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Archive for April 18th, 2010|Daily archive page

An Inconvenient Poll.

In Media on April 18, 2010 at 8:23 pm

One of the past week’s big political attention-getters was the release of a New York Times/CBS News Poll on the Tea Party. Numerous pundits jumped on it as proof of the narrow-minded, predictably stereotypical folks who comprise the Tea Party. For their parts, Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, Slate, and MSNBC all made hay of its results, often entertainingly, but mainly for fulfilling their preconceived notions.

The poll finds what those who were paying attention to the news expected to find: that the Teabaggers are made up of Obama-disliking white people who list heavily to the starboard side of the ship, if you catch my drift. (Starboard = Right = Republican.)

Easy as it is to view this poll as unassailable proof that the Tea Party conforms to all the norms of the Republican base, it is inconclusive.

For while it seems plausible, I have to take issue with the lack of reporting of another recent poll. Three weeks ago, Quinnipiac University came out with a detailed poll of its own on the Tea Party. It was re-posted by Mark Halperin, but beyond that didn’t prove to have much in the way of legs. There have been other polls in recent months on this subject, as well.

The Times/CBS and QU polls each take the temperature of the Tea Party, but come up with different readings on the thermometer. I was surprised to see some of the QU poll findings, as I mentioned earlier this month. Nonetheless, they don’t appear to be any less sound than the Times/CBS ones. Read the rest of this entry »