Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Where the Crazy People Are

Yes, the Democrats have more than their fair share of nutjobs.  Apparently, so do the Republicans.  A Daily Kos poll of Republicans found:
  • 39 percent think Obama should be impeached
  • 63 percent think Obama is a socialist
  • 36 percent think Obama was not born in the U.S.
  • 24 percent think Obama wants the terrorists to win
  • 31 percent think Obama is a racist who hates white people
There's a bunch more, a lot of kooky stuff, which makes me wonder a lot about the poll's methodology.  There are some crosstabs here.  But the methods section seems sound.  See below:
The Daily Kos Republican Poll was conducted by Research 2000 from January 20 through January 31, 2010. A total of 2003 self identified Republicans were interviewed nationally by telephone. Those interviewed were selected by the random variation of the last four digits of telephone numbers, nationally.

The margin for error, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than plus or minus 2% percentage points. This means that there is a 95 percent probability that the "true" figure would fall within that range if the entire self identified Republican population were sampled. The margin for error is higher for any demographic subgroup, such as for gender or region.

5 comments:

bethany said...

I looked at the demographics at the end there, their sample skewed older, and I wonder if that is because the party skews older or a result of doing a phone survey. I suspect if they got more younger republicans their data on the gay rights questions would be less conservative.

Hollander said...

I never got down to the demographics (posted just before running out to class). Yeah, they seem to skew old and, strangely, southern. I'm not sure why 42 percent came from the South. But 70 percent are ages 45 and higher. I'd have to go back to other data to see how that stacks up. Maybe a post for tomorrow or, if time allows, later today.

deoksu [덕수] said...

you are much kinder to that poll than I am. I think the reporting on this poll is comepletely irresponsible. And I am a pretty hardcore lefty.

http://www.rationalpublic.com/2010/02/daily-kos-republican-poll-proceed-with-extreme-caution/

Hollander said...

I agree there's a lot to wonder about here, and that's a helluva analysis on rationalpublic.com (which I will add to my reading list).

The poll has also generated a little discussion on AAPORnet, the listserv of public opinion professionals, and I suspect it'll get busier as the day progresses and people start digging into the methodology, or failing to find as much methodological detail as one would like.

CNN was all over this poll earlier today. Dunno if Fox News went with it or not, but I'm fairly sure Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will, ahem, mention it tonight.

Nick said...

Interesting poll. I still have a hard time understanding how emotions can run so high concerning Obama, whether they are love or hate. He seems like a left-leaning moderate more than a radical, at least looking at his policy.