Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 3, 2005
By: Kevin Drum

POLL RESULTS....The New York Times reports today that "New Poll Finds Bush Priorities Are Out of Step With Americans." That should get Brent Bozell fuming.

As it happens, the poll did find exactly that, although it also found that George Bush's approval ratings have been pretty steady. As far as findings qua findings go, I was interested (and heartened) that more people trust Democrats on abortion than Republicans; that over half the respondents support either gay marriage or civil unions; and that 86% of the country thinks our healthcare system needs fundamental changes (and 27% of them think it needs to be completely rebuilt).

On Social Security, the most interesting result is that Bush has apparently done a great job of convincing everyone that we're in dire straits: large majorities think the system is in serious trouble; is going broke; won't pay them a penny when the retire; and needs substantial changes.

And yet, large majorities also distrust the Republicans on Social Security; are "uneasy" about Bush's approach; and are opposed to private accounts, especially when they learn that they might increase the deficit and lead to reduced benefits. At this point, it seems like Social Security might be an own goal for Bush: he'll succeed in scaring the hell out of everyone, but then he'll be the one who ends up being demonized for it. We can hope, can't we?

But before anyone gets too excited about all this, I've reproduced my favorite finding over on the right: 87% of respondents say they are registered to vote and 89% say they voted in last November's election. The actual numbers are approximately 60% and 55%. In other words, about 30% of the respondents flatly lied.

Keep that in mind whenever you read poll results. Sometimes people lie, and sometimes they're just guessing. It's not quite an exact science yet.

Kevin Drum 2:56 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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