Polls Archives

New Polls – How Has the ACA Affected You?

Haven’t done a new one of these in a while. We’ve got 2 new polls up (in addition to the perennial social network one).

You can answer how the Affordable Care Act has affected your insurance policy and your insurance costs. And feel free to rant or rave in the comment section of this post. How is this new law affecting you?

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    Friday Link Wrap-up

    Death panels. "A 29-year-old woman will die without a new drug that the NHS is refusing to provide despite the manufacturer offering it to her for free, it emerged today." When Sarah Palin talked about death panels under ObamaCare, it wasn’t a prediction; it was a description of socialized medicine.

    Extremism on abortion. "Obama and his party this fall are waging a political culture war, tagging Mitt Romney and his party as scary radicals on abortion and women’s issues. But for more than a decade in public office, Obama has fought a legislative culture war, holding abortion in higher regard than freedom of conscience or even basic respect for human dignity." Who’s the extremist, again?

    Watching the polls, or not. "I think Mitt Romney is likely to win next Tuesday. For two reasons:  (1) Romney leads among voters on trust to get the economy going again.  (2) Romney leads among independents." Jay Cost looks at history and the independents; he doesn’t just number-crunch.

    Unions.  "[Utility] Crews from Huntsville [Alabama], as well as Decatur Utilities and Joe Wheeler out of Trinity headed up there this week, but Derrick Moore, one of the Decatur workers, said they were told by crews in New Jersey that they can’t do any work there since they’re not union employees." When membership means more than helping people.

    And another reminder that you can give to the Salvation Army for Sandy disaster relief.

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      Polling Data vs Reality

      Hugh Hewitt interviewed Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Polls, about some of their recent presidential election poll data. It’s a short interview, but Hugh makes the point that, if the Democrat-to-Republican ratio isn’t close enough to what you’d expect in the upcoming election, then the information is suspect. An excerpt:

      HH: Now what I don’t understand this, so educate me on it, if Democrats only had a three point advantage in Florida in the final turnout measurement in 2008, but in your poll they have a nine point turnout advantage, why is that not a source of skepticism for people?

      PB: Well, I mean, clearly there will be some people who are skeptics. This is how we’ve always done our polls. Our record is very good in terms of accuracy. Again, remember, we’re asking people what they consider themselves at the time we call them.

      HH: But I don’t know how that goes to the issue, Peter, so help me. I’m not being argumentative, I really want to know. Why would guys run a poll with nine percent more Democrats than Republicans when that percentage advantage, I mean, if you’re trying to tell people how the state is going to go, I don’t think this is particularly helpful, because you’ve oversampled Democrats, right?

      PB: But we didn’t set out to oversample Democrats. We did our normal, random digit dial way of calling people. And there were, these are likely voters. They had to pass a screen. Because it’s a presidential year, it’s not a particularly heavy screen.

      HH: And so if, in fact, you had gotten a hundred Democrats out of a hundred respondents that answered, would you think that poll was reliable?

      PB: Probably not at 100 out of 100.

      HH: Okay, so if it was 75 out of 100…

      PB: Well, I mean…

      HH: I mean, when does it become unreliable? You know you’ve just put your foot on the slope, so I’m going to push you down it. When does it become unreliable?

      PB: Like the Supreme Court and pornography, you know it when you see it.

      "You know it when you see it?" This from a guy who makes his living by hyper-analyzing numbers? Yes, a lot will depend on the actual ratio that turn up on election day, but statistics are adjusted all the time to account for other factors and make all things equal (or as equal as they can be). Why not this factor?

      Maybe someone can educate me on this, but just the use of the phrase "you know it when you see it" from a statistician really makes me question the confidence I have in his numbers.

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        New Poll: Social Networks

        We’re interested in seeing what social networks are readers typically use, so there’s a new poll up. Choose all that apply to you, and if I’ve missed one (and that’s easy to do), just check Other and let us know in the comments.

        What exactly qualifies as a social network is often in the eye of the beholder. But let us know what you think qualifies as well. Thanks.

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          "Smart" Diplomacy

          All that goodwill that George W. Bush squandered, especially in the Muslim world, was going to be returned under Obama. Yeah, right.

