PPP pollster: “People are stupid”

posted at 7:10 pm on March 14, 2012 by Tina Korbe

It’s one thing to acknowledge that the average American doesn’t have hours at his disposal with which to study the details of every last development in a presidential race or the details of every last piece of federal legislation. It’s another to suggest that voters are stupid simply because they have lives outside of following the news and/or have different opinions than those who spin the news. The average American probably doesn’t know as much about the campaign trail as, say, Rick Santorum or about the machinations of Congress as, say, John Boehner — but Rick Santorum and John Boehner don’t know as much as a doctor about what goes on in a hospital or as much as a teacher about what goes on in a public school.

The D.C. wonks’ mainstay Politico recently published a piece that purported to explore the question, “How much do voters know?” It seems, though, that editor John Harris and reporter Alex Burns were more interested to advance their thesis that “Voters are stupid” than they were to actually answer the question. Last night on Politico’s live-stream election show, John Harris all but admitted that:

(Thirty seconds in, I lost count of the number of times Harris used the word “stupid” — every time with the same annoying inflection.)

In the advancement of that thesis, Harris and Burns were helped considerably by Public Policy Polling’s Tom Jensen, who delivers the money quote of the piece.

“The first lesson you learn as a pollster is that people are stupid,” Jensen says. “I tell a client trying to make sense of numbers on a poll that are inherently contradictory that at least once a week.”

What strikes me as most interesting about this: People in general very rarely want to look inward to take responsibility when they could look outward to place blame. How refreshing would it be to see a bit of self-reflection from pollsters and journalists? An admission from a pollster that “We as pollsters are often myopic” or from a journalist that “We as journalists are often elitist” would be a lot more refreshing to read than “Voters are stupid.” Who knows? Perhaps such humility from “insiders” would inspire “outsiders” to take a little more responsibility for the information they consume, too.

Last thought: If voters are uninformed, wouldn’t that at least be in some part the fault of folks like Harris and Burns? Isn’t it their job to inform the electorate? If it’s just that people of all ideological predispositions can be surprisingly resistant to fact, shouldn’t Politico’s paid professionals research what it will take to reach people with the facts and then do it?

Blaming the problems our nation faces on a stupid electorate is a cop-out. We all bear some responsibility for them; it’s time to take it.


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Exhibit A:

President Barack Insane Obama.

tom daschle concerned on March 14, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Mmm mmm MMM!

Lanceman on March 14, 2012 at 7:15 PM

tom daschle concerned on March 14, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Thread winner.

Comments closed.

G’nite all!

The Ugly American on March 14, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Well 53% did vote for Dear Liar, even though it was clear he’s a marxist.

rbj on March 14, 2012 at 7:15 PM

I am trying to educate my comrades by they seem to like the soup line.

Electrongod on March 14, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Well they aren’t being coy anymore about what they think of people. Thats somewhat refreshing.

sharrukin on March 14, 2012 at 7:16 PM

No sh!t, Sherlock. Look who’s occupying the White House.

Rational Thought on March 14, 2012 at 7:17 PM

there should be a “but” in my last post….
Just sayin’

Electrongod on March 14, 2012 at 7:17 PM

We all bear some responsibility for them; it’s time to take it.

I have no problem shouldering my share of blame. I do find it quite impossible to be responsible for the rest of them. Apparently there are some that find it impossible to take responsibility for themselves. While this is not new, their numbers are growing, not shrinking. Self government is very hard, it relies on an informed citizenry. A lot of what we have now are folks that are lazy like water. You know the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water………

Bmore on March 14, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Voters elected Barack Obama. How smart can they be?

novaculus on March 14, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Do they actually mean – Republicans are stupid?

OldEnglish on March 14, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Many of my friends have absolutely no idea what is going on in the world. Stupid?? NO Lazy and living in their own little world.

Bullhead on March 14, 2012 at 7:20 PM

there should be a “but” in my last post….
Just sayin’

Electrongod on March 14, 2012 at 7:17 PM

There’s one in the WH.

Lanceman on March 14, 2012 at 7:21 PM

I know I’ve given inconsistent answers in polls – usually because I suspected or began to suspect some sort of bias hidden in the questions. Sometimes I find myself feeling that I’ve “gone too far” in one direction on previous questions and have an urge to moderate/balance that in later questions. I also tend to get pissed off when the questions skirt an issue I care about in favor of some particular issue that I think is irrelevant.

