by Paul Bedard, Washington Secrets

The national polling outfit John Zogby Strategies has for about a year conducted a podcast featuring longtime Democratic pollster John Zogby and his son Jeremy. They are nearing their 100th session.

Called The Zogby Report, it features the two discussing the issues of the past week and sometimes includes the release of new data that they chew on and sometimes fight over.

About 20 minutes into Friday’s 30-minute report, Jeremy Zogby offered up a “little treat” of a question that goes to the core of the current national debate between those supporting President Joe Biden’s sweeping plan to spend billions imposing national regulations and policies over voting, the environment, and COVID-19 control and conservatives who favor less government and more state rights.

The question was: “Should the Constitution be interpreted strictly to ensure checks and balances are maintained or loosely to expand the federal government’s role in solving problems?” Jeremy Zogby said, “I think that captures the historical debate going back to Jefferson and Hamilton.”

The results were stunning, especially coming at a time when Biden is readying so many programs and regulations that Clyde Wayne Crews, vice president for policy and a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told Secrets this week that it is “hard for me to pick Biden out in a room full of socialists.”

According to Jeremy, 60% chose a strict following of the Constitution versus just 21% who want more government intervention.

John Zogby, who is the liberal grader for the Secrets Weekly Biden Report Card, added that since their polls have “slightly more” Democrats, the question shows that independent voters, which Biden needs, want less of his government.

“This is the core debate over strict and loose constructionism. It’s the same debate over states rights, same debate over the 10th Amendment. Where does the federal government leave off in terms of enumerated powers, and where do the states pick up?” said the elder Zogby to his son.

Despite their poll findings, John Zogby argued for broader government intervention, especially to give a national direction on issues such as national security and fighting COVID-19.

“It’s very unfortunate to be in this kind of a position when there needs to be COVID coordination, there needs to be economic rebuilding, there needs to be new initiatives like child care and minimum wages and so on to get people back to work and to give them hope again, and then there’s national security as well,” he said to his son.

Jeremy took a more libertarian view and countered, “There’s a belief out there that government intervention begets more government interventions. That is, the more the federal government intervenes in society and people’s affairs and creates legislation and bureaucracy, it creates other issues. And so do our crises stem from completely random issues or are these crises the result of intervention. And whether we look at coronavirus, whether we look at the economy, I think there’s evidence that points to government meddling in affairs and in places that they shouldn’t. I’m talking about a deadly gain of function research, we’re talking about decades of, well, not decades, but years of Federal Reserve policies that brought interest rates low to nearly zero and blowing up a bubble.”

Clearly not happy with the poll results, John Zogby took the last word: “Yes, there are those beliefs out there, but those are not my beliefs at all, and they’re about 180 degrees different from mine. And that’s why I love you and I love the United States of America, that we could talk about these calmly.”

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