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I don't buy this poll for a minute

According to this poll, forty-five percent of the American people want Bush to face impeachment proceedings. I don't buy it.

Nearly half of the US public wants President George W. Bush to face impeachment, and even more favor that fate for Vice President Dick Cheney, according to a poll out Friday.

The survey by the American Research Group found that 45 percent support the US House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against Bush, with 46 percent opposed, and a 54-40 split in favor when it comes to Cheney.

The study by the private New Hampshire-based ARG canvassed 1,100 Americans by telephone July 3-5 and had an error margin of plus or minus three percentage points. The findings are available on ARG's Internet site.

The White House declined to comment on the poll, the latest bad news for a president who has seen his public opinion standings dragged to record lows by the unpopular war in Iraq.

The US Constitution says presidents and vice presidents can be impeached -- that is, formally charged by the House -- for "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors" by a simple majority vote.

Conviction by the Senate, which requires a two-thirds majority, means removal from office.

AJ Strata isn't buying what this polling company is selling, either:

The ARG poll out that claims nearly half the country wants to impeach Bush and over half wants to impeach Cheney is as bogus as they come. It must be a push poll with the some weasely wording, after a list of potential 'crimes', along the lines of 'given these claims would you consider impeachment' or something. But look at the date of the survey - July 3-5. A telephone survey during America's birthday celebration? Yeah, the only people home are pissed off liberal or far right nut cases. ARG just did us all a favor and proved once and for all polls are all meaningless. All of them. The wording and the interpretations of results are so wide open, and people spin them beyond comprehension, that the results are meaningless.

This poll favors Democrats heavily over Republicans, as Ian Schwarts notes. Of those polled, 38% were Democrats, 33% were Independents, and, bringing in the rear, Republicans were at a mere 29%. Gee, what a surprise that the poll has the results that it does.


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Comments (33)

Well, ARG is also the polli... (Below threshold)

Well, ARG is also the polling outfit that still shows McCain in contention for the GOP nomination, so that may give us an idea of their accuracy.

However, I do not doubt that significant numbers of sputtering leftist morons would salivate at the prospect.

... and people spin the... (Below threshold)
marc:

... and people spin them beyond comprehension, that the results are meaningless.

Does that mean A.J. Strata knows Lee "The Thief" Ward?

you should NOT even CONSIDE... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

you should NOT even CONSIDER renting...let alone BUYING it!!

between now and election day '08 we are going to "treated" to numerous polls of VERY dubious accuracy! Push-polls, polls weighted 75% democrats, polls conducted in downtown S.F, etc.

and the MSM will trumpet each and every one!

They really should have don... (Below threshold)
Skip:

They really should have done their polling during the immigration "debate" fiasco. They might have gotten results of up to 70-80% then.

I found ARG polls from 2006... (Below threshold)
LiberalNightmare:

I found ARG polls from 2006 that were claiming 47% of republicans wanted to impeach Bush, ARG is full of crap and they have been for a long time.

It isn't the sampling that ... (Below threshold)

It isn't the sampling that is the main indicator of what a fraud the poll is, it is the push polling that shows it.

"The study by the private N... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

"The study by the private New Hampshire-based ARG canvassed 1,100 Americans by telephone July 3-5 and had an error margin of plus or minus three percentage points."

How the hell do you determine a margin of error for an opinion poll of 1100 people?

First, you cannot convince me that you can have anything close to a representative sampling with such a small number.

Second, why should it matter what the American people think about impeachment? If they were that psyched about it they would shut down the Senate phones like they did with the illegal immigration fiasco.

Finally, how is a poll news? I could see it if millions of people stormed Washington with pitchforks and torches. But since that isn't happening, somebody decided to make "news" up, just to make Bush look bad.

The only reason I would wan... (Below threshold)

The only reason I would want to impeach Bush is because he didn't FULL PARDON "Scooter" Libby. He should have been allowed to "scoot"!(Pun intended)
Also, I have given up on polls. None of them seem to be honest anymore.

"How the hell do you determ... (Below threshold)
JoeBloe:

"How the hell do you determine a margin of error for an opinion poll of 1100 people?
First, you cannot convince me that you can have anything close to a representative sampling with such a small number."

Wow - talk about not knowing what you are talking about.

1100 is actually a rather large sample size for polls of this type.