The point is, polls are only as good as the questions they ask.

peski on March 14, 2012 at 7:21 PM

OT: Tina, I think you’re doing great work, but I’d advise you to stop using “than” with “different.” Since “different” is not a grammatical comparative, it should take not “than,” but rather “from.”

/GrammarNazi

TouchingTophet on March 14, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Promise to pay their auto gas bill and mortgage and they will vote for you every time! He be duh won!

inspectorudy on March 14, 2012 at 7:23 PM

I can’t get worked up about this. I say the same thing daily.

Mark1971 on March 14, 2012 at 7:23 PM

O/T The CEO of Planned Parenthood in Lubbock,Tx got arrested for hanging it out at a city park and was fired today.

docflash on March 14, 2012 at 7:23 PM

PPP pollster: “People are stupid”
…well, they DID allow OBOZO to steal an election and helped put corrupt, crazy pelosi and dingy-harry reid in complete control of CONgress (for a while).

Let’s hope that the massive failure of lunatic-left d-cRAT socialist extremism was a “teachable moment” for the majority.

TeaPartyNation on March 14, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Well 53% did vote for Dear Liar, even though it was clear he’s a marxist.

rbj on March 14, 2012 at 7:15 PM

And didn’t another poll show that a majority of those could not tell the difference between a SNL skit and real life?

malclave on March 14, 2012 at 7:24 PM

OT: Tina, I think you’re doing great work, but I’d advise you to stop using “than” with “different.” Since “different” is not a grammatical comparative, it should take not “than,” but rather “from.”

/GrammarNazi

TouchingTophet on March 14, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Someone needs a swirlie.

sharrukin on March 14, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Do they actually mean – Republicans are stupid?

OldEnglish on March 14, 2012 at 7:20 PM

I don’t think we can make that assumption.

IIRC, that firm is pretty far left. There’s no reason to believe they would acknowledge Republicans as “people”. To them, we’re scary monsters.

malclave on March 14, 2012 at 7:26 PM

malclave on March 14, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Ah, yes, of course – silly me!

OldEnglish on March 14, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Isn’t this the argument that the Right made after Obama won? Everyone thinks everyone else is stupid. Rinse, repeat.

libfreeordie on March 14, 2012 at 7:31 PM

PPP, one of my favorite subjects for the past few years…..

I am an Alaskan.

In the fall of 2008, I tried answering a PPP robocall. My answers were clearly in support of McCain/Palin. Several of the questions were individually about Gov. Palin, and since I am an ardent supporter, I answered them all positively in her favor.

After several minutes of questions, the robocall announced that this would be the final question: “Can you see Russia from your house?”

I was shocked and insulted and I hung up.

I will never waste time on a PPP call again. Ass*****!!!!!!!

mindthegap on March 14, 2012 at 7:31 PM

It’s interesting that no one other than John Ziegler and Andrew Breitbart was interested in how little the voters – particularly Obama voters – knew about the candidates and the issues in 2008. Many didn’t know the difdference between Tina Fey and Sarah Palin. Four years ago voter stupidity wasn’t an issue because Obama won.

PPP has lots of egg on its face and rightfully so. It picked Romney to win Alabama in its over the week polling and to be 2.5 points ahead of Santorum. It picked Newt in Mississippi and said he would be 6 points ahead of Santorum. So, they had the wrong winners and were 8 points off in both states.

Perhaps John Harris and Tom Jensen are the ones who are stupid.

bw222 on March 14, 2012 at 7:31 PM

I wrestle with this.

Is it stupidity (an unchangable human disfunction) or ignorance (a lack of information)?

I don’t like thinking that people are generally “stupid”. That’s a Liberal position, that people are too stupid to take care of themselves. For untold generations humanity has taken care of itself with little or no information.

I believe it’s a conflagration of over-information, an obsession with groupthinking, and a failure of the 4th estate to provide meaningful information to make valid decisions.

itsspideyman on March 14, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Harris is right! Voters are stupid. They voted for Whoremaster Bill Clinton twice and now they voted for a black commie muslim whose experience as a community organizer helped him to bring this once-great country to it’s knees! Let us hope that they get over their stupidity and vote this SOB out in November!!!

