin problems in the US. But it must be far worse if it is a foreign power forcing the on you.

  32. D&M…

    The return of HK to China was negotiated by Chris Patten and endorsed by Margaret Thatcher without much reference to the people of HK, who were seldom consulted about anything by the Btitish.

    The business class in HK has long expected an assertion of Chinese power. It can hardly be a shock to them. For working people, who do not have PR in Australia, Canada, NZ or the US, the repression must be pure agony. Their autonomy and their freedom is being throttled in the streets.

    HK is so small and China so mighty. I have to admire the courage of the people of HK. They are bravery itself.

  33. RI
    says:

    It will be public regicide without the blood. The longer it takes the greater will be Trump’s anguish; and the greater the turmoil in America.
    I hope it lasts for months and the agony is unforgettable. Trump should suffer for his infamy.
    _________________________________________________
    I recall your well stated fantasy of Trump being executed for Treason. Truly you are a snuff visionary.

  34. Mavis Davis @ #804 Friday, October 4th, 2019 – 9:25 pm

    Greensborough Growler:

    [‘I will also do all the right things at the Lower Plenty Hotel.’]

    And well you should!

    I’ve little experience of being a grandfather but have some experience of being an uncle, great-uncle with the result that I find that they need to be disciplined, like in the old days, where children were seen but not heard. I can’t believe I said that.

    Waaay late to this comment I come, but yes! Grandfathers should definitely be disciplined (in their actions). By which I mean grand all-sorts *should* remember the olde days, and with care, deliberation and love turn random memories into a yarn. Or is it a thread?

  35. D a M
    I’m guessing not a Nietzsche fan either. There are lots of Nietzsche sites near Bayreuth. Tourists visit Bayreuth all year round, not just for the Wagner season. It’s meant to have beautiful castles etc. I’ve never been to Germany despite speaking German and being half German.

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