Obama Preferred Over Reagan — In Fox News Poll

March 5, 2009 10:15 a.m.

Are we still a center-right nation, as many Republicans continue to insist? And can the GOP revive itself through a return to the spirit of Ronald Reagan, as Rush Limbaugh has said?

Check out this question from the new Fox News poll: “What do you think the nation’s economy needs more of right now — the economic policies of Ronald Reagan or the economic policies of Barack Obama?”

The answer: Obama 49%, Reagan 40%.

Late Update: Some other interesting observations about this whole poll, after the jump.The poll also contains some really interesting questions about taxes, which in total make even clearer a classic rule of polling: It can all depend on how the question is phrased.

Check out this question, clearly intended to get an answer that voters prefer low taxes and smaller government: “Which of the following statements do you agree with more? 1. I’d rather pay higher taxes to support a larger government that provides more services. 2. I’d rather pay lower taxes and have a smaller government that provides fewer services.”

The answer: 35% for high taxes and bigger government, and 55% for low taxes and smaller government. But take a close look: The question’s message is that you, the respondent hearing this question over the phone, are going to be personally paying higher or lower taxes.

On the other hand, take a look at these two questions about progressive taxation: “Do you support or oppose raising taxes on households earning over $250,000 a year and, at the same time, lowering taxes for most other households?” The answer: Support 66%, Oppose 30%. Even 41% of Republicans like the idea.

And this one — also noted by Greg Sargent: “Do you think asking the wealthiest Americans to pay more in taxes is a good idea because it levels the economic and social playing field, or a bad idea because it punishes hard work and success?” Good idea 55%, Bad idea 39% — with 29% support from Republicans.

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