          Today’s eye-opening IBOPE Zogby International poll for the Arab American Institute Foundation should be a wake-up call to the White House on its failing foreign policy. After two and a half years of bashing Israel, appeasing rogue regimes such as Iran and Syria, and promising a new era of relations with the Muslim world, Washington is now less popular in major Arab countries than it was when George W. Bush was in the White House.

          The poll surveys Arab opinion in six countries: Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, and reveals that “Arabs see the Obama Administration’s handling of most Middle East policy issues as having made no contribution to improving US-Arab relations. Only on the issue of the “no-fly zone over Libya” do a majority of Saudis and plurality of Lebanese see a positive contribution.”

          I don’t think Obama ever said how it was going to be different; he merely declared it would be so. Well, it’s different, just not in the way those who voted for him expected.

          Change!

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            The Useful Idiocy of Polling

            Polls are commonplace these days and are often reported on as if they are actual factual snapshots. Joe Carter provides some useful analysis on why polls are pretty much worthless:

            Although opinion polls are often treated as if they were harmless detritus of the news-cycle, they are powerful tools for promoting overconfidence and slip-shod reasoning. Take, for instance, two of the worst types of polls—those that purportedly measure “favorability” and the “job approval rating” of politicians such as the president and members of Congress. Such polls might be useful if the general public were aware of the president and legislators’ duties, and if we could appeal to a single, objective standard to judge polls’ relevance and faithfulness to truth. But we don’t. Instead, polls create an illusion of assurance, allowing us to fool ourselves into thinking we have precisely quantified our vague qualitative judgments.

            Be sure to read the whole thing.

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              Poll: Christian Seders

              Duane Shank, a senior policy advisor for the Sojourners has this to say about bringing Christian meaning to the Jewish Seder supper.

              This week I saw an article written last spring on Jews’ concerns over Christians celebrating Passover.  It seems that more Christian churches are using “Christianized” versions of the seder, reinterpreting the meal’s symbols to reflect Christian beliefs.  Said one rabbi, “They take our symbols, our holiday, our ritual and start investing them in Christian meaning.”

              This is a concern that I share. Infusing the traditional text with Christian meaning is both dishonest and disrespectful.

              Um, didn’t the writers of the Gospels infuse the traditional text of the Old Testament with Christian meaning?

              How about you? We have a new poll up today; do you agree or disagree with the use of "Christianized" versions of the seder?

              For myself, I’ve participated in many Christian seders, and it is truly amazing to see how, in this celebration of the escape from Egypt by the Israelites, how much New Testament symbolism is actually in there. We see it in the Bible, of course, but also in the traditional remembrance of it that the Jews have written. Remarkable.

              If you have had any experiences with Christian Seders you’d like to share, or if you feel they cheapen the actual Jewish tradition, let’s hear in the comments.

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                New Record Low, Part 2 (No, Still Not Temperature)

                This time we’re talking about Congressional approval ratings.  From Gallup:

                Americans’ assessment of Congress has hit a new low, with 13% saying they approve of the way Congress is handling its job. The 83% disapproval rating is also the worst Gallup has measured in more than 30 years of tracking congressional job performance.

                There was a spike up in the approval rating when the Democrats took over Congress, but it’s been downhill since then.  Guess they squandered their goodwill.

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                  New Record Low (No, Not Temperature)

                  We’re talking about support for ObamaCare.

                  The law’s never been popular, with support peaking at just 48 percent in November 2009. Today it’s slipped to 43 percent, numerically its lowest in ABC/Post polling. (It was about the same, 44 percent, a year ago.) Fifty-two percent are opposed, and that 9-point gap in favor of opposition is its largest on record since the latest debate over health care reform began in earnest in summer 2009.

                  More also continue to “strongly” oppose the law than to strongly support it, 37 percent to 22 percent.

                  What to do about it is another question: People who don’t support the law fragment on how to proceed, with a plurality in this group, 38 percent, saying they’d rather wait and see before deciding on a direction. Among the rest, 30 percent would repeal parts of the law, while about as many, 29 percent, favor repealing all of it.

