Thursday, March 02, 2006
Greasy Polls Make My Brain Hurt!
After 5 years of intense debate the Gumby Institute (a non-influential all "tank" and no "think" organization) representing around 12 million Americans, in the process of almost forming an opinion.
Why pay for a bacon cheeseburger with large fries and then only suck the ketchup out of the little packet?
That’s what ABC News did in reporting on their latest poll; they ignored the meat and completely missed the errant fingernails and rat feces that make for a truly interesting dining experience.
Well I decided to chew on the whole thing, and here are some of the odd items that got stuck in my teeth.
Whilst Bush’s overall job approval rating is 34%, check out these tidbits:
Economy: 32 %
Energy: 27 %
The Iraq "situation" is wholly owned by Bush (though he still can’t find the receipt), as is the economy (tax cuts, pork, borrowing for Iraq, unemployment, increased health costs, increased poverty etc.) and he has at least "voting shares" in the energy business (Iraq drove up oil prices, no actual incentives to improve efficiencies in production or use).
The poll respondents make very clear that the two most important problems facing the country (by huge margins) are first, the War in Iraq and second, the economy/jobs. Taking those two that would put Bush at 31%!
Energy (or as it’s stated in the raw data the "Gas/heating oil crisis") ranks 9th out of 16 categories (and so needs some kind of weighting I’m not qualified to provide) but as the pollsters put this little list together then Bush's approval rating average comes to 29%!
The pollsters summarized respondent’s views of the national economy thus:
But looking at the raw data 45% rate it as "fairly good" and 33% as "fairly bad".
Bush has insisted that the economy is strong and getting stronger.
"Strong" is the term the pollsters should have used.
The pollsters, having parsed the issue in their questioing. then just lumped the data together failing to note that the extremes of "very good" and "very bad" reulted in three times as many people responding "very bad" than "very good."
Anyhoo, let’s get to the really chewy bits, the mystery meat:
Q.15: "Is your opinion of Bush favorable, not favorable, undecided or haven’t you heard enough about Bush to have an opinion?"
Ans: 14 % undecided and 3% haven’t heard enough!
Q.75: "Do you think Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the September 11th attacks?"
Ans: 29% say Yes, 14% don’t know!
Oh yes, and a hardcore average 8% of all respondents (statistically representing something like 12 million voters) don’t know nothin’ ‘bout nothin’ or had no opinion. I guess the pollsters just didn’t ask them anything relevant, like "do you want fries with that?"
The answer of course is "My brain hurts!".
(okay, I admit I've horribly mixed my analogies/metaphors here, but it's not like I get paid to do this, you know?)