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The Importance of Understanding Polls, Lying 101

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October 24, 2006

Two weeks left before Americans everywhere stand up and say no more. This close to a redeeming moment in American history it is important to understand that there are still partisan factions out there trying to change general opinion and mood in this country before you walk into the polling booth on November 7. They wield the media as their weapon, making the absurd seem logical and trying to convince you to focus on things that will nudge you to vote for the current disastrous reign of the GOP. One weapon the media wields so effectively are polls.

The fact is that even a corporate media mouthpiece such is Charlie Cook has to agree that the polling is indicating a tsunami of change in the Senate and House. Even using slanted questions and dubious methods, the writing is on the wall. Two such polls today however jumped out at me and highlighted the importance of understanding HOW you are being lied to. The first one is from ABC News online. Hardly a "scientific" poll, it can be found here:

http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/popup?id=2599476

Seems simple enough, right? A simple little poll designed to see how America feels about impeaching George W. Bush. The question was designed fairly enough:

"Do you think Congress should launch impeachment proceedings against President Bush?"

Fair enough, now let's take a look at the choices of answers. What? Not just a yes or no? Of course not because that would be entirely too fair. Here are the yes and no answers:

"Yes. He has led us into an unjust war and has infringed on America's civil liberties."

"No. He has done nothing that merits impeachment. He has done the best job possible."

Now, I would have preferred a simple yes or no and not this spoon feeding like the respondents are too stupid to understand why the question is being asked. That aside, in and of itself, this poll would have been fine as is, except ABC News decided that the respondents needed a "maybe" option:

"Maybe he should be impeached but there are more pressing problems to deal with right now."

Can anyone answer why this makes the entire poll useless? Because now there are two answers for yes, effectively trying to split the damage of the "yes" response into two categories. By doing so the poll designer is hoping for a higher number of folks voting for "no", so the poll results can be presented without getting into the nitty-gritty details of how many actually voted for both "yes" answers. This poll was designed to falsely show that America does not favor impeachment.

Granted, online polls are not scientific by any stretch, but they are used by the media in reporting to pretend that it is somehow representative of how the country is feeling about a particular event. We saw the same thing in the aftermath of Katrina when a poll asking who was to blame, had an option for Bush AND a separate option for the federal government. Never mind that Bush LEADS to federal government. The result was that the "poll" revealed that more people blamed the state and local officials and that was how it was reported. You had to actually go look at the raw data to realize that if you added the responses for Bush and the Federal Government, more people were actually blaming them.

It is too bad for the designers of this ABC News impeachment poll that America has had enough of five years of waste and abuse of power. The results of this poll at the time of this writing were as follows:

Yes 15,328
No 7,015
Maybe 3,104

Even with the blatant attempt to design a poll that would result in people saying no to impeachment, the poll actually reveals that more than twice the amount of people favor impeachment and if you correctly add the "maybes" to the "yes" column, you have a more than 10,000 vote differential in favor of impeachment.

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Anthony Wade, a contributing writer to opednews.com, is dedicated to educating the populace to the lies and abuses of the government. He is a 46-year-old independent writer from New York with political commentary articles seen on multiple (more...)
 

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