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November 24, 2008

Obama supporters ill-informed

A poll released Nov. 18 by the reputable Zogby firm shows that 57.4 percent of President-elect Obama’s voters got it wrong when asked which party controls Congress — a 50-50 shot by just guessing.

This ignorance on such a simple fact could help explain why so many fell for Obama’s wealth-redistribution ideas, because it’s also likely that these voters don’t know that when you increase taxes on those who have toiled long and have often taken great risks to start successful businesses that hire millions, or raise taxes on anyone making more than $250,000, all income levels are harmed because the economy slows.

What the U.S. economy needs is wealth creation from capitalism, not socialistic wealth redistribution.

Making President Bush’s successful tax cuts permanent, and enacting further across-the-board tax cuts and deregulation would further free America’s wealth-creating genius.

Instead of relying on free market solutions though, it appears that, because of ignorance, which is a great enemy of freedom, the U.S. will be heading down the failed and dangerous New Deal, Great Society wealth-redistribution scheme road.

Mark Robertson



I see Mark S. Robertson is spreading his economic ignorance or possibly stupidiy yet again. I knew he couldn't remain quiescent forever.

His ludicrous contention that US proserity was the direct result of Reagan voodoonomics and not Clintonesque policies had no logical or analytic validity.

In a previous letter, he even bet that the Bush deficit would decrease to zero before he left office. I challenged his bet but he never responded. No surprise there.

It looks like he has not learned anything over time. Readers need to be warned that MSR has been wrong nearly 100% of the time.

It is really difficult to decide which is worse, Bush's "so-called" presidency or Mark Robertson's understanding of economics.


Casady do you think Barney Frank should be held accountable for his lack of oversight of Fannie and Freddie? How did Rahmbo make his millions, was it through working a normal job or hedge funds?
I hope several things happen:
1) I really do hope Patriot Joe and Obama bankrupt the coal industry.
2) I hope we do get hit and hit hard by a foreign faction.
3) I hope we turn into a third world nation like Somalia or Ethipoa, since out country is so rotten.


No Casady, not Heritage.org, I am not a Republican. I worked in that tech industry at various levels and in various positions from 1994 and well into 2004. The big buzz was to start a tech company or web based idea, get seed money, and cash in big.
We continue to hear "ask yourself, are you better off now than 8 years ago?"
YES! I am making 4-5 times what I made when Clinton was in office and I am non-union.


T. Hanson:

"This poll has as much water as the a documentary made by Philip Morris regarding the safety of smoking."

Maybe it's just a coincidence, but the people who are questioning the validity of Zogby's poll are the same people who come here nearly every day and put their own ignorance on display.


Casady - I'd be interested to know what industries you think should have more regulation and which should have less and why.


I thought the Zogby poll was meant to show on what points Obama voters were informed, not that they were ill informed.

They were informed on the negative points of McCain/Palin, whether the points were true or not. They weren't informed on the negative points of Obama/Biden, true or not. I believe the idea of the poll was to show the media bias, true or not. Perhaps its my own bias, but I can imagine that if some of the Obama/Biden negative points (true or not) were McCain/Palin negative points, they would have been more heavily utilized by the media. Just imagine the nonstop replay of Tina Fey on all news programs if Palin had said she'd campaigned in 57 states.

Other than than Mark, good letter.

T. Hanson

This poll has as much water as the a documentary made by Philip Morris regarding the safety of smoking.

But of course look at who wrote the letter... yea, I doubt there is any talking any sense here.


Ziegler's documentary presents all the answers of all the people interviewed. It is not a "cut and paste "job such as is usually presented. If he makes one the same way on McCain supporters then we will have a basis of comparison. You are of course correct that the election is over and that such a comparison changes nothing. However, I would be interested in seeing the results.



You can't seriously expect Zeigler, a hardcore rightwing radio host, to give us an objective view of McCain supporters, can you? Besides, the election is over. Asking them now would seem to be not only beside the point, but would also seem to be an inapt comparison.

I believe you were the one who said that anyone can edit together the worst and most embarrassing answers of people on the street in order to satisfy their agenda. Zeigler is no different.


The poll questions seem to be straight forward and not to be leading. But a documentary video was them made interviewing some respondents from the poll. The people interviewed had low scores on such questions as "Who is Nancy Pelosi", "who is Harry Reid" etc. Those questioned exhibited a very poor knowledge of the overall political scene. Ziegler has said he will make a similar documentary on McCain supporters. If he does we will have a basis of comparison.


