Monday, March 23, 2009

Baaaaaa!!!

Thanks to Meman, we have the following example of a downright pathetic display of the Obama Sheeple Phenomenon.

MSNBC's Newsvine regularly polls their readers online regarding the issues of the day. The results from Friday and Monday were too funny to not highlight.

On Friday...Is it right to place a massive tax on bonuses from firms bailed out by taxpayers?

59.9% Yes
31.9% No
8.2% Maybe

Then today, after Obama goes on the record opposing the tax... Is Obama right to oppose the bonus tax?

59% Yes
23.3% No
17.8% Maybe

4 comments:

  1. So 8% of people changed their answer from "No" to "Maybe." Riiiiiight, Lemmings, every last one of them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous, I think you may want to read the questions again.

    There was a total and complete reversal on opinions once they learned where Obama stood.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Actually, it isn't significant at all. Anyone with even the most remote knowledge of survey research can tell you that wording of responses and questions can dramatically impact the outcome of a survey a question. In addition, the "sample" we are looking at here is more or less what we call an "accidental sample". It is self-selected and made up only of those who were available and chose to respond.

    The most obvious potential problem was brought up by DK - it is highly unlikely that those who responded are the same people. So you cannot make the comparison between the two responses to the two questions.

    The second, and perhaps bigger, scientific issue is that the responses to the first question may very well have influenced the responses to the second question. If different people responded the second time their response may have been a reaction to the outcome of the first question.

    And no, I am not saying MSNBC readers think it is ok to enact a tax law they think is unconstitutional. I am saying that it wouldn't be difficult to say - "Yes. It’s the people’s money. Someone who made the mistakes that drove the companies -- and the country – to near collapse should not be rewarded." and then say "Yes. Congress overreacted out of anger and pressure from the public. The tax is unconstitutional."

    I could do this because the first response sounds pretty reasonable to me - it essentially says we should avoid rewarding the people who screwed things up to begin with...it says nothing about the legality of taxing those people. Most people have no idea about the constitutionality of that action. The second response says the tax is unconstitutional - so I can easily agree that the President should oppose something that is unconstitutional.

    The questions were asked independently - so your assumption that "MSNBC readers think it is ok to enact a tax law they think is unconstitutional" doesn't hold water. Even IF they had asked the questions concurrently and within the same sample - the responses are worded so poorly (in scientific terms) that you still couldn't make that assumption because it is perfectly reasonable to want to punish the people responsible but then also agree that it can't be done as indicated because the punishment is unconstitutional.

    ReplyDelete
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