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A Report from Last Week’s Survey

October 27, 2009

This past week we sent out a survey to people who receive our weekly E-News. This survey was similar to one FCNL sent out at the start of the Obama administration, but instead of asking about the ever-important, first 100 days, this time our questions focused on the first 9 months. Here’s a summary of the results so far.

You’re less happy with the Obama administration than you were in April: While more than 74% of the people who responded to our last survey were very happy or happy with the Obama administration’s first 100 days, about 54% of the more than 800 respondents to last week’s survey were ‘very happy or happy’ with the first 9 months of the administration. This represents about a 20% drop in approval among FCNL constituents – but, still, more than half of you that responded approve of the administration. Of course “happy” and “very happy” are not the only ways you might describe your reactions.

The top policies respondents have been pleased with the administration’s progress on include:

62.6% (Improving diplomacy with Iran)
58.4% (Banning torture)
50.6% (Banning nuclear weapons)

Click here for a large view of the graph.

The top policies respondents have been displeased with the administration’s progress on include:

63.9% (Bringing peace to Afghanistan)
43.3%
(Ending the war in Iraq)
39.3% (Improving health care)

Click here for a large view of the graph.

Here at FCNL we’re very interested in what people around the country are thinking when they read our E-News or Action Alerts. Although we don’t set our legislative priorities and policy positions based on opinion polls, how you understand what is happening here in Washington helps us figure out what information and tools would help you work to change federal policy to advance the world we seek.

What was most apparent to me, however, was that when asked how efforts to influence your elected officials in the first 100 days of the administration compared to efforts during the first 9 months, more than half the respondents said they were doing about the same. It is often difficult to judge how much we at FCNL can ask you to do, especially via email, when everyone’s in-boxes seem to grow larger every day – but the reality is, the change we seek will only occur if we all take at least some action to move towards the kind of world we want. (See how you can get involved in FCNL’s work by visiting our website.)

Obviously, a lot of people (FCNL supporters included) were excited for the possibility of change when the Obama administration began 9 months ago, and many are still excited by this prospect. Excitement and belief that we have a president who is saying promising things about change will not be enough though – for one of the beauties of the United States is that however small we might think our opinion is to those ‘decision makers’ in the marble halls of Congress, they won’t know what we’re thinking unless we tell them – and we actually have the right to do so!

In peace,
~Rachael

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 28, 2009 1:54 am

    Hi Rachael,The key to influencing elected officials is to be one of the people who helps to elect them. Period! The end. Friends must be involved in LOCAL politics. The county and city levels. (maybe state but that might come later).So much happens at the LOCAL level. Most ALL the Senators and Congresspeople started out LOCAL. That is when you make allies. It is working for me here in Douglas County GA and I’ve only been active for two years. We Friends have to stop “Marching in the streets” and start showing up at County Party meetings and run for committee work and help select candidates and build coalitions. When will FCNL realize that someone in Quakerland needs to help Friends to organize at a LOCAL level? That is where the Federal politicians all live and breathe. Otherwise we are just “Lobbyists” and “Nudges” and will have less influence than we need to impact the policies we deem important.

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