Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Spillover from 538.com - John Ziegler's "Poll"

For those of you who want to have some fun, wander over to 538.com. It discusses John Ziegler's "How Obama Got Elected," where Ziegler asked voters to identify certain positions with certain candidates. He then concludes that Obama voters were misled by the media, based on their results. He asks the voters to identify supposedly true statements such as "Obama won his first election by getting his opponents kicked off the ballot" or "Obama said his policies would bankrupt the coal industry and make energy prices skyrocket" which are, at best, half-truths and are certainly very biased in their presentation. No wonder most Obama voters didn't get these "right." Ziegler was just asking if Obama voters had imbibed McCain's talking points. Not surprisingly, Obama voters were less likely than McCain voters to have done so.

Or wait. That's not what Ziegler showed. He ONLY interviewed Obama voters. All we know from this "study" is that Obama voters had a low recognition rate for McCain's talking points, which Ziegler calls "being dumb." We know nothing about how McCain voters would have responded.

Here's from Ziegler's own website explaining this amazing methodology:

"I only polled Obama voters because I was trying to test the media's impact on the election. Since Obama won, it would be pointless (not to mention twice as expensive) to poll McCain voters."

Wow. Think about that for a minute. Imagine if you actually did the study properly (Ziegler has so many other issues) and McCain voters gave the same responses as Obama voters. What would that tell you about the effect of "the media" on the election? Or what if you found that McCain voters were more likely to identify these "facts" than Obama voters? What would that show you? That McCain voters held a more negative impression of Obama than Obama voters did? Hey buddy - wanna cookie?

2 comments:

Raised By Republicans said...

My favorite exchange is this:

"NS: Why would you commission a survey question with no correct response?
JZ: The purpose of the question, you pinhead, was we wanted to determine the Tina Fey Effect."

If that doesn't sum up the approach to policy debate in the Republican party, I don't know what does.

bell curve said...

If you're wondering about the "launched his political career in Bill Ayers' living room" thing, this article gives a good run-down of the relevant facts.

That 538 post was quite a read.