How much do pollsters know?

[NOTE: This is an old post I found in my drafts folder. Apparently I never posted it. Hate to see the work of writing a post go to waste, so here it is, a bit belatedly]

Alternate title: Are pollsters stupid?

A recent politico piece ask this question with regard to the fact that people don’t answer poll questions they way they think they should.

Voters are appalled at President Barack Obama’s handling of gas prices, even though virtually every policy expert in both parties says there’s little a president can do to affect the day-to-day price of fuel in a global market.

Notice the blatant equivocation: “…little a president can do to affect the day to day price of fuel…”

Of course the President can’t issue a Presidential Order lowering the price of gas today…but had this administration had better energy policies from the get-go, hadn’t stymied domestic production at every turn and spend untold billions of taxpayer dollars on boondoggle “alternative energy” companies that are now folding like broken down law chairs at a brisk pace…gas prices wouldn’t be where they are right now.

What do they think we are, stupid?

They’re aghast at the trajectory of the war in Afghanistan, which Obama helped escalate and extend, and they don’t think the war was worth it in the first place. And many also think Obama is handling the conflict acceptably well.

I’d like to see the actual poll questions that arrive at these seemingly contradictory findings. Considering the equivocation on the gas prices point, I’d imagine that the authors of this piece were being a bit fast and loose with their interpretations of this data point as well. Was it the same respondents who are “aghast at the trajectory of the war in Afghanistan” but who think Obama is handling it well? Or were the “many” who approved Obama’s bungling…er…handling of the war a different set than those who hold the former opinion?

Are the pollsters expecting every American to be in lockstep on every issue?

Or do they just think we’re stupid?

That’s presumably a different set of voters than the ones who routinely tell pollsters that they still believe the president is a Muslim, despite all public evidence to the contrary.

What “public evidence to the contrary”? That Obama claims to be a Christian, even though he has often misquoted scripture or misconstrued the lessons and philosophies of Christianity? The he attended a church that is pastored by a blatant anti-American, anti-white, un-Christian bigot?

Anyone can claim to be or pretend to be anything they want. The proof is in his actions…kowtowing to Muslim dictators, obviously favoring Muslims concerns over Isreal’s, Ditching traditional Christian Presidential activities, but bending over backwards to accommodate and recognize Muslim events and holidays.

I wouldn’t go so far as to accuse Obama of being a muslim, but I can definitely understand why some people might jump to that conclusion based on Obama’s ACTIONS rather than his words.

Add up that litany of contradictory, irrational or simply silly opinions, and it’s enough to make a political professional suspect the electorate is, well, not entirely sophisticated about the choices it’s facing in 2012.

Or it could just be more evidence of the professional political class placing itself above the electorate, self-righteously declaring their own superiority and dismissing the legitimate concerns of The People as irrelevant simply because we don’t just bow down to their superior wisdom and accept their leadership like good little slaves.


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