Jersey Dan on March 14, 2012 at 7:32 PM

So they post a picture of Forest Gump, a developmentally disabled character, as an illustration of their “stupid” charge? I’m sure the activists for the disabled will be complaining loudly about this insult any time now? Right? Right? *crickets*

jrnlz on March 14, 2012 at 7:34 PM

People were smart when PBHO was elected, now that his chances for another term are dwindling the “Maybe these dummies shouldn’t be allowed to vote” memes are starting to surface in lib-land.

Bishop on March 14, 2012 at 7:35 PM

The left is depending on the voters being “stupid”, and with its control of the edutainment industry does everything in their power to make sure the average voter is as ignorant as possible.

18-1 on March 14, 2012 at 7:36 PM

mindthegap on March 14, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Because PPP is the official pollster of the Daily Kos and has ties with and receives support from the Democratic Party, I don’t view them as a legitimate pollster.

Let’s face the facts: most polls today are designed to influence rather than reflect public opinion. Most pollsters are as big of wh()res as Sandra Fluke and Nicolle Wallace.

bw222 on March 14, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Is it stupidity (an unchangable human disfunction) or ignorance (a lack of information)?

itsspideyman on March 14, 2012 at 7:32 PM

A little bit from column A, and a little bit from column B.

squint on March 14, 2012 at 7:38 PM

PPP pollster: “People are stupid”

PPP is oversampling Democrats again, I see.

whatcat on March 14, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Stupid?? NO Lazy and living in their own little world.

Bullhead on March 14, 2012 at 7:20 PM

In what way is living in your own little world not stupid?

pedestrian on March 14, 2012 at 7:39 PM

Exhibit B: ABRs.

Basilsbest on March 14, 2012 at 7:40 PM

He’s right.

Dante on March 14, 2012 at 7:41 PM

He does a real disservice to his study and his argument by so outwardly a jerk.

Jackalope on March 14, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Blaming the problems our nation faces on a stupid electorate is a cop-out. We all bear some responsibility for them; it’s time to take it.

It is true the blame can be equally shared.

Half goes to the MSM who fail to vet, investigate or honestly report on any Democrat and the other half goes to the stupid people who take the word of the MSM as gospel.

You couldn’t be any more wrong on this one Tina. We are where we are today precisely because of stupid people. Millions of them.

This “we” had nothing to do with it, and to take it a step further, did everything possible to prevent it.

fogw on March 14, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Isn’t this the argument that the Right made after Obama won? Everyone thinks everyone else is stupid. Rinse, repeat.

No. The voters were objectively ignorant in 2008 – most voters incorrectly believed that the Republicans controlled congress, for but one damning example. But stupid and ignorant are not the same thing.

The latter is a curable condition and obviously due to the incompetence of edutainment industry.

If the former is true, however, that the electorate does not have the intellectual capability to vote in its own best interests, as the Left usually claims – then democracy, of our republican format or otherwise, is unworkable.

This is why the left is generally hostile to the notion of representative government and seeks to minimize the sway the voters have over their own destiny.

18-1 on March 14, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Exhibit B: ABRs.

Basilsbest on March 14, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Tell me you don’t really equate folks who support someone besides Rmoney in with the same group that blindly supports 0.

Bmore on March 14, 2012 at 7:44 PM

He’s right.

Dante on March 14, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Is there a qualifier to that statement?

OldEnglish on March 14, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Is it stupidity (an unchangable human disfunction) or ignorance (a lack of information)?

itsspideyman on March 14, 2012 at 7:32 PM

I believe in many cases, it’s willfull ignorance. And, since I believe that willfull ignorance is stupid, I’d have to go with “and” rather than “or” in regards to your question.

malclave on March 14, 2012 at 7:45 PM

“the President can’t do much about gas prices”???

How about if Obama would allow drilling, allow refineries to be built, & allow the Keystone Pipeline to be built?

*trying not to call him stupid*

itsnotaboutme on March 14, 2012 at 7:46 PM

An odd argument for a public opinion pollster – if people are stupid why are they asking them questions?

