October 28, 2011
If You're Worried About the New Time Magazine Poll That Shows Barack H. Obama - and Even Hillary! - Easily Whupping All the Republican Candidates...
Don't. No, really; don't worry.
First, the poll's respondents are actually adults, not likely voters; Time derives the likely-voter percent by using a tried but provably untrue turnout model: asking respondents, "hey, you gonna vote?" Anybody who said "Yes" (838 out of 1,001) is listed as a likely voter. (The poll didn't even ask whether said likely voter bothered to vote in 2008 or 2010.)
In the last election (2010), a whopping 37.8% of adults turned out to vote. In fact, in the banner year of 2008, when turnout was the highest in four decades, when We were all Waiting for the One, turnout hit a record high of 56.8% of adults.
It's gibbering madness to fantasize that next year's turnout will be 84% -- higher than has ever been measured going at least as far back as the Disputed Election of 1824 (turnout 26.9%), a four-way cage match between Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, William Harris Crawford, and Henry Clay -- all in the same Democratic-Republican party, funnily enough -- which ended climactically with the House of Representatives picking Quincy Adams, after he (seemingly) bribed Speaker of the House Henry Clay by offering him the job of Secretary of State.
Assuming turnout for the 2012 election is the same as in 2008 -- which itself is extraordinarily unlikely -- that still means that a third of those who insist they plan to vote... won't. And as usual, most of these "phantom voters" will be Democrats. Conclusion: The actual turnout will be significantly more conservative than the wet-dream turnout that Time envisions.
(The highest recorded turnout was close, however, to Time's fairy-godmother wish; 81.8% of voting-age men voted in the centennial election of 1876, between Republican Rutherford B. Hayes and Democrat Samuel Tilden, considered probably the most corrupt presidential election in American history -- including twenty disputed electoral votes.)
Second point, as easily seen by the complete results, even the pool of respondents itself oversampled liberals and oversampled Democrats.
Party trust and support
Q5. REGARDLESS OF HOW YOU USUALLY VOTE, OVERALL, WHICH PARTY – (THE DEMOCRATS) OR (THE REPUBLICANS) — DO YOU TRUST TO DO A BETTER JOB IN DEALING WITH THE MAIN PROBLEMS THE NATION FACES OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS?
Democrats: 42% Republicans: 31%
Q6. IN POLITICS AS TODAY, ARE YOUR VIEWS BEST REPRESENTED BY THE (DEMOCRATIC PARTY), (REPUBLICAN PARTY), THE TEA PARTY, ANOTHER PARTY, OR DO NONE OF THE PARTIES REALLY REPRESENT YOUR VIEWS?
Democrats: 30% Republicans: 17% Tea Party: 12% None: 35%
(Note that there are more self-described Democrats, 30%, than self-described Republicans and tea partiers combined, 29%.)
"Tea Party" support and impact
Q8. ON ANOTHER ISSUE, IS YOUR OPINION OF THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENT VERY FAVORABLE, SOMEWHAT FAVORABLE, SOMEWHAT UNFAVORABLE, VERY UNFAVORABLE, OR DON’T YOU KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT THE TEA PARTY TO HAVE AN OPINION?
Very fav: 8% Somewhat fav: 19% Somewhat unfav: 9% Very unfav: 24%
(Combined favorable: 27%; combined unfavorable: 33% -- unfavorable = +6 points.)
Q9. HAS THE THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENT HAD A POSITIVE IMPACT ON AMERICAN POLITICS TODAY, A NEGATIVE IMPACT, OR HAS IT HAD LITTLE IMPACT?
Positive: 34% Negative: 40% Little: 25%
Q10. DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A MEMBER OR FOLLOWER OF THE TEA PARTY, OR NOT?
Yes: 6% [11%] No: 93% [88%]
(Numbers in [brackets] indicate subpool of those who say they are familiar with the "Tea Party.")
Occupy Wall Street support and impact
Q11. IN THE PAST FEW DAYS, A GROUP OF PROTESTORS HAS BEEN GATHERING ON WALL STREET IN NEW YORK CITY AND SOME OTHER CITIES TO PROTEST POLICIES WHICH THEY SAY FAVOR THE RICH, THE GOVERNMENT’S BANK BAILOUT, AND THE INFLUENCE OF MONEY IN OUR POLITICAL SYSTEM. IS YOUR OPINION OF THESE PROTESTS VERY FAVORABLE, SOMEWHAT FAVORABLE, SOMEWHAT UNFAVORABLE, VERY UNFAVORABLE, OR DON’T YOU KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT THE PROTESTS TO HAVE AN OPINION?
Very fav: 25% Somewhat fav: 29% Somewhat unfav: 10% Very unfav: 13%
(Combined favorable: 54%; combined unfavorable: 23% -- favorable = +31 points!)
Q12A. IN YOUR VIEW, WILL THIS PROTEST MOVEMENT HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON AMERICAN POLITICS TODAY, A NEGATIVE IMPACT, OR WILL IT HAVE LITTLE IMPACT ON AMERICAN POLITICS TODAY?
Positive: 30% Negative: 9% Little: 56%
These are the shibboleth questions, those that fairly clearly demarcate respondents as either mostly liberal or mostly conservative. Notice that in each case, the poll shows a decided tilt away from conservativism and towards liberalism, which I believe is very much at odds with the actual voting electorate today, at least based upon the 2010 election results.
I could be wrong; mayhap voters flirted with conservative policies and politicians for one electoral moment but returned to the liberal fold in the past year. However, unless you're willing to buy that idea, you needn't fret about this Time poll: It's more than likely heavily weighted towards the Left, as are most polls commissioned by left-leaning media giants -- especially in the "present emergecy" of a pending Obamic defeat.
Cross-posted on Hot Air's rogues' gallery...
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, October 28, 2011, at the time of 4:20 PM
The following hissed in response by: snochasr
It seems to me that these polls are more intended to influence public opinion rather than measure it. They are a liberal lollipop, assuring them that all is well, while simultaneously depressing conservatives to the point they might be discouraged from voting.
The other thing they seem to do is to 1. Take a poll. 2. Print numerous disparaging stories about conservatives, then 3. Take the poll again to see if the stories have had the desired negative impact. If not, brainwash, rinse, repeat.
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