                  Wait and see for what, exactly, is not discussed.  But clearly the federal government, and the Democrats in particular, were not representing their constituents when they forced this through. 

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                    Friday Link Wrap-up

                    Isn’t government supposed to enforce the laws it makes?   Well, it looks like the Obama administration has a bit more leeway.

                    How’s that Gitmo-closing promise coming along, 5 months after its due date?  “The House Armed Services Committee has dealt a blow to President Obama’s hopes to shutter the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, by unanimously approving legislation that would prohibit creating a detention center inside the United States.”  Aren’t there one or two Democrats on that committee?

                    The Hollywood Left just loves their socialists.

                    American filmmaker Oliver Stone said Friday he deeply admires Hugo Chavez but suggested the Venezuelan president might consider talking a bit less on television.

                    Promoting his new documentary “South of the Border” in Caracas, Stone heaped praise on Chavez, saying he is leading a movement for “social transformation” in Latin American. The film features informal interviews by Stone with Chavez and six allied leftist presidents, from Bolivia’s Evo Morales to Cuba’s Raul Castro.

                    “I admire Hugo. I like him very much as a person. I can say one thing. … He shouldn’t be on television all the time,” Stone said at a news conference. “As a director I say you don’t want to be overpowering. And I think he is sometimes that way.”

                    (We’re not entirely sure whether Stone said “director” or “dictator” at th end there.  Either can be overpowering.)

                    When the director of the Congressional Budget Office directly refutes cost-saving claims of the President and his Budget Director, it’s worth noting.  Even the NY Times (finally) notices.

                    How’s that “smart diplomacy” workin’ for ya’?  Please remember; speeches are no substitute for sound policy.

                    Marry a Jew, lose your citizenship.  Can armbands with the Star of David be far behind?  Tell me again, who are the bad guys in the Middle East peace situation?

                    How did the pollsters do predicting the recent primary results?  About as good as expected, which isn’t saying much.  And the Daily Kos fired its official pollster, Research 2000.  Turns out they skewed left.  Now who would have thought that?  This time, however, it was downright embarrassing.

                    And finally, Chuck Asay on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  (Click for a larger image.)

                    Chuck Asay

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                      Who Flunked Economics 101?

                      It turns out that how well you know your basic economics principles correlates pretty closely with your spot on the political spectrum.

                      Who is better informed about the policy choices facing the country—liberals, conservatives or libertarians? According to a Zogby International survey that I write about in the May issue of Econ Journal Watch, the answer is unequivocal: The left flunks Econ 101.

                      Zogby researcher Zeljka Buturovic and I considered the 4,835 respondents’ (all American adults) answers to eight survey questions about basic economics. We also asked the respondents about their political leanings: progressive/very liberal; liberal; moderate; conservative; very conservative; and libertarian.

                      They describe the specific questions as well as their methodology, which breaks things down by incorrect answers, and where "not sure" doesn’t count against you.  I can see one of the questions that I might disagree with what they considered the correct answer, but you had to be positively wrong (so to speak), not just unsure, to get marked off.  The results?

                      How did the six ideological groups do overall? Here they are, best to worst, with an average number of incorrect responses from 0 to 8: Very conservative, 1.30; Libertarian, 1.38; Conservative, 1.67; Moderate, 3.67; Liberal, 4.69; Progressive/very liberal, 5.26.

                      Ronald Reagan said, "The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so."  This shows how remarkably true that is. 

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                        Spring Break Catch-up

                        I was on Spring Break vacation with the family last week, so other than my post-dated blog posts, I didn’t write much … well, anything.  But I did surf the web and kept track of some articles I wanted to highlight when I came back.  Here they are, in mostly chronological order of when I found them.

                        Amnesty International decided that jihad was not antithetical to human rights so long as it’s "defensive". 

                        The bump in polling numbers after passing health care "reform" was supposed to go to Democrats.  Instead, while it’s just a measure of emotion at this point in time, you’d think that all the promises of the bill would give Democrats a few higher point.  Instead, they’re at an 18-year low.  It’s quite possible that people are only now understanding what they supported all along, because the "free" stuff isn’t materializing right now.

                        What was the point of the resurrection on Easter?  Don Sensing has (had) some thoughts.

