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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

If Obama Loves America, Press 1

I'm no polling methods expert, but something about automated telephone polls strikes me as strange. Such as this question and method of response:
Do you think that Barack Obama loves America?
If yes, press 1. If no, press 2. If you’re not sure, press 3.
The responses to this question in a Public Policy Polling poll were as follows:
Yes ................................................................. 59%
No................................................................... 26%
Not Sure .......................................................... 14%
It is quite startling that 40% of the population either thinks Obama does not love his country or is not sure. That would seem to form a pretty solid anti-Obama base. Based on ethnic/racial background, the totals were 36% for Hispanics, 47% for Whites, and 8% for Blacks. The Hispanic number is surprisingly high.

By political party, the numbers were 13% for Democrats, 73% for Republicans, and 45% for Independents. The Independent number also is surprisingly high.

Needless to say, the results are being spun as evidence that Republicans are birthers:
"It was the first time we asked that question," PPP's Tom Jensen told TPMDC. "But it's very similar to the birther numbers we've seen before." "It's just more confirmation that Obama's opponents will say anything," he added.
It is unfortunate that the pollster is the one doing the spinning. Because this spin ignores the relatively high percentages of Hispanics and Independents who either believe Obama does not love America or are unsure.

Obama has not convinced almost one-half of Independents, and over one-third of the key Hispanic demographic group, that Obama loves America. And Whites are evenly split.

I'd love to see similar polling for other political figures. I have a hard time believing that similar numbers applied to any recent American President.

If these numbers as to whether Obama loves America reflect the actual views of the voting population, Obama and the Democrats are in bigger trouble politically than anyone imagines.

UPDATE: Rasmussen's latest Daily Tracking Poll shows that 27% of likely voters strongly approve of Obama's job performance, but 40% strongly disapprove. Interesting, the 40% strong disapproval number matches the 40% in the PPP poll who do not think Obama loves America or are unsure.

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  1. While not endorsing the validity of this poll (I haven't looked into the details), it's worth pointing out that Rasmussen uses robo calls, and it's arguable the most consistently accurate polling firm out there.

  2. Well the birther thing is especially a red herring. Unlike that, there is good arguments that lend us to doubt. if my preacher said "god damn america," i would have at least left immediately if not actually responded back and rudely.

    And then he goes on a global apology tour? And then he goes about trying to so fundamendally remake america you have to wonder if he likes anything about what we presently are. and then he talks about spiking the afghan war. i still give obama the patriotic benefit of the doubt, but i can totally see why people think that way.

  3. I find it amazing that 59% of those polled think BHO loves America?! I guess their drugs haven't worn off yet.

  4. They forgot option 4, "Yes, the leftist pipe-dream American social democacy nanny-state that he is attempting to build"?


    The left loves to group us together as "the brown folks that vote D", but many Latino voters tend to conservative views on things that aren't their "big issue". Immigration is typically the big issue for we Mexicans and Central Americans (whether you're for a better legal process and stricter enforcement like me or just want completely open borders like MeCHA), for Cubans it's Cuba (obviously why they've trended R), for Puerto Rico it can be anywhere from mainstream R or D issues to Puerto Rican independence. While African-Americans tend to be among the more conservative Democrats, I think as a group they've adopted more Democratic platform ideals than Hispanic groups have.

  5. I am none of the above. I think that Obama hates America.... so there.....and I am not a birther.... Democrats number among the birthers and it was a Democrat that started the birther stuff....

  6. I had a number of grad level classes on research methodology and I am just shaking my head on this. The polling question is bizarre but Jensen kills all credibility by his unprofessional interpretation. I can't believe he expects to maintain any credibility while using the word birther in an analysis let alone make that wild stab about Obama opponents.

    I do think a telephone poll can be useful in certain situations and that alone doesn't discredit the study, it's the garbage question and biased interpretations. That is truly pathetic.

  7. Not sure what numbers you guys are looking at but the White House just emailed to correct you all - the percentage of people who thought Obama loved America was 100%.

  8. "By political party, the numbers were 13% for Democrats, 73% for Republicans, and 45% for Independents. The Independent number also is surprisingly high."

    It sure is high since it makes for a 131% total.

  9. @Napier - nice try, but fail. Those figures are expressed as a percentage of each group.

  10. Whoops, misreading on my part. Did not intend any disparagement on the part of my comment.

    You have picked up the youngsters blogger lingo pretty quickly! "Fail" indeed on my part...