Video: How Obama Got Elected; Update: Zogby confirms poll, denies “push polling”

posted at 7:57 am on November 18, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

I’m sure we’ll all be linking to this video today. John Ziegler interviews Obama voters to gauge their knowledge of various issues that came up during the election, and gets very … entertaining results.  His new website, How Obama Got Elected, marries this with a more disturbing report from Zogby that emphasizes a great deal of ignorance in the vote:

Let’s start with Zogby’s numbers.  The poll surveyed over 500 self-professed Obama voters and has an MOE of 4.4%, with 55% having a college degree and over 90% having a high-school diploma.  It asked 12 multiple-choice questions; only 2.4% got at least 11 correct. Only .5% got all them correct.

  • 57.4 could NOT correctly say which party controls congress (50/50 shot just by guessing)
  • 81.8 could NOT correctly say Joe Biden quit a previous campaign because of plagiarism (25% chance by guessing)
  • 82.6 could NOT correctly say that Obama won his first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot (25% chance by guessing)
  • 88.4% could NOT correctly say that Obama said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket (25% chance by guessing)
  • 56.1 % could NOT correctly say Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground (25% chance by guessing).And yet…..
  • Only 13.7% failed to identify Palin as the person their party spent $150,000 in clothes on
  • Only 6.2% failed to identify Palin as the one with a pregnant teenage daughter
  • And 86.9 % thought that Palin said that she could see Russia from her “house,” even though that was Tina Fey who said that!!

On the last point, though, Palin was the only candidate from Alaska.  Palin did state that one could see Russia from the state as an answer to an interview question about her foreign-policy credentials.  I don’t believe that the survey gave Fey as a choice, so Palin would have been the obvious answer from those provided.

However, the rest of these results show the abysmal state of media coverage of Barack Obama.  It’s not that the voters couldn’t absorb data provided to them by the Tanning Bed Media; these voters quite obviously learned plenty about Sarah Palin.  In the video, the subjects demonstrate that by assigning every stupid thing said on the campaign trail to Palin whether she said it or not.  Meanwhile, no one can figure out what Barack Obama said, how he conducted his campaign, or his political history.

As for the video, without the Zogby poll, it would be hilarious but without context.  Anyone can find fools for “man on the street” interviews; Jay Leno does it as a regular staple for the Tonight Show.  Zogby’s poll shows that Ziegler’s video is no anomaly.  Wait for the end, where the ignorant endorse their favorite media outlets, which is the real highlight of this project.

Update: Zogby confirms Ziegler’s numbers, and barks back at accusations of push-polling:

“We stand by the results our survey work on behalf of John Ziegler, as we stand by all of our work. We reject the notion that this was a push poll because it very simply wasn’t. It was a legitimate effort to test the knowledge of voters who cast ballots for Barack Obama in the Nov. 4 election. Push polls are a malicious effort to sway public opinion one way or the other, while message and knowledge testing is quite another effort of public opinion research that is legitimate inquiry and has value in the public square. In this case, the respondents were given a full range of responses and were not pressured or influenced to respond in one way or another. This poll was not designed to hurt anyone, which is obvious as it was conducted after the election. The client is free to draw his own conclusions about the research, as are bloggers and other members of society. But Zogby International is a neutral party in this matter. We were hired to test public opinion on a particular subject and with no ax to grind, that’s exactly what we did. We don’t have to agree or disagree with the questions, we simply ask them and provide the client with a fair and accurate set of data reflecting public opinion.” – John Zogby

I know some people wanted to see a link to confirm Zogby’s work, and here it is.


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getalife on November 19, 2008 at 9:55 AM

You’re assuming that your comrades can understand all that’s on that site….
Even I was confused…lol! Keep trying…

jerrytbg on November 19, 2008 at 10:22 AM

I blogged about this yesterday, although the group is targeting the MSM, which is deserved. I think it is also an indictment of the Voters who chose not to be informed about their candidate. It’s not like this information wasn’t out there…it just wasn’t being spoon fed to the public in the MSM. Voting is a responsiblity as much as it is a Right and these Voters, along with many others choose not to perform their due diligence in selecting a candidate.

BiasedGirl on November 19, 2008 at 10:37 AM

Disturbing to say the least.

lyfsatrip on November 19, 2008 at 11:12 AM

Forgot to mention: that joyless, toneless “OH BAMA” dirge chant makes me want to tear my ear drums out.

baldilocks on November 18, 2008 at 1:06 PM

I still can’t get that out of my head and it’s driving me insane!

4shoes on November 19, 2008 at 11:53 AM

Well….it is a push poll, designed to push the meme that media bias cost McCain/Palin the election.
There is no experimental design, no null hypothesis, and some questions were illformed, like the question about Palin and Russia which actually has no correct answer.
So the only results that can be drawn are anecdotal.
This is a fine anecdotal documentary effort, but Zogby cannot say anything statistically significant about results, because they didn’t practice statistical polling techniques.
This peer with a Michael Moore documentary….there are no statistical results, only anectdotal ones.

matoko_chan on November 19, 2008 at 9:11 AM

Ooooh, you sound so smart, with all those big words, and talk about null hypotheses and what-not.

