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Another Misleading Rasmussen Poll

02.08.10

According to the latest Rasmussen Poll, “75% Are Angry At Government’s Current Policies.”  Upon first glance, it implies that an overwhelming majority of Americans are angry at President Obama and Democrats.  It’s written just to rally the Republican base because simply stating that you’re angry with the current policies couldn’t be a more vague response to an even vaguer question.  It doesn’t tell us anything that really would be worthwhile to know: like, why one is angry with which policies.  Just like the disapproval ratings for the Health Care Bill are used to assume that because people aren’t happy with it, it means they don’t want reform, ignoring the fact that a lot of people dislike the reform because it doesn’t do enough.

This poll just offers a question of emotion – not policy – and shouldn’t be misconstrued as anything else.

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2 comments

  1. Mark Twain said it best, “Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.” Whats most unfortunate is that some people cling to statistics, utilizing them as facts. It is interesting to note that most people are aware of how pliable statistics can be, yet are quick to support those statistics which suit their ends. However, if the statistics are contrary to what these people believe, or support, they are extremely quick to point out how meaningless statistics are in general.

    Aside from ‘maybe’ exit polls, statistics have no value and are only used to further someone’s agenda. As you mentioned, this one simply was done to help solidify the Republican base.


    • Mark Twain sure knew his stuff. Yeah, polls and surveys are just really so topical. The questions usually are so vague that the answers could be interpreted in any way you wish. Or are asked purposefully so that happens. If done exhaustively and on very specific things, I can see value in statistics like this, but not with something so broad as “current policies.” I wouldn’t even be able to answer the question because I’d have too many followups that they wouldn’t clarify. It’s just amazing how these polls then feed on themselves and people believe them and then respond accordingly to the next poll and so on. Scary, really.



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