Though polls employ different scientific methodologies, as a whole they are more often right than wrong. Everyone assumes that sampling public opinion remains an art, and is not immune from the biases of the pollster. Still, how does one explain not just discrepancies, but massive ones, between polls?
Currently the Rasmussen poll — once seen as tilting conservative, now believed to lean even more toward liberals — shows a 49 percent/49 percent split in public approval of President Obama. But the Reuters/Ipsos poll — not known for conservative bias — records a negative 16 percent gap (39 percent approval/55 percent disapproval).
So are President Obama’s recent non-commentary on radical Islam, his vetoes and opposition to Congress, and his defiant use of executive orders restoring his popularity to first-term levels? Are they leading to a dismal and near-record unpopularity? Or are they just irrelevant to his popularity altogether?
Can experts explain the 16 percentage point difference — is it Methodological? Ideological? Phraseological? Astrological?
Is one poll terribly wrong, or are both wrong?
Is the purpose of today’s pollsters to reflect public opinion or to shape it — or is it both?
10 thoughts on “Riding the Pollercoaster”
“Is the purpose of today’s pollsters to reflect public opinion or to shape it — or is it both?”
Probably neither. I think the purpose of any individual poll is to do whatever the polling company’s customer wants. How hard would it be for say, the DNC, to hire a group to poll the way they wanted to get the result they wanted? And it is a cheap way to make news, strike up a narrative, you name it.
…at the cost of mortgaging the poll company’s integrity.
The Left has a trope that plays out constantly in popular life. Fine a source that speaks with integrity and get it to say what the Left wants it to say. We used to respect news reporters. Now? Not so much. Movie stars? Charities? Universities? Same. Even the respect we grant science and scientists is being corroded by the Global Warming debate.
So if Rassmussen has a reputation for accuracy, even conservatism, cart in a breifcase full of money and pay them to tweak their results.
” There are lies, damn lies and statistics.” Mark Twain
This has always been a source of frustration with regard to the questions,
1) “How can such an obvious anti-American, leftist, radical in chief, maintain approval ratings near 50%?”
2) “Are a large segment of the American people really that inattentive, ignorant, clueless, or worse?”
3) “Is the obvious media bias largely succeeding in their concerted effort to protect their own ideology?”
Over the past 6 years of Obama’s ineptitude or intentional anti-American behavior, his approval ratings should have shown an increasingly negative trajectory. In fact they should be in the proverbial “tank.”
As they have said in the past, “figures don’t lie but liars figure”….
I know of no respectable research that can answer these questions. I do not have an opinion on them simply because they constitute a universe of information that is, at this point, too contradictory either to attack defend or simply analyze. There is one possibility that is so ominous that I blanch to consider it seriously, but cannot remove it from my mind. Is the result of the Obama administration’s illegalities, the supine incapacity of the opposition Party (or the constitutional loyalists in the President’s party) to act, the devolution of the Supreme Court into pro- and anti-totalitarian groups and a laundry list of other very serious ills so draining on the emotional stability and energies of the public at large that they have become passive out of a sense of helplessness?
If this is true I am fearful, and not merely hyperbolically, for my offspring and theirs. It would be an excellent thing for the land I love were I simply incipiently non-compos and seeing it all wrong. I would prefer that.
Google “”mistrust remains despite china-japan security talks: envoy”’. What, if anything, can be done to change the course it seems China is on???
After watching highly educated individuals on discussion panels and in interviews energetically defending the blatantly dangerous and disorganized foreign policy, the toxic domestic racial pandering, and the inane domestic policies of Barak Obama, it is no longer a stretch to imagine a 50 percent approval rating from the masses exposed to the ‘dummo rays’ of his administration. Pretty sad to put vein hope in being totally wrong.
Correction: …not ‘vein’ hope. Vain hope. Probably an error from a subject that causes blood to run from one’s ears.