Friday, November 21, 2008

Not Push, but a Poll

Good column on the now infamous (at least among polling types) Zogby survey (conducted for a guy named John Ziegler) of Obama supporters finding them to be less than informed. I've blogged about it earlier in the week, so I'm not going to repeat the whole sordid story. The crux of the argument is this: are the "knowledge" questions really knowledge questions? Are they misleading? Debatable?

Probably. Perhaps. But if there's a doubt, then the questions aren't really tapping knowledge so much as underlying partisan preferences and misunderstanding of the news. When you select a handful of people and ask, at best, leading knowledge questions, you would expect this kind of result.

Interestingly, Zogby says the poll will not be conducted again, this time using McCain supporters. An interview with Ziegler, full of profanity, tells you all you probably need to know about the guy and his intentions in the survey.

I agree this was not a push poll, but it was also less a test of political knowledge and more a case of partisan hackery posing as a test of political knowledge.

1 comment:

Vinny said...

Voters may be ignorant, but you can't show that voters are more ignorant about Obama than McCain unless you ask similarly difficult questions about Obama and McCain. Ziegler asked three obvious questions about McCain and Palin drawn from statements and events occurring in the last three months. He asked questions about Obama and Biden based on obscure statements during the primaries and events that happened ten to twenty years ago.

It is also impossible to show that Obama voters are more ignorant than McCain voters without asking any questions of McCain voters.