Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cooking the Books

One tool in the progressive bag o’ tricks in smear campaign to discredit the Tea Parties is to cite opinion polling, which they claim put the Tea Party movement as a “distinct minority.”

However, its all a dishonest gimmick.

National Review’s media blog via Ed Morrissey notes how the New York Times cooked the books on its poll.

The NYT/CBS poll cooked the books. Buried on page 23 of the report is the partisan breakdown of the sample group. As it turns out, the news outlets surveyed 39 percent Democrats, 23 percent Republicans, and the rest independent or unaffiliated voters. That's a whopping 16 point spread between the D's and R's. Rassmussen, by contrast, pegs the actual partisan gap at about 5 percentage points.

Judd Legum, who John Podhoretz called “unbelievably dishonest” pulled the same stunt.

Here’s Legum:

Those involved with organizing the protests appear to be a distinct minority. According to a recent Pew Poll, 66% of Americans believe that “Barack Obama’s policies will improve economic conditions in the country.”

Only that is not true. If you read the actual question, it asks, “Are you generally optimistic or pessimistic that Barack Obama's policies will improve economic conditions in the country?” Legum’s word games aside, optimism is distinctly not belief.

Furthermore, if you dig into the Pew report you find that that the sample is skewed toward Democrats, by seven points. Not as whopping a difference as the NYT/CBS poll, but still higher than the more accurate Rassmussen finding.

1 comment:

lefty said...

optimism is distinctly not beliefPray do tell, how can one be "optimistic" that something is going to happen, but yet not "believe" in that thing?

I suppose one could believe something but not be optimistic about it, as in a Republican believing that Obama's policies are working but being sad about it from a partisan perspective (i.e., "I hope he fails").

But I can't imagine a scenario where someone would be optimistic about something working but not in fact believe that it will work.

Perhaps this is some super-secret conservative word game that I'm just not getting. Lately, it seems that's all you folks have left, semantics and word games.

Hard as it is to take, the evil Barack Obama has sky-high approval and favorability ratings, and all the semantics in the world aren't going to change that.