Sunday, May 14, 2006

Bogus WaPo Poll


From the beginning, the Washington Post/ABC poll front-paged on Friday and then repeated adnauseum throughout the rest of day as gospel was bogus.

The survey was prematurely taken only hours after the breaking news; and apparently as people learned more about the program, they had a quick change of heart.

So much for breaking news polls.

But be that as it may, the Post breathlessly told its readers that 63 percent of Americans (margin of error not listed) said it was acceptable for the government to look at private phone records "to investigate terrorism."

I guess after thinking about it, and the hundreds of millions of private billing records being mined, folks came to their senses.

Newsweek now paints an entirely different picture:

The Newsweek results were pretty stark: 57% of Americans say the administration has gone too far in expanding presidential power, while only 38% say they have not. The president's job approval rating in this poll declined one point to 35%.
And so much for their ballyhoo analysis based on faulty raw poll numbers. Garbage in, garbage out.

Now let's see if the Sunday talk shows talk about the huge discrepancy between the two polls; especially since all day Friday every talking head kept repeating over and over how Americans don't really care about their constitutional civil liberties.

Looks like they do!

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With polls, it depends a lot on how you word the question. With the right wording, you can get almost any result you want to hear.

I think a lot of us were upset with the results of the initial WaPo poll. But you're right, it was conducted before people had a chance to digest all the facts and to think about the ramifications.

Thanks for the great follow up on this.
 
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