More Bias in Polls: Episode 54985749586439587258527

As we quickly approach the 2012 presidential election, you will be bombarded by an insufferable amount of polling. Some will claim Romney is tied with Obama and others will say Obama is ahead by 493028990 points.

Polls can serve as a reflection of how the country collectively feels about issues and candidates if they are done in a non-partisan and honest way. But in cases like this recent poll from Bloomberg News they serve as a reflection of bias.

Take a look at this question from the poll:


Now here’s what they say Obama said he would do if he were elected:

Because I know that Obama has “intense truth related issues” and has already raised taxes on many middle-class Americans, I am less than impressed with the 62 percent who are skeptical, but I guess it’s a start.

More importantly, notice how the question is asked.  It’s what Obama said about himself.  It’s not a fact checked claim or anything, just that Obama said something about himself—do you believe him?

With that in mind, here’s how they word the poll about Mitt Romney:

Poll results aside, I don’t remember Mitt Romney ever saying his tax cuts would “primarily benefit the wealthy”.  I don’t remember the “Hey everybody, let’s primarily benefit the wealthy” speech. Romney has never said those words.  I know Romney says he will cut tax rates by 20% across the board.  For everyone.   In Obama’s question, he gets the benefit of his own rosy vision of his policies.  In Romney’s question, the pollster from Bloomberg slips in a mention of Romney favoring the rich.  There is no reason for that.

By manipulating the language of the statement, this poll becomes skewed and a completely unreliable barometer of public opinion.

Bottom line: my completely unbiased opinion is that polls don’t mean anything unless they say Romney is up 10 points.

  • Tammie Porter

    I would have been lost by the time they finished reading the question! They made the lauguage so convoluted it was insane. The best way to combat these polls is to educate to pollsters… that is what I do!

    • N Inzo

      You are absolutely correct, but the wording is so convoluted as to appear as if he IS favoring the wealthy, rather than cutting out their tax breaks. Took me a while and three re-readings to realize that. I doubt your average poll respondent had the time or inclination to parse the question properly.

      • new2la

        What people have to realize is, Obama’s policies favor no one. No one wins; Not even those that think he provides life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The takers in this country aren’t astute enough to know what’s in store. We who do know, don’t have to jump off a bridge to know we die when we hit bottom. The educated among us have to make certain they don’t win. In this case, We are our brothers keepers because the simpletons don’t know better.

  • Nicole Weiler

    I’m confused. It says Romney will cut tax rates by reducing tax breaks that primarily benefit the wealthy. So what he’s saying is he’s going to reduce tax breaks that mostly help the wealthy in order to cut tax rates for individuals and corporations. I’m not seeing what’s wrong here with the question.

    • Jim Jensen

      Stu didn’t reading right, but I think he inadvertently makes his own point: what people hear is that Romney’s plan will primarily benefit he rich.

    • Anonymous

      Ya, I noticed the same thing. The question actually says that Romney
      will increase taxes on the rich by eliminating tax breaks. So I think
      Stu is a little confused here, BUT the point still holds. They could
      have said “…by primarily reducing tax breaks on high income earners”
      or something more straightforward. But with the wording they have, it’s
      not very transparent and, I think, most would hear this question and
      make the same error Stu made. We have the benefit of reading it. If this
      poll is being done of the phone, they’re going to hear it once and
      respond, and I’ll bet if they changed the wording they would get
      different results.

  • greywolfrs

    I can make a poll say anything I want, simply by who I ask. The only polls that matter are the ones people vote in and people get elected in.

    • Winston Blake

      Fake polls do not mean real voters…

      I never would have known about Glenn Beck if it wasn’t for psychotic liberals getting me banned on all the so-called “conservative” blogs.

      I have been banned at a lot of conservative blogs, not because I am a liberal, but because I refuse to be nice to liberals… I simply hate liberals and am not ashamed to say so…

  • Anonymous

    Polls skewed? Well, duh.

    • VindicatorX

      Is there such a thing as an impartial poll? I think most political polls are structured by design to produce a given outcome, and they don’t follow truly scientific methodology to measure public opinions. If polls like that exist, they are not the ones we hear, read, and see in the media or from political pundits.

  • Shane

    The liberal MSM is trying to make it seem that Romney has no chance of winning so that his supporters will stay home. Talk about voter suppression!

  • The Ridge Man

    Polls are Skewed, Elections are skewed, the ballot box is skewed, even our political parties are skewed. Watch out for those progressive republicans, they are worse than the progressive Dem’s. Progressive republicans are telling a lie right out of the gate. Dem’s are up front with their agenda, sorta’?. I’m voting conservitive and hope Soros doesn’t glue my chad back in!!!

  • Guest

    Maybe I’m looking at the question wrong, but as I understand it, it’s not saying that he favors the wealthy, it’s saying that he plans to offset planned tax cuts by reducing tax breaks (aka closing loopholes) that primarily benefit the wealthy, which he has stated many times. Am I reading this wrong?

  • Chris Dupuis

    No seriously, I think Stu made a mistake. (I like Glen & Stu by the way). What the poll says here is what Mitt plans to do and how he will do it. Remember in the debates and on the campaign, Obama has been telling people how Romney will cut taxes and increase the deficit, and Romney corrected him repeatedly in the debates, saying that he would cut taxes across the board BUT stay fiscally responsible by removing and lowering what I believe to be certain itemized deductions. This question goes on to label those “tax breaks” that would be reduced or eliminated as being primarily for the wealthy, which actually seems to defend Romney’s policy. Am I wrong?

  • Henry J Mroczkowski

    Don’t let Pat and Glenn gorge tonight!

    It would be insincere and disingenuous to fast, then gorge, gluttonously.  This reeks of bad taste, to our Creator.  Divine intervention, indeed!

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