My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Bad Poll, part II

Powerline spotted the same problem with the WAPO poll that I did, that of the oversampling.

They also point out one of the poorly worded questions in the poll:

[B]y a 2 to 1 ratio, the public rejected easing Senate rules in a way that would make it harder for Democratic senators to prevent final action on Bush's nominees.

Sounds bad. But here is the question the pollsters asked: "Would you support or oppose changing Senate rules to make it easier for the Republicans to confirm Bush's judicial nominees?" That is an absurd question, to which I would probably answer "No," too. The way the question is framed, it makes it sound like a one-way street, as though the Republicans wanted to change the rules to benefit only Republican nominees. If they asked a question like, "Do you think that if a majority of Senators support confirmation of a particular nominee, that nominee should be confirmed?" the percentages would probably reverse.

Let me throw in one more nominee for stupid question:

13. Who do you blame for the recent rise in oil and gas prices--other oil producing nations, U.S. oil companies, or the Bush admnistration?

As if the Bush administration plays a role at all similar to those of OPEC or oil companies. For that matter, why not ask about Congress and its inaction on the President's energy plan for the last four years? Unsurprisingly, those who blame the Bush administration number 31%--slightly smaller than the number of those polled who consider themselves Democratic.

Or this:

35. The Senate has confirmed 35 federal appeals court judges nominated by Bush, while Senate Democrats have blocked 10 others. Do you think the Senate Semocrats are right or wrong to block these nominations?

How about we add the little detail that in the history of the Senate, exactly ZERO PERCENT of federal appeals court judges have previously been blocked by the filibuster, and that this rate of blocking judges is distinctly higher than the rate previous Presidents have faced. THAT might have made that a fair question.

Other details in the poll that you're not likely to hear in the MSM:

--depending on who's doing the reporting (oh, yeah--nobody will report this) either 56% think homosexual couples should be granted some form of legal recognition, OR 69% believe that homosexual couples should NOT be allowed to marry.

--only 20% believe that abortion should be legal in all cases

--65% favor the use of the death penalty (and just where is that "emerging consensus," Mr. Justice Kennedy??? Sweden?)

And, from the land of polling curiosities, fully 12% of those polled consider themselves Christian, but non-Protestant and non-Catholic. . . which would make them . . .?

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