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Nonsense Poll Numbers

(rant mode on)

This is a snippet I swiped from a piece Kevin blogged below. According to an ABC/WaPo poll:

Fifty-three percent of Americans want the Senate to confirm Alito to the Supreme Court, 27 percent oppose his confirmation, and 20 percent are undecided.

Complete and utter nonsense. And I don't have to be a pollster to call BS on these numbers.

I don't know the real numbers but I'm thinking this is more accurate:

53% of the people polled had no freaking clue that we were replacing a Supreme Court Justice but pretended they did on the phone. 27% knew about it but had no idea what the guy's name was, but they also pretended they did on the phone. 20% knew enough to really form an opinion.

I promise you less than 80% of the people in America know Alito's name.

It is like when they give approval numbers on Vice-President. At any given moment in time, half the people can't even name the current VEEP; how the hell can they judge his performance?

Last month I saw polling numbers on the Secretary of State's job performance. Get Real. 70% of the people in this country don't even know what the Sec of State does much less have the ability to name her or judge her performance.

(Yes. I'm making my statistics up but so is the WaPo. You get the point.)

Most people in America ignore politics. Sure we bloggers in our sphere (no pun intended) know every little detail... Go walk down the street and ask people their opinion on Alito vs Roberts and you'll get mostly blank stares.

I see this all the time in the media and it drives me insane. To the extent this number means anything, it is more a measure of Bush's approval rating and how much or little the Dems have trashed the nominee.

The big media is completely poll obsessed. But the reality is, most of the numbers they produce are meaningless.

(rant mode off)


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Nonsense Poll Numbers:

» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Poll: U.S. Divided Over Eavesdropping

Comments (13)

Paul, You're not w... (Below threshold)


You're not with the program. Polls have to be meaningful otherwise one's claims of voter fraud based on actual results not matching polls won't hold up.

See, since the "reality based community" likes to create its own reality that have to have polls that can be manipulated to reflect the reality they desire.

I mean, really Paul, if an exit poll doesn't match the actual vote that's reason to investigate the voting right? No way the polls might be slanted, corrupt or outright lying because we ALL know how iron tight the procedure for collecting polling data is conducted.

So Paul, polls are always right. Keep keep chanting that mantra....preferably in a drum circle.

Faith+1,I really d... (Below threshold)


I really do hope you're trying to be funny. . .

82.7 percent of all statict... (Below threshold)

82.7 percent of all statictics are bullshit

Evidently, this was the 16... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Evidently, this was the 16th question in this telephone poll. By then, most or the majority of the apolitical telephone interviewees would have tuned out or hung up ,and even this question was prefaced leadingly with "On another subject, as you may know Bush has nominated federal judge Samuel A Alito etc. etc." In response, to the question, a tally of 20 % for' no opinion' seems resonable, given these circumstances, although a 80% figure for the average man buttonholded on the street might be more realistic, if the question was completely coming from the cold.

Paul,You are accur... (Below threshold)


You are accurate in your assessment except for one fatal flaw--you miss the mark on why the statistics are important to the MSM--and that significantly lessens the point you're making.

The MSM knows that a vast majority of Americans don't know politics, but they also know that what those people do know is information they've gleaned from the MSM. Therefore, their obsession with polls can only be seen as their own measure of how effective they are at coloring the average citizen's image of the issue or person in question--issues and people that would still be unknown to those citizens except for the efforts of the MSM.

An illustration is in order. A particular chef has an inordinate loathing of escargot. He opens up a restaurant in a small town, and finally bows to pressure from a few to serve the dish he hates. He then proceeds to season and prepare the entree horribly, and as a consequence, the people who once liked escargot don't want it any more, and the people who had never sampled it before form a conclusion that it's not good. He then sees his efforts as a success in two lights: he has no orders for the dish, and he's introduced scores of people to the dish who (through their own innocent ignorance and short-sightedness) now dislike escargot as much as he.

Sorry Marcus, thought my di... (Below threshold)

Sorry Marcus, thought my distended cheek from my tongue was pretty obvious. The idea that it's hard to tell my ridiculous satire from most *progressives'* debates is telling...


I promise you less than ... (Below threshold)

I promise you less than 80% of the people in America know Alito's name.

Including Teddy Kennedy who is aligning himself as "Alioto's" biggest critic.

Do you think that the publi... (Below threshold)

Do you think that the publics reliance on the MSM, and advertising to a more generic degree, has brohg tus to this precipice (sp?) we find ourselves on? So many of our freinds and families, even the "samrt' ones, are quite ignorant (as in, "to ignore") of the most basic facts.

Yet they are out at best buy and Peir 1 buyingthe latest and greatest... Crap, most of it.
I heard the morning talker telling about this generations retirement "savings", and how 27% ? of people were counting a lottery winning as their eventual nestegg, while driving the 24" spinners on thier Escalade living in the 2500 sq.ft. palace, etc.

Hope you are all truly saving and preparing for the day you want to stop working, even if you are wokring for yourselves.

Hmmm.1. My favorit... (Below threshold)


1. My favorite Teddy'ism is when it mangled Obama's name on tv.

2. If we didn't have polls, then what would pollsters do? Frankly I have yet to see a single poll that I would trust. Most of them are heavily skewed in one way or another.

jamie I don't disagree... (Below threshold)

jamie I don't disagree

Faith,I had assume... (Below threshold)


I had assumed you were kidding but I didn't want to go into a big rant if I wasn't sure. Now that I know you were poking fun, I can say you did a great job.

Coincidentally anoth... (Below threshold)
jack rudd:

Coincidentally another poll shows that only a minority of adults can name ONE Supreme Court justice. The number who can name all nine is, statistically, zero.

Mystery Pollster discusses ... (Below threshold)

Mystery Pollster discusses the inherent unreliability of the Alito polls here: http://www.mysterypollster.com/main/2006/01/so_when_is_an_a.html






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