Archive for ‘Polls and polling’

July 5, 2013

US Parents Are Loath to Raise Future Politicians

by thoughtfulconservative

This is one of those polls that drives me crazy.

Mommas don’t want their babies to grow up to be politicians, a new poll finds.

U.S. parents who are pretty down on Washington and don’t want their kids anywhere near the political world.

A new Gallup poll finds that only 31 percent of Americans want their son or daughter to go into politics.

via US Parents Are Loath to Raise Future Politicians – ABC News.

Besides the non-sentence paragraph in the middle (doesn’t anyone proof-read anymore?), it starts with promise. Maybe there’s something to this. But then,

As it turns out, Americans have never really loved the idea of raising future politicians. Fewer than 30 percent of Americans have said they want their son to go into politics since the 1960s.

Sigh. So there’s no news here. It’s basically the same as it’s always been.

It kinda makes one wonder about the breathless quality of the headline.

But maybe that’s my imagination…


July 13, 2011

Why most polls suck

by thoughtfulconservative

Any one who reads me, or even hangs around me for any length of time, will find out I’m not a big fan of polls.

There’s just too many things that can tilt a poll one way or another.

Oh, you want me to name some? Gladly. Size of the sample, who’s in the sample, how the question is worded, the order of the choices, if my wife mouthed off to me this morning, if I woke up with a headache, if I’m getting ready to go out, ideological leaning of the one taking the poll, You want me to go on?

This is not to say there’s no value in polls. For example, I will use polling results in responding to liberals about some issue they are big on. I do this because liberals love polls.

For example, only 27% Americans believe abortion should be legal under any circumstance, in other words like it is now.

But I’m just playing with them.

Long prelude to get to this:

A new Gallup Poll finds that just 26% of GOP voters think a deal to lift the debt ceiling should consist entirely of spending cuts.

The vast majority of Republicans believe that at least some tax revenue increases are necessary, which is contrary to the current position of the Republican congressional leadership.

Nate Silver: “The Republicans in the House of Representatives are extremely conservative on fiscal matters and are significantly out of step with the public as a whole.” [emphasis mine]

via Most GOP Voters See Need for Revenue Increases.

I’m like, “Whoa. Really?”

So I looked up the poll. Here’s the table:

Preferences for Spending Cuts vs. Tax Increases to Reduce the Deficit, by Political Party, July 2011

This is one of those (frankly useless) polls that both sides can get something from. I guess pollsters do this so no one will get mad at them.

Because what Mr. Goddard wrote is correct. Because tax increases are included in every choice but one.

Clever, eh? I love how they did that!

And Republicans can say, “Half of the American people want the deficit to be reduced by mostly spending cuts.”

See how easy that is?

The more choices there are, the better chance to find a majority that favors your point of view.

But sometimes it’s hard to tell anything from a poll. In that same Gallop poll (3rd question), 51% of Americans are concerned the government would raise the debt ceiling without cutting spending. And (4th question) 46% trust Republican leaders rather than Obama (43%) to handle the issues concerning the budget and debt ceiling.

And everyone knows that web polls are even more useless, right? Like this one. I wouldn’t mind voting but they don’t have a choice that matches mine.

June 15, 2011

‘Traditional values’ take a slip in the polls

by thoughtfulconservative

“Traditional values” didn’t do too well in the latest CNN poll of American adults. For the first time in 18 years since the question has been asked, the percentage of adults thinking that the government should “promote traditional values” dropped below 50 percent.

via ‘Traditional values’ take a slip in the polls | Keen News Service.

What the heck are “traditional values?”

CNN did not explain what it meant by “traditional values,” but in political discourse, it emerged as code for “anti-gay.” The right-wing Traditional Values Coalition defines traditional values as including the view that homosexuality is an abomination, but also includes views that are anti-abortion, pro-death penalty, and pro-religion.

And of course, these folks are usually conservative and therefore Republican. I’ve got it now.

But since the question was first asked, in 1993, responses have fluctuated dramatically.

Might they fluctuate so much because CNN doesn’t tell them what they mean by traditional values so folks have to guess. What kind of polling is this? Could this low point be just another fluctuation? What will the author say if it’s back up to say 56 per cent next time?

Notice Question 21 page 7 in the PDF file. Sixty-three per cent feel the government is trying to do too much to try and solve our problems. Maybe people are starting to figure out that government cannot promote traditional values.

May 6, 2010

Statistic of the day

by thoughtfulconservative

Very few, but some atheists 5% and agnostics 9% say they pray daily.

via Daily Number: National Day of Prayer – Pew Research Center.

I’m not sure to whom they pray, but I’ll take it. The poll was not specific so it could mean anything, I guess.

November 2, 2008

How I know the forecasts are wrong

by thoughtfulconservative

Even reliably red Montana in play as Election Day looms.


Of course, I realize I could be the one that’s wrong.

October 31, 2008

McCain Camp: It’s Not Over Yet

by thoughtfulconservative

Wonder Why?

Here are a couple of stories to chew on:


AP poll: 1 in 7 voters still persuadable


Of course, an Obama loss will be blamed on racism. Erica Jong solemnly warns of Civil War, not the first time I’ve heard that.

Steven M. Warshawskyhas three separate posts at The American Thinker on this general topic, saying Don’t forget the undecided voters, Be skeptical of polls [Ed. – as I always am], and the signs pointing to a McCain victory.


At least, not entirely.

UPDATE: I neglected to include this post by Ace.