Smedley on March 14, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Exhibit B: ABRs.

Basilsbest on March 14, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Go ahead and insult me, douchebag. I’m sure that’ll win me over to your way of thinking in no-time-flat./

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 7:47 PM

“Isn’t it their job to inform the electorate?”

“If the media was doing it’s job, Barak Obowma wouldn’t be President of the United States…

… If the media was doing it’s job, we wouldn’t be +$15 Trillion in debt,…” - Andrew Breitbart (RIP)

Seven Percent Solution on March 14, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Isn’t this the argument that the Right made after Obama won? Everyone thinks everyone else is stupid. Rinse, repeat.

libfreeordie on March 14, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Yeah, prolly.

Now quit spoilin’ our fun, libtoadordie.

Lanceman on March 14, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Last thought: If voters are uninformed, wouldn’t that at least be in some part the fault of folks like Harris and Burns? Isn’t it their job to inform the electorate? If it’s just that people of all ideological predispositions can be surprisingly resistant to fact, shouldn’t Politico’s paid professionals research what it will take to reach people with the facts and then do it?

Blaming the problems our nation faces on a stupid electorate is a cop-out. We all bear some responsibility for them; it’s time to take it.

I wonder if our human brains and overall psychology has been able at this hour to adapt correctly to such an increased in social media/technology/information-sharing as exists in these last ten years.

Truly, I don’t find that most of us can either keep abreast of much of what is available or if we’re well involved, that we can “process” most of it, distinguish what is actual from what is mere persuasive and often misleading rhetoric.

But claiming that “people are stupid” is not accurate. People are average — the average is average, somewhere around IQs of 100 or less. And most aren’t so involved in information-sharing as “politicos” are, so when questioned over the phone, aren’t going to be informed or even responsive to complicated inquiries. It’s not condemnable, it’s just that life is demanding otherwise and the average person has other things to take care of in an evening other than answering questions to politicos asking intrusive questions of them.

Lourdes on March 14, 2012 at 7:50 PM

I would say they are more ignorant than stupid, of course there are plenty of those as well. Ignorant just means they are uninformed and that has as much to do with the MSM these days as well as education curriculums. I guess stupid does work if they are not smart enough to get informed.

bluemarlin on March 14, 2012 at 7:51 PM

An odd argument for a public opinion pollster – if people are stupid why are they asking them questions?

Smedley on March 14, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Take a look at their poll weighting, they’re part of the stupid class.

fogw on March 14, 2012 at 7:51 PM

An odd argument for a public opinion pollster – if people are stupid why are they asking them questions?

Smedley on March 14, 2012 at 7:46 PM

It’s either brow-beating or it’s to prove that whoever they’re questioning IS, indeed, “stupid” (and therefore to self-satisfy by the politico calling).

Seems like predictable, Leftmedia behavior. :)

Lourdes on March 14, 2012 at 7:53 PM

Isn’t it their job to inform the electorate?

No, Tina. Their job is to MOLD the electorate. They did such a dynamite job in 2008. It being such an “unprecedented” and “historic” event.

Now they just cover their asses because Barry isn’t working out so well.

GarandFan on March 14, 2012 at 7:53 PM

Exhibit B: ABRs.

Basilsbest on March 14, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Tell me you don’t really equate folks who support someone besides Rmoney in with the same group that blindly supports 0. Bmore on March 14, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Given the importance of removing Obama and the certainty that Santorum will be annihilated in the General election, I do.

We had a good example of this last night. According to exit polls substantial majorities in both MS and AL stated Romney had the best chance of defeating Obama and yet they voted for Santorum.

Basilsbest on March 14, 2012 at 7:54 PM

OT: Tina, I think you’re doing great work, but I’d advise you to stop using “than” with “different.” Since “different” is not a grammatical comparative, it should take not “than,” but rather “from.”

/GrammarNazi

TouchingTophet on March 14, 2012 at 7:23 PM

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

You just embarrassed yourself. The grammatical convention/practice/form is – and always has been – “different than”, not “different from”.

fabrexe on March 14, 2012 at 7:54 PM

PPP pollster: “People are stupid”

PPP is oversampling Democrats again, I see.

whatcat on March 14, 2012 at 7:38 PM

It stands for ‘Piss-Poor Polling’.

slickwillie2001 on March 14, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Isn’t this the argument that the Right made after Obama won? Everyone thinks everyone else is stupid. Rinse, repeat.

libfreeordie on March 14, 2012 at 7:31 PM

There are a lot of ignorant people on both sides.

