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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Inside the numbers

Only in America would be opinions of 1000 people mean so much.  It might not matter to the average Joe or Jane, but it supports the  talking points our politicians will use to promote their agenda.  It's as if we're the puppets and the posters are pulling the strings.  People like MSNBC’s Chris Matthews take these polls as gospel; it doesn't matter who the source is, and he gets angry if people disagree with the results.  I used to be an avid poll watcher but these days we're over saturated with daily polls, I just glance at them now and then.  I do like the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll because it's more of a detailed quarterly poll.

The results of the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll is not favorable to the current GOP, the Tea Party or those that think ObamaCare will bankrupt our nation.  In fact, according to the poll, people want more to be done to drive down the high cost of Health Insurance and availability.

The latest NBC /Wall Street Journal surveyed 1000 people, 77%% of them being white. That statistic alone makes the poll more favorable to the democrats because if more minorities  would have been polled, the likelihood of them voting in the negative would be nil.  Those are facts pundits shy away from because it can be seen condescending, racial, or rude.  Minorities may have pushed the “ headed in the right direction” numbers down because they are disproportionately affected by our weak economy.

I'm sure the White House is going over the poll numbers with a fine tooth comb, because that's the only tool available to measure the pulse of America, at a given point in time.  They're using the results to plan their strategy on dealing with the opposition and making their case to the American people at the State of the Union speech next week.  President Obama can  now make his speech with the same confidence he had when he took office or at least before the healthcare issue.  It doesn't matter what poll you look at; Americans do not think we will win in Afghanistan, and they don't think we should be there.  The president will address the issue, but it is questionable as to how much time he devotes to it and how much persuasion he will use to try and convince us that the issue is worth our effort, money, and troops.
Joe Lieberman's appearance on “ Morning Joe” didn't turn out the way he anticipated.  He was making a farewell tour but when the subject of him replacing Secretary Robert Gates came up; it all went downhill for him.  He was questioned about his vote for the invasion of Iraq.  He stood by his vote a double downed on his reason by saying”“I’m basing it on the so-called Duelfer report … Charles Duelfer conducted the most comprehensive report on behalf of our country. Nobody thought it was partisan. I wanna be very clear. He didn’t find big caches of weapons of mass destruction, but he found and proved I think that Saddam had every intention, particularly to develop nuclear weapons, was developing chemical and biological weapons. and had a structure in place, including nuclear scientists, that he was prepared to support if he broke out of the sanctions, which he was inclined to do.” It was then when Arianna Huffington lit into him by saying”“Well, based on these completely unfounded assumptions, I sincerely hope that for the sake of the country you do not become the secretary of defense. " …….  Lieberman responded by saying ““I don’t think you’ve read it, sweetheart.”..  How condescending is that?

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Mike said...

It's a bad week for republicans and Fox News; if you believe the polls.

Public Policy Polling just released the findings of their poll.

-A year ago a plurality of Americans said they trusted Fox News. Now a plurality of them don't. Conservatives haven't moved all that much- 75% said they trusted it last year and 72% still do this time around. But moderates and liberals have both had a strong increase in their level of distrust for the network- a 12 point gain from 48% to 60% for moderates and a 16 point gain from 66% to 82% for liberals. Voters between left and center tend to be more trusting of the media across the board, which is why a fair number of them were still rating Fox favorably even a year ago at this time. But it looks like with a lot of those folks it has finally crossed the line to being too political to trust.

-All three of the traditional major networks- NBC, CBS, and ABC- have seen an increase in their trust levels over the last year. NBC continues to be the most trusted of the trio, breaking even this year at 41% who trust it and 41% who don't. It may be MSNBC's liberal tilt that vaults its parent network to the top overall. Conservatives distrust all three of the networks at pretty similar levels- 66% for ABC and NBC, 67% for CBS. But liberals range from 52% who trust ABC to 61% who trust CBS all the way up to 67% who trust NBC. It's interesting to see that faith in these long standing organizations is on the rise but it may be that in a new media world where there's so much more information available than there's ever been before folks are looking to places with a proven track record of getting it right.

Edith Ann said...

I find it mind boggling that some folks in Victoria think that 144 affirmative responses equal a mandate for major change, tons of evidence to the contrary notwithstanding!

I try to catch a variety of the news programs, but I will not watch FOX. I probably watch MSNBC more than any other. The only time my ears perk up at poll numbers is when the poll says Sarah Palin's approval rating is dropping. It makes me hopeful that my republican friends and family are returning to their good senses...

Mike said...

You're going to have to elaborate about the 144 responses equaling a mandate.

I rarely watch television news because being a retired person, I can catch a news as it happens. I have an app on my iPad that will alarm when CNN decides there is " breaking news." The network news has a 20 minute summary of the news and the nightly cable channels provide the spin. I like the spin because of the depth. People like Jon Stewart provide video of what they said back then and what they're saying today. People laugh when I'd tell 'em that I get more depth from Jon Stewart than I do from the news anchors. He's not afraid to cut through the bs.

Many thanks for your input and even more for your help.... It was unselfish of you, and it's going to be a tremendous help. I now have a project to work on.

Edith Ann said...

The 144 positive affirmations were the 75% of the 17.6% of the 1000 people surveyed for "what do we do with the University?" baloney back before Christmas.

Hey, it's the least I can do. I help you grow your blog, it help me and the others, too.

Mike said...

Keith Olberman quit MSNBC...Tonight was his last show