Reading opinion polls
MLause at cinci.rr.com
Sat Jul 12 20:30:52 MDT 2003
I don't put great stock in polls and polling for many reason, but I'd
caution against writing all of them off as mere bunk. In the end, the
entire practice is a social science byproduct of early 20th century
marketing surveys. For that last reason in particular, the
powers-that-be have a vested interest in mechanisms accurate enough to
find out whether their widgets will sell better if they are lime green
with a racing stripe.
So there are news agency's and other disreputable groups that take
polls. Some polling organizations work primarily as subcontractors for
news companies and politicians who want to demonstrate a specific
result. However, some polling organizations do try to get accurate
I'd suggest that the broad support the polls found for Bush's policies
had some reality, particularly if they showed (as most did) that the
support had really soft spots, particularly among blacks and Hispanics.
However, the real weakness is the weakness of most polls. The support
was very broad and also very shallow, being a superficial response to
government lies, media misrepresentations, and cultural coercion. Once
exposed to the arid realities, that support has begun to evaporate. To
some extent, it's been a replay of Vietnam in fast forward.
Now, the response of the Bushly geniuses is to begin doing more of the
same. It took the focus off the disasterous results of the Afghanistan
adventure by going into Iraq, so it's now talking about Liberia and
other places. This is building an ever more complicated house of cards.
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