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.