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“Obama, you’re fired! Trump 2012.”

- New bumper sticker from Cafe


Consider that in a mass email to progressive Democrats sent Monday, Howard Dean urged them to “fight back against this right-wing attack.” Politicians and strategists who constantly frame their cause in aggressive ,warlike terms may want to think twice.

“Contented people are more likely to vote than unhappy ones,” says Baylor University political scientist Patrick Flavin, who also found that unhappy people are no more likely to take part in political protests.

Mr. Flavin and fellow researcher Michael Keane were surprised by their findings, based on responses from 1,300 voters in the American National Election Studies, which parsed out their willingness to vote, volunteer for a political campaign, contributing to candidates or even display a yard sign. The positive relationship between life satisfaction and political participation held even after controlling for income, gender, race, education and other factors, Mr. Flavin says.

“We can say with confidence that people who reported being more satisfied with their lives are more likely to get involved in politics,” he adds.


• 75 percent of Republicans say the federal government has “too much power”; 34 percent of Democrats agree.

• 70 percent of Republicans say lobbyists have too much power; 68 percent of Democrats agree.

• 69 percent of Republicans say labor unions have too much power; 20 percent of Democrats agree.

• 58 percent of Republicans say banks and financial institutions have too much power; 70 percent of Democrats agree.

• 56 percent of Republicans say major corporations have too much power; 73 percent of Democrats agree.

• 37 percent of Republicans say courts and judges have too much power; 29 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Gallup Poll of 1,027 adults conducted March 2 to 27 and released Monday.

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