“Bush knew about 9/11 in advance.”

“Obama was born in Kenya or Indonesia.”

“Bush went to war for his oil buddies.”

“The GOP is the party of the rich.”

But Politico’s editor errs in calling the public “stupid” rather than ignorant, as Ed rightly notes.

And saying that the President can do nothing about fuel prices is an exceptionally ignorant thing to say.

itsnotaboutme on March 14, 2012 at 7:55 PM

An odd argument for a public opinion pollster – if people are stupid why are they asking them questions?

Smedley on March 14, 2012 at 7:46 PM

They need a baseline of veracity upon which to build the verisimilitude of their fanciful lies. Conservative turnout ain’t gonna depress itself, you know.

squint on March 14, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Tina, not Ed. *facepalm*

itsnotaboutme on March 14, 2012 at 7:55 PM

According to exit polls substantial majorities in both MS and AL stated Romney had the best chance of defeating Obama and yet they voted for Santorum.

A Romney victory does us no more good then an Obama victory, so they were voting intelligently.

We don’t have 8 years to wait for a course correction in DC.

Beating Obama the man is not the goal. Defeating leftwing policies is.

18-1 on March 14, 2012 at 7:57 PM

OT: Tina, I think you’re doing great work, but I’d advise you to stop using “than” with “different.” Since “different” is not a grammatical comparative, it should take not “than,” but rather “from.”

/GrammarNazi

TouchingTophet on March 14, 2012 at 7:23 PM

..you’ll probably get a few flames from folks but, as far as I am concerned, thanks for the tip. It’s good to know these things. What really roasts my onions is the use of “then” when people someone means “than” s in “Romney has a greater chance of beating Obama then than Sactorum.”

Now if you could clarify “further” and “farther” for me, I’d be a happy camper.

The War Planner on March 14, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Basilsbest on March 14, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Well all I can say to that is, good luck, and welcome to the South.

Bmore on March 14, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Of course the average voter is stupid! That’s why the Founders tried as hard as they could to devise a Constitution that prevented you peasants from influencing the composition of government with your votes. They hoped that, with a 6-year term for Senators, and with indirect election of just about everyone, you rubes would have ample opportunity to listen to your betters before any lasting damage would be done. Sadly, the Founders overestimated your intelligence.

hicsuget on March 14, 2012 at 8:02 PM

The War Planner on March 14, 2012 at 7:57 PM

I’m with you, I’ll take any tips on spelling and grammar I can get. HA is a place, of or is for, learning. At least for me, writing is my worst skill. Not all us here have enjoyed formal educations. Not everyone is a good writer. I am looking to improve however. This seemed like a good and inexpensive way to do it. So TouchingTophet, lend me a hand whenever you can. Thanks.

Bmore on March 14, 2012 at 8:04 PM

hicsuget on March 14, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Technically, McGugget, there still is no Constitutional ‘right’ to vote in any federal election.

Did you hear me, libtards? You have no Constitutional right to vote in a federal election. None at all.

Lanceman on March 14, 2012 at 8:05 PM

A Romney victory does us no more good then an Obama victory

18-1 on March 14, 2012 at 7:57 PM

The stupidest most ignorant comment on this page.

Romney was far to the right of Obama when he was a governor, & he’s moved more to the right since then (as Reagan did before he ran for president).

Romney is a conservative. He’s no Reagan, but to say he’s just like Obama is pathetic.

itsnotaboutme on March 14, 2012 at 8:05 PM

A Romney victory does us no more good then an Obama victory, so they were voting intelligently.

We don’t have 8 years to wait for a course correction in DC.

Beating Obama the man is not the goal. Defeating leftwing policies is.

18-1 on March 14, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Dumber than a bag of hammers. They were being self-indulgent. And too stupid to understand that Santorum’s social conservatism won’t be of any use if Obama is re-elected. You can’t defeat left wing policies if you don’t defeat Obama. You need to learn the difference between then and than. And that one swallow doesn’t make a spring.

