Thursday, April 23, 2009

What's In A Poll?

AP Poll: Americans high on Obama, direction of US

This was the headline of an article discussing the recent Associated Press-GfK poll.

The authors went on to describe how 48% of "Americans" think the country is on the right track and 44% think it is on the wrong track. This question is often used as an indicator of how the country feels overall about both the situation in the US and how the President is doing their job.

The article explains that often we do not see a higher "right track" than "wrong track" number. They interpreted this to be an endorsement of Obama's policies to date.

There are a couple of things that are included in the poll that do not get quite the same fanfare but may be more relevant.

Of those who say the country is on the right track in the AP-GfK poll, 73 percent are Democrats, 17 percent are independents and 10 percent are Republicans.

So it turns out, it's not Americans that think Obama is doing a bang up job, it's Americans who are Democrats that are pleased.

This, 17 percent are independents, is very relevant though. Forget the Democrats and Republicans, these are partisan stances. Democrats are going to vote to keep a Democratic Congress for Obama and Republicans are going to vote against it. The 2010 election will be like most other elections in that the independents are going to go a long way in deciding the outcome.

Keep that in mind while reading these next two statistics. (emphasis mine)

_More than 90 percent of Americans consider the economy an important issue, the highest ever in AP polling.

_Nearly 80 percent believe that the rising federal debt will hurt future generations, and Obama is getting mixed reviews at best for his handling of the issue.


With a lot of independents and most Republicans concerned about the way the country is going, having the economy be the highest priority ever and concerns about national debt high may not be all good for the Democratic party.

Finally, looking at the last two statistics, they are high enough that a fairly large portion of Democrats are concerned about these issues also.

While the authors of this article appear to be happy about Obama's right tack/wrong track numbers, I think the administration should be looking at the rest of the poll more closely.

12 comments:

Greywolfe said...

Pollsters are political prostitutes. They sell their schtick to the highest bidder and play to those that they think will give them more air time. (So that other organizations will say, "gee they're right on the money! Let's higher them?"

Meanwhile they load the polls with leading questions and fill them with loaded pollees.

DaBlade said...

I had only heard about the opening findings before reading your post, but it doesn't surprise me to find out the majority were democrats. Your point is well taken even some democrats are concerned with the spending and accumulating debt. Some showed up at tea parties I hear.

Always On Watch said...

So it turns out, it's not Americans that think Obama is doing a bang up job, it's Americans who are Democrats that are pleased.Of course. But the figures are being peddled to the public in a different way -- pure propagandizing.

I hope that most of American can come to their senses as to what BHO is doing to our economy. I fear that we'll have to sink into a full-blown depression before people realize that BHO's methods are not conducive to true economic recovery.

Chuck said...

Greywolfe, Pollsters are political prostitutes.heh, heh. Polls are highyly manipulated by sample size, representation, questions, etc.

DaBlade, my last post explained this, the media is too busy to cover anything negative about Obama or the Democrats.

AOW, we are slowly working on it.

Z said...

ABC RADIO left out the part about who participated in this "poll"

SURPRISE! not

Mustang said...

Ah ... the old "hand is quicker than the eye" strategy. Can you hear me grinding my teeth?

Leslie said...

Well, talk about fair and balanced. What are we complaining about?

I fear, just a sinking feeling (I hope) that the closer elections get, someone will find a way to get our attention off of the economy, and on to...another major topic; with the media and the powers that be, making obama and his administration look like the heroes.

mksviews said...

"Nearly 80 percent believe that the rising federal debt will hurt future generations"

Glad to hear it Chuck, out here, i've started to wonder if the current gasbag running the joint had to start eating babies on tv before people wake up.

Then again in the last few days, i've come to the realization that our media is even more sycophantic than yours. Which would explain a lot. The masses after all still believe what the media dish up.

Burr Deming said...

You seem to be saying that a general overwhelming popularity is not genuine because it is not shared by a majority of a shrinking political party.

I find your logic less than compelling, but excellent writing and clarity of presentation make up a lot of ground.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Chuck said...

Z, try to sit down and collect yourself, I know the shock was rough

Mustang, don't chip anything

Leslie, that's interesting

MK, part of the problem is that the media is the only place most people get info

Burr, I know you guys are comforted in thinking this but people that identify as Republicans is increasing slightly


I saw a stat somewhere that said 79% of people that voted for Obama are satisfied with their vote. This sounds great, right? Do the math and you realiuze 21% (1 out of 5 people) that voted for him do not think this way. Stats are not overly useful many times.

cube said...

Thank you for exposing yet another cooked poll.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

You seem to be saying that a general overwhelming popularity is not genuine because it is not shared by a majority of a shrinking political party.No, you're missing the point: The poll claims a support for the direction of the country with Obama at the helm because the poll is heavily weighted in polling Democrats. Meaning, it's not an accurate survey.