And the formula for calculating a margin of error is (not exactly, but almost...):
1 divided by the square root of the sample size.

i.e. in this case 1/33.16 = 3%

As for the other complaint here - Rasmussen, a decidedly GOP leaning firm, had party ID numbers in May of Dem- 36%, GOP-31%.

Given that firms consistent bias, and given the passage of a few months, and given that the ARG poll finds 38/29, I dont think there is much reason for bashing this poll.

But even if you want to adjust those numbers to Rasmussens party id split, you can see they would be nearly as bad.

But, here comes Rasmussen themselves today, asking the same question. They find 39% favor impeachment.

So there ya go. 39% or 45%

The message is clear.

Yes, Rasmussen did have pol... (Below threshold)
Arthur:

Yes, Rasmussen did have poll with the 39% pro-impeachment number. And Rasmussen is a pretty reliable service. However, you need a bit of context. Is 39% a large number? You need to compare it something. The same poll, in Dec 2005 had 32%. So we can see there's a hard core of Bush Haters who are going to say YES to an impeachment question. All the recent anti-Bush news has only added 7% to that number.

Since "should we impeach so-and-so" isn't a question often asked in opinion polls we don't know what context to view the numbers. I imagine LBJ would have had a fairly impressive impeachment percentage in 1967. Hell, Ronald Reagan would probably have been between 20 and 30% in his last 2 years (Iran-Contra!). Obviously, Clinton would have been at least in the high 30s or low 40s around the time of his actual impeachment.


If anybody has a link to good quality polls (like Rasmussen) that have asked the impearch question over the last few decades, please post it!

I question every poll, pers... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

I question every poll, personally.

However, if I had been called for this one (and I wasn't), I'd have answered yes.

It would be a grand showcase for the furthest left of the already-lefty-dominated Democrats, and would show the American public on live TV just what sort of moonbats infest the Party of the Donkey.

Thus, impeachment proceedings would probably turn out to be a net loss for the Donkeys and a win for the Elephants.

a "hardcore of Bush haters"... (Below threshold)
JoeBloe:

a "hardcore of Bush haters" ???

Even Rasmussen shows 60% disapproval of his performance, so I guess America is, by a landslide margin, a hardcore Bush hating country.

No, Joe, there is a differe... (Below threshold)

No, Joe, there is a difference between disapproval and impeachment in the public's mind. Just not in the "hardcare" Bush hater's mind.

They should try polling som... (Below threshold)
Skul:

They should try polling someone other than registered members of DU or KOs. What a pack of lies.

Well, Blowjoe, if you have ... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Well, Blowjoe, if you have a MSM telling people the economy is bad, that people are making less money, that the low unemployment numbers mean nothing and the record NY Stockmarket level has nothing to do with the Bush economy, that there is no threat from radical islam, the war on terrorism is a bumper sticker slogan, that our extremely light casualty rate in the Iraq war is unsustainable, and we are losing the Iraq war, That we would be better off trying to nogotiate with Iran, then you are sure to believe Bush should be impeached for carrying out the 1998 Iraqi Freedom act signed by William Jefferson Clinton. For removing from power those who destroyed the Giant Buddas in Afghanistan who also supplied a training ground for a group who declared war on the United States in 1996. Only a fool would think the enemy will quit fighting just because we do. Are you one of those fools, Blowjoe?

Posted by: Zelsdorf Ragshaft III

Thus, impeachment ... (Below threshold)
Thus, impeachment proceedings would probably turn out to be a net loss for the Donkeys and a win for the Elephants.

Posted by C-C-G July 7, 2007 6:32 PM

Which is why the demo led House only wants to talk about impeachment and actually do nothing about it.

It's much better to have the impeachment issue around to use as a club, than to hold impeachment hearings, fail, and lose the issue.

Hey Shaftrag,Thats... (Below threshold)
Joe Bloe:

Hey Shaftrag,

Thats the ticket bud. The American people are just a bunch of stupid sheep led by the nose by the dreaded MSM.

You wonder why the majority is turned off by people like you?

Favoring impeachment is not... (Below threshold)
Burt:

Favoring impeachment is not the same as believing in the possibility of conviction. I would be interested in observing some of Bush's accusers placed under oath in the senate chambers and then seeing how many cases of perjury would occur.

I would be interes... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:
I would be interested in observing some of Bush's accusers placed under oath in the senate chambers and then seeing how many cases of perjury would occur.

Me too!