Basilsbest on March 14, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Romney was far to the right of Obama when he was a governor,

Romney ran as a moderate, and governed as a liberal.

He is indeed more moderate then Obama.

But we are at least as doomed with a competent and pragmatic liberal president as we are with the current incompetent radical.

18-1 on March 14, 2012 at 8:07 PM

A lot of people are stupid, but the ones that frustrate me the most are the ignorant. Our nation is going downhill because of the rise in ignorance and the power of celebrity.

McDuck on March 14, 2012 at 8:08 PM

You can’t defeat left wing policies if you don’t defeat Obama.

And you can’t defeat leftwing policies with a liberal as your standard bearer.

18-1 on March 14, 2012 at 8:08 PM

sharrukin on March 14, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Is that different than a swirly?

TouchingTophet on March 14, 2012 at 8:11 PM

Just a a light weight Bill Maher. Same liberal mantra.

pat on March 14, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Is that different than a swirly?

TouchingTophet on March 14, 2012 at 8:11 PM

LOL.

Itz da sam thing.

sharrukin on March 14, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Romney ran as a moderate, and governed as a liberal.

He is indeed more moderate then Obama.

But we are at least as doomed with a competent and pragmatic liberal president as we are with the current incompetent radical.

18-1 on March 14, 2012 at 8:07 PM

Governed as a liberal. Sure. He inherited a deficit and then managed to create four surpluses. But then you don’t know the difference between then and than. If you are the average voter then the people at PPP are right.

Basilsbest on March 14, 2012 at 8:15 PM

And as member of the Gallup Panel, may I say that they the Gallup pollsters have never indicated such an attitude. They are smart, professional and interested. If a poll concerns an area which one has no expertise, say Medicare or car purchasing for example, you simply opt out and tell them why.

pat on March 14, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Is there a qualifier to that statement?

OldEnglish on March 14, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Maybe this will help.

“People are stupid”

He’s right.

Dante on March 14, 2012 at 8:18 PM

18-1 on March 14, 2012 at 8:08 PM

The pendulum has three positions of rest.

OldEnglish on March 14, 2012 at 8:19 PM

My name is Benjamin Joett;
If it’s knowledge, then I know it;
I am in charge of this college;
What I don’t know, isn’t knowledge.

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on March 14, 2012 at 8:19 PM

Governed as a liberal. Sure. He inherited a deficit and then managed to create four surpluses

Mitt Romney jack up spending faster then the federal government. He instituted Obamacare V1.0. And he did nothing when the State judiciary overstepped its boundaries.

At best he’ll preserve the Obama status quo. He’ll be Eisenhower to Obama’s FDR.

So if you like your Oromneycare, go ahead and vote for Mitt Romney. At least you can take pride in the fact that the president we collapse under will have an R by his name.

18-1 on March 14, 2012 at 8:20 PM

Dante on March 14, 2012 at 8:18 PM

Some of them, all of them, those who disagree with me …?

OldEnglish on March 14, 2012 at 8:20 PM

I remember a luncheon talk from Harlan Carter (NRA executive VP, ret. … and an extraordinary man BTW) many moons ago and he was asked about ‘polls’ and what he thought of them. His answer was most educating … he said (I paraphrase) … ‘You can get any kind of response you want as it depends upon the questions and how they are formulated.’ So polling is sort of a shell game as it were.
And if 2008 represents ANYTHING it indicates that the LSM performed it legitimate (free society) function very poorly. As Churchill claimed if you doubt the durability of a Democracy … a 5 minute chat with the average voter should convince you of its fragility.
OK enough … I propose a way certain, to get the voters attention. In this case I’ll assume Romney runs against President Present.
Have Mitt release, in toto, his college transcripts: BYU (Honors); Harvard (double graduate majors with an MBA & JurisDr. both with Honors.) Then watch King Putt and his supporters go ‘high order’.
Even the slobbering LSM will not be able to cover those trump cards.