Problem is, everything you say is either not applicable or downright untrue. It’s NOT a push poll. A “push poll” is one that attempts to change the opinion of the person being polled; this merely asked which candidate each statement applied to. And the statistical results (fully cross-tabulated) are available on Ziegler’s website. As for “experimental design” and “null hypothesis”, the survey was designed to test a narrow hypothesis: “Obama voters were highly aware of even trivial negatives regarding McCain & Palin, but highly unaware of some very important negatives regarding Obama & Biden”. Also, “None” was one of the answers on the “can see Russia” question; and for purposes of grading, either Palin or “None” was accepted as correct.

It would be instructive to compare a similar survey of McCain voters, but you can’t expect conservatives to take on that expense for the benefit of liberals (though I sure wish someone would; I absolutely believe conservatives would SMOKE liberals on this type of test).

Obviously, determination of “important” vs. “trivial” is subjective, and this subjectivity might be considered a weakness in the development of the survey; but unless you are prepared to argue that Sarah Palin’s wardrobe or gossip about her daughter’s love life are more important than whether Obama’s policies will make new coal-burning plants financial unfeasible, or cause energy prices to skyrocket — then I’d suggest finding another line of attack. ‘Course I’d really be interested to know how Palin’s soon-arriving granddaughter is more important to voters than Obama’s promise to make energy prices skyrocket, if you DO have some rationale for that veiwpoint.

I suppose one could also claim that some other factor influenced Obama voters’ poor performance; but it seems to me there are really only two explanations: poor exposure to info, or poor ability to process and store it. Perhaps I *am* just overly charitable to them, but I really think they’re capable of understanding these things if they hear them. Do you disagree? Do you have some third rational explanation for how it is that Obama voters don’t know that he got his primary opponents thrown off the ballot on technical grounds in his first race? I’d be interested in your theory. Maybe global warming made them forget. “It got hot, people forgot.” That’s the ticket! Move along, nothing to see here…

As for comparison with Michael Moore’s documentaries… To be comparable, Ziegler would have to pair questions with answers to different questions, and interview dozens of people and keep only the worst of the worst. The video *is* significantly more damning than the much more credible survey (though the survey is still VERY alarming), and probably should be disclaimed as such; but it is not the total hatchet-job on truth that Michael Moore has repeatedly produced.

Or to put it in “left-ese”, so you can understand it:

“ha ha too bad your guy svcks and our guy rocks”***

- RegularJoe
___________________________________________

*** For some reason I just can’t figure out how to spell badly enough to pass for a leftist (“svcks” was to get past any filter HA may have). It seems like it’d be easy, but I just can’t pull it off.

RegularJoe on November 19, 2008 at 12:56 PM

That video just proves that we need all voters to pass both a literacy test and a current events test before they are allowed near a voting booth. If that is the level of the typical democratic voter then “god help us”.

duff65 on November 19, 2008 at 1:44 PM

From what I’m hearing, it sounds as if the leftys and the leftist media are trying to redefine what truth means. I’ve seen how they’ve ignored facts and wished 9/11 away, and now that they’ve got their messiah, they can put a spin on the definition of truth as well.

4shoes on November 19, 2008 at 2:20 PM

Well….it is a push poll, designed to push the meme that media bias cost McCain/Palin the election.
There is no experimental design, no null hypothesis, and some questions were illformed, like the question about Palin and Russia which actually has no correct answer.
So the only results that can be drawn are anecdotal.
This is a fine anecdotal documentary effort, but Zogby cannot say anything statistically significant about results, because they didn’t practice statistical polling techniques.
This peer with a Michael Moore documentary….there are no statistical results, only anectdotal ones.

matoko_chan on November 19, 2008 at 9:11 AM

The typical liberal Democrat tactic that we’ve all come to know and love. “You really aren’t seeing what you’re seeing, and the guy who’s showing you what you’re seeing is Satan, or an inbred moron, or someone who longs for AmeriKKKa. Don’t pay any attention, everyone knows we’re the wizards of smart.”

ddrintn on November 19, 2008 at 4:36 PM

Well….it is a push poll, designed to push the meme that media bias cost McCain/Palin the election.

How so? From what I’ve seen and read, there was nothing in the questions to influence the participants’ positions on media bias while they were taking the poll. Or are you just redefining “push poll”?

There is no experimental design, no null hypothesis, and some questions were illformed, like the question about Palin and Russia which actually has no correct answer.

Actually, there is a correct answer. 5 people (1%) chose to answer “None”.

malclave on November 19, 2008 at 7:38 PM

It wasn’t a poll dumbass. It was an interview. Of course being a Libtard I don’t expect you to think deep enough to know the difference.
Guardian on November 19, 2008 at 12:03 AM

The headline for this article:>
“Video: How Obama Got Elected; Update: Zogby confirms poll, denies “push polling””

Reading is fundamental to comprehension of the subject at hand.

Video: How Obama Got Elected; Update: Zogby confirms poll, denies “push polling”

Chimpy on November 20, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Gee, news flash # 1,245,349, Demoncrats are morons. They deserve to get what they voted for good and hard. Too bad they are destroying the country for the rest of us. Maybe they should move elsewhere to live.

federale86 on November 20, 2008 at 4:58 PM

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