                        The Tea Party’s ideas are much more mainstream than the MSM would like you to believe.  And Tea Partiers are much more diverse that the MSM realized.  Turns out, they did some actual journalism and found out the real story.  Imagine that.  Has the liberal slant of the press become a problem of corruption, especially with, first, the willful ignoring of the Tea Party story, and second, the willful misreporting of it?

                        Toyota cars have killed 52 people, and got a recall for it.  Gardasil, a cervical cancer vaccine, has had 49 "unexplained deaths" reported by the CDC and it’s still required in some states.

                        Changing the names to protect the guilty, the words "Islam" and "jihad" are now banned from the national security strategy document.  When the next terror attack Islamic jihadists happens, it’ll be interesting to find out how they describe it.

                        Cows have been exonerated of helping to cause global warming.  No, really.

                        Rep. Bart Stupak’s reversal of his principles is having the proper effect; he’s decided not to seek re-election.  Likely, he couldn’t get re-elected anyway, after betraying his constituents, but let this be a lesson about trusting "conservative" Democrats too much.

                        And finally, media scrutiny of church vs. state (click for a larger picture):

                        Media scrutiny

                        Oh, that liberal media.

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                          New Poll: The Health Care Reform Bill

                          We haven’t done one of these in quite some time, so here’s a chance for you to weigh in on the bill that just passed Congress.  Let us know what you think about the bill in the poll, and then toss a comment here about why you voted the way you did. 

                          And hey, if you’re not concerned, let’s hear that, too.

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                            Low Approval Ratings: Then and Now

                            When Democrats in Congress refused to vote for Republican bills during the Bush administration, they’d often cite the President’s poor approval rating numbers as demonstrating that the country didn’t want what Republicans were selling.  Never mind that their own approval ratings were often lower, that reason was used as a bludgeon over and over.

                            While Obama’s number have been tanking faster than any President in half a century, he’s not at Dubya-depths yet.  (Though, stay tuned.) Congress, however, can only pine for those heady days of 20-something approval.

                            Voter unhappiness with Congress has reached the highest level ever recorded by Rasmussen Reports as 71% now say the legislature is doing a poor job.

                            That’s up ten points from the previous high of 61% reached a month ago.

                            Only 10% of voters say Congress is doing a good or excellent job.

                            I don’t think legislation passage should necessarily be tied to approval ratings, but if you live by the polls, you’ll die by the polls. Will this Democratic Congress judge itself by the same standard it holds others to?

                            (Hint: No.)

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                              Trending Pro-Life

                              A Knights of Columbus / Marist poll shows that the trend in the abortion debate is moving towards the pro-life side.  And not just from a political standpoint, but from a moral one as well.

                              On the eve of the 37th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion throughout the United States, a new survey shows a strong majority of Americans believe abortion to be "morally wrong."

                              "Millennials" (those 18-29) consider abortion to be "morally wrong" even more (58%) than Baby Boomers (those 45-64) (51%). Generation X (those 30-44) are similar to Millennials (60% see abortion as "morally wrong"). More than 6 in 10 of the Greatest Generation (those 65+) feel the same.

                              The most recent Knights of Columbus – Marist survey – conducted in late December and early January – is the latest in a series of such surveys commissioned by the Knights of Columbus and conducted by Marist Institute for Public Opinion. In October of 2008 and July of 2009, the survey has been tracking an increasing trend toward the pro-life position – a trend confirmed by Gallup and Pew surveys in mid-2009. K of C – Marist surveys are available online at www.kofc.org/moralcompass.

                              "Americans of all ages – and younger people in even greater numbers than their parents – see abortion as something morally wrong," said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. "America has turned a corner and is embracing life – and in doing so is embracing a future they – and all of us – can be proud of."

                              I count myself as a Baby Boomer, in age if not general philosophy.  The "free love" ideas that this group fostered has put it out of the mainstream with generations before and after them.  I think this is a proper shunning of that mindset, and a great trend to see.

                              Polls are still, indeed, a temperature of temperament, but if this stays on course, as it appears to be doing, this could translate into more action to protect the least of "the least of these".

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