Missilengr on March 14, 2012 at 8:22 PM

“Voters are stupid”

Get over it

J_Crater on March 14, 2012 at 8:23 PM

Hubris is a threshold qualification for jouros…and pols.

the Left never tires of talking about Lakoff, tversky and kahneman etc. and the simple minded cognitive limitations of peasants…and how the, well, propaganda machine should learn from all the scholarly work

And so, thus, we have the ever brilliant ‘behavioral econ’ that Cass Sunstein luvs.

and these brilliant people will give a world of unicorns and Lysenko

r keller on March 14, 2012 at 8:24 PM

Obviously a majority of the people were stupid in the last election, and they voted Democratic.

KOOLAID2 on March 14, 2012 at 8:25 PM

Voters are stupid because gerrymandered districts allow them to remain that way and that’s just fine with the PRESSSSident and LOSERship of both parties.

If every other Congressional election were at large, it’s likely that a lot of the ignorance of the electorate would be replaced with better informed voters as everyone running for Congress would have be be in your face about what the issues are and what they stand for. As it is, with so many politically gerrymandered safe districts, it really doesn’t matter much if folks are or are not informed of the issues.

No matter how folks in safe districts vote, their vote rarely changes anything. It’s only the few select competitive districts where real campaigns are run, and these campaigns are distorted to the max by money coming from all the safe districts who barely need more than a few yard signs.

drfredc on March 14, 2012 at 8:26 PM

We had a good example of this last night. According to exit polls substantial majorities in both MS and AL stated Romney had the best chance of defeating Obama and yet they voted for Santorum.

Basilsbest on March 14, 2012 at 7:54 PM

That doesn’t mean they’re stupid.

Maybe they believe that the chance of electing Santorum is worth the higher risk of not ousting Obama.

Maybe they assume that, regardless of how they vote, Romney will end up with the nomination… but want to send him a message to be on his toes.

Don’t assume that just because you’re an ABO voter, that everyone else has to be. :)

malclave on March 14, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Maybe they assume that, regardless of how they vote, Romney will end up with the nomination… but want to send him a message to be on his toes.

Another good point.

If you have decided you can stomach Romney, and that as a President he would be nothing like his *record* indicates he would, the best thing you can do is convince Romney that he faces an immediate, and career threatening, revolt if he goes back to his liberal roots.

18-1 on March 14, 2012 at 8:30 PM

hicsuget on March 14, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Like the Constitution really plays any role today.

CW on March 14, 2012 at 8:30 PM

I was robo-called numerous times during the Ohio primary by polling organizations. And I hung up every time without answering a single question, except once. That time the first question was “Do you approve of the job President Obama is doing?” I said, “no”. Then I hung up.

The first rule of polling is to tell whoever’s paying for the poll what they want to hear. This is why poll questions “seem slanted”; they are. The pollster’s objective is not to give an honest profile of public opinion; it is to give the client what he wants, so he will keep hiring the pollster to work for him.

As such, the questions you are asked, and more importantly how they are asked, are intended to push you to give the kind of answers the client wants. Period. That’s it. The Science Of Polling in a nutshell.

Polls are published, not to tell the elected leaders what the public thinks of them, but to tell the public what they are supposed to think of their elected leaders. The leaders really don’t give a damn what you think of them, as long as you “shut up and sing”. (It makes no difference what party they are from, either.) Polls are instruments to tell you what “the right opinion” is- and to influence you to adopt it yourself.

Also keep in mind that pollsters are mainly marketing types, whose careers are predicated on the theory that they can sell anything with the right kind of PR. As such, opinion polls are no more than a form of advertising, trying to convince you that Candidate A is a better “product” than candidate B- and that you will be socially unacceptable if you are even thinking of voting for B. They use the same pseudologic in selling deodorant. The difference is, most people can tell that most deodorants smell alike, no matter who makes them. The same cannot be said for politicians.

The best response to a poll is to hang up. If you want to tell them why, say “My opinion is none of anyone else’s business, and the candidate will find out what it is when I’m in the voting booth.”

If enough people simply refuse to play this game, sooner or later the entire industry will be faced with the reality that nobody trusts them anymore. At which point the candidates, and their machines, won’t be willing to pay them any more. Why pay someone to mould public opinion for you when they can’t actually do it any more?

The sooner we all start, the better.

clear ether

eon

eon on March 14, 2012 at 8:40 PM

There are a lot of ignorant people on both sides.