KC Star,

I agree that asking the same questions of a random sampling of Obama and McCain supporters would indeed have been the way to go.

But Zogby himself seems to be among those questioning the poll. I think that counts for something.


I guess I fail to see the big deal with the poll. Those 12 questions should be known by anyone who has been paying attention the last several of months. As noted in an earlier thread, ideally a poll of McCain supporters would also be asked the same questions to see if there are any differences.

The whole point of the poll was not to show if one side or the other was ignorant, it was to show that some items where played up higher by the mainstream media than others, thus the responder would be more likely to answer correctly those questions.

Please note that number 3 is a trick question as no candidate said that but a comedian on TV impersonating a candidate did.

Also, this is not a push poll. I find it interesting that those who do not like the results are so apt to attack those who did the poll and the pollster.


Mark and others are correct that it was not a "push poll". Just weak.

"The poll was not, as election forecaster and Obama supporter Nate Silver originally called it, a “push poll,” because it was not an attempt to influence respondents by faking opinion research, as former pollster Mark Blumenthal explained on his blog. Blumenthal nonetheless agreed with Silver’s other criticisms, writing, “Describing his biased, leading questions as a legitimate test of knowledge is hugely misleading, at best.” "


Granted this is from a liberal rag, but this article illustrates whispering's point.

"...but it may have said less about Obama voters’ knowledge than about all voters’ knowledge; just 53% of all respondents, from both parties, got a similar question right in a Pew poll in May that I wrote about last month."

"But on Wednesday, Zogby told me he was on a book tour* when the contract was reached and when the survey was conducted, and wouldn’t have approved the poll in the form it took, or a press release posted on his firm’s Web site. “This was not Zogby International’s finest hour,” he said. “Something, somehow, fell through the cracks.” He said he would review the incident with his staff on Friday to determine what went wrong. Nonetheless, Zogby stood by the results of the poll themselves. “There is valuable information in this poll,” he said."



The 12 multiple choice questions the "Zogby" poll consisted of ...

1) Before this past election, which political party controlled both houses of congress?

2) Which candidate could not say how many houses they own?

3) Which candidate said they could see Russia from their house?

4) Which candidate had to quit a previous political campaign because they were found to have plagiarized a speech?

5) Which candidate won their first election by getting all of their opponents kicked off the ballot?

6) Which candidate wore clothes that their political party reportedly spent $150,000 on?

7) Which candidate currently has a pregnant teenage daughter?

8) Which candidate said that Obama would be tested in his first six months as president by a generated international crisis?

9) Which candidate claimed to have campaigned in 57 states?

10) Which candidate said their policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket?

11) Which candidate said that the government should redistribute the wealth?

12) Which candidate started their political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground?

That's it. 12 tilted questions.


You're welcome.


Ziegler thinks Obama is a Muslim.

Ziegler gave an interview to Nate Silver on "fivethirtyeight.com". The final exchange in the interview was ...

NS: Thank you, have a good day.
JZ: Go f#&* yourself.

Ziegler channeling Dick Cheney?


The Zogby poll was commissioned by rightwing talk radio guy John Ziegler to be used in his documentary, "Media Malpractice - How Obama Got Elected".

It wasn't really a Zogby poll. It was a Ziegler poll conducted by Zogby. The results would have been the same if the poll was commissioned by Rush Limbaugh or Michael Medved.

The questions were designed to produce the results they got. While not technically a push poll because the election has passed, it was a poll designed to reach a predetermined conclusion for use in Ziegler's film.

The poll was directed at 512 Obama voters only. No corresponding McCainiac poll was taken.

Even Zogby has backed away from the results as much as he can without looking completely foolish. He had nothing to do with it, the contract and the poll were signed and conducted by his staff. Zogby said the poll was not their finest hour.

Even the neocon, rightwing WSJ had a write up on how bogus the poll results were.


Arminius should actually read the questions before he prognosticates on them.


" If you want a letter printed in the Star then write a letter to the Star. I have gotten a number of my letters rejected, but I keep writing. Thankyou.

Mark Robertson

the best point he has ever made


Jeff H:

"I would add that a Zogby poll that calls up 500 to 1000 people can hardly be accurately extrapolated to the 123 MILLION people who voted in this election. To believe something just because a Zogby "poll" said so is just silly."

That's how polls work, ignorant one. You don't call everyone. Zogby's poll had a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points.

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