Monday, August 21, 2006

Polls no cause for GOP gloom and doom

Thursday, the WaPo read the polls and saw gloom and doom for the GOP.

Friday, Erick took a closer look and saw something quite different.

Now, here is a completely different take on the polls:
But an earlier poll of 1,047 Americans conducted for CNN by Opinion Research Corporation from Aug. 2 to 3 drew a dramatically different response when it asked people, "How well are things going in the country today?"
A combined 55 percent said things were going "fairly well" (47 percent) or "very well" (8 percent), compared with those who said "pretty badly" (29 percent) or "very badly" (15 percent).
Keating Holland, CNN's polling director, said the question is fundamentally different from the right track/wrong track that other pollsters ask, but he acknowledged that "it is a measurement of how well Americans think things are going in the country today."
"Different questions get different answers," he said.
Ah, so the "right track/wrong track" question doesn't necessarily mean what the pundits say it means. And what about that "generic" ballot question?
Pollsters say the election's outcome will be decided by the large number of independent voters, but Mr. Zogby found that most of them still do not know how they will vote.
"Among independents, 32 percent said they prefer Democrats in November, 20 percent said they prefer Republicans and 41 percent said they were undecided," he said.
In the meantime, despite the emphasis that TV and newspaper polls place on the so-called generic congressional vote -- in which voters are asked which party they will support without naming candidates -- a Newsweek poll last week found that very little knowledge went into these responses.
"Most Americans aren't paying attention to politics yet; 68 percent of registered voters say they have only given the November elections 'a little' or no attention," Newsweek said.
More than two-thirds of voters aren't even paying attention yet, but many Republicans talk like they've already lost hope. Sad and silly, don't you think?

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