Except for one little detail: those ignorant people on one side are treated with scorn in the media, academia and entertainment industry, while those of the other side are treated with the deference and respect due wise prophets by the same, and showered with praise and awards.

It is difficult not to conclude that this is a pervasive attempt to control pubic opinion.

drunyan8315 on March 14, 2012 at 8:48 PM

If someone relies on TV for their information then they are ignorant. If someone sits a kid in front of a TV, unsupervised and does not talk about what was seen afterwards, then they are irresponsibly ignorant. If someone claims to be of a particular religion and does not know the basics of their faith and arguments that some use against that religion, then they are ignorant. If someone attacks another religion without know what defenders of that religion would say in responce to those attacks, then they are ignorant. In general, if you can not state the other side’s position to their satisfaction, then you are ignorant. Etc. Therfore I submit that most americans are ignorant.

AnotherOpinion on March 14, 2012 at 8:59 PM

“the President can’t do much about gas prices”???

How about if Obama would allow drilling, allow refineries to be built, & allow the Keystone Pipeline to be built?

*trying not to call him stupid*

itsnotaboutme on March 14, 2012 at 7:46 PM

To call John Harris stupid would be an insult to stupid people! I’ve known sheep that could outwit him. I’ve worn dresses with higher IQs. But that ape thinks he’s an intellectual.

ElectricPhase on March 14, 2012 at 9:07 PM

We had a good example of this last night. According to exit polls substantial majorities in both MS and AL stated Romney had the best chance of defeating Obama and yet they voted for Santorum.

Basilsbest on March 14, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Which means what? They voted their conscience? Isn’t that what voting is about?

I believe voting for “whoever gave us the best chance” is what got us Bob Dole and John McCain.

itsspideyman on March 14, 2012 at 9:17 PM

AnotherOpinion on March 14, 2012 at 8:59 PM

A very not-ignorant argument.

itsspideyman on March 14, 2012 at 9:18 PM

I am a resource for a national, highly respected polling company, which sets me up for a bunch of polling questions via email maybe every 6 weeks or couple months. The topic could be gambling vacation destinations, or politics or beer preferences or several of these at once. …and I am constantly surprised by the poor quality of the questions asked.
There can be potential double meanings and presuppositions on the part of the question-maker that preclude my answering some questions at all…
If one can’t form a poll correctly, how can one expect to garner meaningful answers?
I’m not particularly interested in polling results, since seeing it from the other side – it’s so subject to interpretation on the part of the questionee as well as the questioner.
Susan Lee

Susan Lee on March 14, 2012 at 9:21 PM

I only got called by a telephone poller once. And the moonbat actually started ARGUING with me because he didn’t like my answers.

Of course I didn’t finish taking the poll. But I think that’s where a lot of their “sample skews” come from.

They claim they have a +/-3% accuracy, when their sample has a thirty-percent higher than average number of Democrats? In statistical terms, that is what is referred to as “absolutely impossible.” That cannot happen randomly; there has to be a very strong BIAS IN THE SELECTION PROCESS.

logis on March 14, 2012 at 9:24 PM

If someone in my family said stupid half as many times as he did, they’d eventually get a slap to the back of the head.

shannon76 on March 14, 2012 at 9:24 PM

I don’t know about the average voter except to say this is a kinda stupid thread then or is it than?

Bmore on March 14, 2012 at 9:32 PM

OOPs forgot the sarc tag thingy. / How stupid of me.

Bmore on March 14, 2012 at 9:33 PM

There can be potential double meanings and presuppositions on the part of the question-maker that preclude my answering some questions at all… If one can’t form a poll correctly, how can one expect to garner meaningful answers?
Susan Lee on March 14, 2012 at 9:21 PM

I’ve never finished a written political poll. Every third or fourth question has no rational response.

It wouldn’t be very hard at all for our self-appointed “genious” to add one additional choice: “E. This is an incredibly stupid question.” If I had that option, I could continue without pausing to get a lobotomy first.

I think he’d be very surprised by the answers. Not merely in terms of the number of E’s selected, but also by the answers they’d get in general from a heretofor unrepresented class of people: those capable of logical thought.

logis on March 14, 2012 at 9:34 PM

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