I found the poll question o... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

I found the poll question on the company's front page:

Do you favor or oppose the US House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush?

I'm not an expert on polling, but the question itself seems neutral on its face.

Interestingly, Rasmussen has a poll out, too, asking the following question:

Should President Bush be impeached and removed from office?

That poll has 39 percent answering "Yes."

Again, I think the question is neutral on its face.

A couple miscellaneous notations:


  • Both polls have a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.

  • Rasmussen surveyed July 5-7; ARG surveyed July 3-5.

  • Rasmussen surveyed 1,000 adults; ARG surveyed 1,100.

--|PW|--

I dislike the impeachment q... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

I dislike the impeachment question to be inherently untrustworthy for a number of reasons.

First, the polls may interest a person in impeachment who weren't necessarily thinking of it in the first place. This sort of polling is particularly dangerous when the basis (or lack thereof) for impeachment charges is debatable.

Second, it promotes the idea that impeachment and removal from office is the American equivalent of a vote of confidence in a government, when the impeachment process is specifically designed not to fulfill that function, but rather to strip a person of office if he commits certain criminal offenses.

Third, asking these sorts of questions trivializes the impeachment process, which is clearly meant to be invoked only in extreme cases. Putting this question in polls only stokes the electorate to demand an inappropriate remedy.

Fourth, polling on the impeachment question risks spreading disinformation. The ARG question, in particular, risks spreading the misconception that impeachment proceedings are the same as impeachment and removal from office.

--|PW|--

Fifth, polling is itself in... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Fifth, polling is itself inherently flawed, as it is absurdly easy to pick phone numbers from sections of the nation whose politics are relatively well-known and which fit the pollsters' inherent biases.

A lot of these polls use ra... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

A lot of these polls use random generators + validators to cough up phone numbers.

Of course, I did hear about a poll in the early 90s that accidentally called a top-secret government facility ....

--|PW\--

With congress polling at 14... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

With congress polling at 14% approval rating I'd ask a sample of americans about impeaching them. Wouldn't that be an interesting result.

The Left knows that impeach... (Below threshold)
arcman:

The Left knows that impeachment would expose them for what they are. The Anchoress had a great blog on this sometime back.

http://theanchoressonline.com/index.php?s=impeachment&option=Search&Itemid=5

I hope this link works

Pennywit, they say t... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Pennywit, they say they do that. Having not verified the software myself, I have my doubts.

It would only take a few lines of code to give it a "preference" for certain number groups and a "dislike" for others.

If you make three calls to Massachusetts for every two to Nebraska, how do you think that's gonna reflect in your poll?

In all my life, I've never ... (Below threshold)

In all my life, I've never been called for a poll.

Yet, I had a friend in Minnesota, a battleground state in 2004, who was getting called 2-3 times a week in the weeks before the election.

As soon as they told him they were polling for the election, not being one to mince words, he simply yelled, "F*** Kerry!" and hung up.

They probably didn't count his opinion.

They probably didn't co... (Below threshold)
marc:

They probably didn't count his opinion.

Sure they did, he was tallied as "undecided."

John:A couple poss... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

John:

A couple possibilites:

1) Some of those polls your friend was called for may have been commissioned by campaigns, which would only survey battleground states at that point.

2) If polling organizations were trying to predict electoral college vote, they would have focused their polling on battleground states.

--|PW|--

Pennywit, and for all my ad... (Below threshold)

Pennywit, and for all my adult life I've either lived in VA or CA, neither of which has really been a battleground state for a very long time.

Plus, having been a cell phone only user for a number years, I've dropped off the landline grid - which apparently is causing some pollsters a bit of concern.

It's much better to have... (Below threshold)
Mark:

It's much better to have the impeachment issue around to use as a club, than to hold impeachment hearings, fail, and lose the issue.

You mean like the Repub's have been doing for decades with abortion? And more recently gay marriage? And prayer in schools? And flag burning?

Gee they had the prez and both houses and a chance to pass whatever they wanted. And now we see that they were really honest about wanting those things and they outlawed abortion, outlawed gay marriage, outlawed flag burning, and put prayer back in schools. Oh that's right, THEY DIDN'T!?

Never ever trust any polls ... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Never ever trust any polls taken by the liberal left-wing main-stream news media especialy CNN/TIME or AP/UPI

AfterDowningStreet.org<br /... (Below threshold)
kim:

AfterDowningStreet.org
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