You probably cannot predict the weather, stock market, or popular children’s names with them, but AMAC member polls – are shockingly accurate in assessing where the nation’s thinking is headed. Often conducted ahead of national events, past AMAC polls are uncanny predictors of public sentiment. Put differently, AMAC’s 2.3 million members seem ahead of the curve.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal ran an article entitled “Americans Turn Sour on China, Poll Shows.” This was not an AMAC poll, but a politically neutral, nationally scattered poll. Conducted by Pew Research, it showed a sudden pivot – “frostiest views ever toward China.”
On the numbers, Pew showed “nine out of ten” Americans see China as a “competitor or enemy,” a marked turn. Interestingly, a Gallup poll – also released last week – showed 79 percent of Americans now hold an unfavorable view of China, for the first time ever.
Here is the quirky part. AMAC is a leading indicator. Long before national polls showed American sentiment turning, back in April 2018, 19,000 respondents to an AMAC poll revealed 95 percent alignment against China’s overreach. See, e.g., https://amac.us/poll-shows-support-for-president-trumps-strategy-on-trade-with-china-says-amac/.
An AMAC poll in late 2020 revealed rising anti-China sentiment, far outpacing national sentiment toward the Communist country. At the time, 98 percent of 41,000 AMAC respondents opposed China’s supply chain domination in pharmaceuticals. See, e.g., https://amac.us/u-s-dependency-on-china-for-vital-drugs-must-be-curtailed-says-amac-action/. In time, national polls caught up with AMAC sentiment, but AMAC members were ahead of the curve.
Change the channel. In December 2020, AMAC members were polled on “biggest issues” that would distinguish the Biden Administration. National sentiment, at the time, was that Biden would be a unifier, not move to socialist policies, border opening, more federal debt, and would properly balance policy toward China. That is not what AMAC members foresaw.
In contrast to national polls and media hyping Biden’s moderation, AMAC members in late 2020 voiced serious concern. In rank order, more than twice any other response, some 30,000 AMAC members voiced concerns over “socialism,” or centralization of power. Second concern was “China,” with 14,000 respondents. Next two were “illegal immigration” and “national debt.” See, https://amac.us/poll/2021-issues/.
Looking back, the media got it wrong – whether happy to have done so or not. AMAC members got it right. Within 30 days, Biden promulgated 40 executive actions, effectively erasing many diffusions of federal power, aggregating consistent with a socialist drift. Likewise, he permitted China to lean forward, offering little push-back. On illegal immigration, he incentivized it, reversed policies deterring it, inviting a border rush by illegal aliens – a term he banned. On debt, he pushed an indefensible plus-up of two trillion dollars for COVID.
Net-net, AMAC members predicted Biden’s behavior with acuity, a trick that is handy, reaffirms member perspective, and offers a bit of prescience even if getting it right is small consolation.
Like Cassandra, AMAC members seem to see around corners, often acutely aware of what the Heartland thinks, as they are the Heartland. That said, the hope is more of America will begin thinking like AMAC members, not just because AMAC is speaking out, but because the nation needs realism, foresight, honest defense of honorable principles, and an accurate long-view.
AMAC member prescience pops in other polls. A February 2021 poll sought AMAC member views surrounding the massive, 1.9 trillion-dollar COVID-19 relief bill, which just passed the Senate on March 6. AMAC members critiqued the bill for insufficient tailoring to public health, massive minimum wage hike, special interest hand-outs, absence of standard abortion restrictions, and adding $14,000 per household to national debt. See, https://amac.us/poll/third-covid-stimulus-bill/#comments.
Interestingly, whether from AMAC influence or epiphany tied to common sense, AMAC members were spot on. The Senate insisted, before passing the behemoth, on tailoring to public health, stripping minimum wage, dropping some handouts, and restricting abortion funding – although the bill still vindicates AMAC concerns with runaway federal debt. See, e.g., https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/rand-paul-claims-victory-in-fight-over-ppp-money-to-planned-parenthood-in-senate-covid-relief-bill/ar-BB1ehOp0?ocid=uxbndlbing; https://news.yahoo.com/senate-covid-relief-bill-passes-223500712.html; https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/bernie-sanders-minimum-wage-senate.
Elsewhere the polls are illuminating, even predictive. One early February AMAC poll recorded an overwhelming number of respondents – more than 54,000 or 98 percent – saw no need to keep troops in the Capitol, not a combat zone. Late February interviews with troops and political leaders came to the same conclusion, even as Democratic leaders push for troops through fall. See, e.g., https://dailycaller.com/2021/02/26/national-guard-washington-dc-capitol-riot-50-days-departure-date-threat/; https://amac.us/poll/national-guard-washington-march/#comments; https://www.lacortenews.com/n/sen-tom-cotton-calls-for-sending-capitol-troops-home.
Another poll of AMAC members in late 2020 put highest confidence in family, faith, armed forces, and local police – from a list of 12 institutions. While national polls ask different questions, confidence in the US military is now up, tracking AMAC sentiment. Likewise, three-quarters of Americans confess reduced trust in big government. One divergence is local police – where AMAC members trust local police, national polls less so. But could AMAC be ahead of the curve? See, e.g., https://www.npr.org/2018/01/17/578422668/heres-just-how-little-confidence-americans-have-in-political-institutions; https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/07/22/key-findings-about-americans-declining-trust-in-government-and-each-other/; https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/07/22/key-findings-about-americans-declining-trust-in-government-and-each-other/; https://news.gallup.com/poll/317135/amid-pandemic-confidence-key-institutions-surges.aspx.
In another bit of predictive power, an AMAC poll done five months ago on willingness to take fresh COVID vaccines indicated three times as many respondents were circumspect, skeptical, or might bypass than jump at the opportunity. See, https://amac.us/poll/nine-companies-are-nearing-the-end-of-clinical-trials-for-a-covid-19-vaccine-which-of-these-is-closest-to-your-view-once-a-vaccine-is-declared-safe-effective-and-ready-for-the-public. In an unpredicted development, a February 2021 national poll reveals more than 51 percent of Americans would still “refuse or delay” the vaccine, if offered. The finding does not sync with media hype or Democrat arguments for a mandated vaccine. See, e.g., https://nypost.com/2021/02/01/51-percent-of-americans-would-refuse-delay-covid-vaccine-survey/; https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/12/15/nation/will-covid-19-vaccine-be-mandatory-future/; https://www.history.com/news/smallpox-vaccine-supreme-court.
Again, AMAC sentiment seems to reflect, contain, or predict hidden and emerging national sentiment. Put differently, AMAC members are either the definition of Heartland sentiment, strong indicator of it, or happily predictive of trends that later become national sentiment.
What does this mean? Several things. First, mainstream America may be more reflexively conservative than commonly thought. Second, AMAC members may be slightly ahead of national sentiment, a leading indicator of sorts, seeing around corners. Third, timeless principles, enduring policies, patriotic themes, and core convictions for which AMAC members fight may not be altogether lost. They may just need added advocacy, dusting off, fresh leadership. Two-to-one most Americans love America. We may need a poll on that.
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