Posted by Curt on 16 August, 2007 at 4:39 pm. 5 comments already!


Quite curious how in the world CNN can spin a poll where they ask a question of only half a sample and proclaim it proof that America distrusts our military leaders:

32. As you may know, in September the top U.S. commander in Iraq will report to the President and Congress about how the war is going. If he reports that the U.S. is making progress, would that make you more likely to support the war, or would that have no effect on your view of the war?  (ASKED OF HALF SAMPLE)

Aug. 6-8


More likely to support the war 28%

No effect on your view of the war 72%

No opinion *

33. As you may know, in September the top U.S. commander in Iraq will report to the President and Congress about how the war is going. Do you trust him to report what’s really going on in Iraq without making the situation sound better than it actually is, or don’t you feel that way?  (ASKED OF HALF SAMPLE)

Aug. 6-8


Trust him to report what’s really going on 43%

Do not trust him to report what’s really going on 53%

No opinion 4%

So a little over 500 people were asked these question, we have no idea their political affiliations, no idea if they are likely voters or not.  Nothing.  Without these matrix’s this poll is complete and utter trash. 

Now that is some trustworthy work from our MSM.

This was an interesting comment left at Radio Blogger:

The make up of the half-sample is a random subset of the larger sample, or at least it should be. The earlier question indicated 68% of the respondents already have their minds made up, either to favor the war or not. This is the key to understanding the 72% number.

The 21% who favor the war and already have their mind made up will not favor the war any more than they already do when Petraeus reports. Add those 21% to the 47% who have already made up their mind to oppose the war, and you get 68%, which is close to 72%.

The question was framed in a way that makes it sound as if 72% of Americans have given up on the war. In fact, only 47% have. Clever, and deceptive, propaganda…

Which would mean less then half of Americans have given up on the war.  Think maybe that should be headlined by CNN?  Instead we get this:

Poll: Majority mistrustful of upcoming Iraq report

How about the fact that 47% think the military is making progress in Iraq.  2% said it depends and 2% had no opinion.  So close to half think their doing a good job.  Might be a good headline. 

The campaign by the Democrats and their shills (MSM) began last week to ensure that Gen. Petraeus’s report is taken with a grain of salt.  This is just one more attack in their campaign.  Expect many more of these polls until September.

And expect me to shine the spotlight on the oversampling done and blatant bias that creeps into the MSM…cough, excuse me, that creeps into the reporting done by those knights who occupy the "sacred and magical" newsrooms.


Another great comment left at RadioBlogger explaining the use of half samples and how the second question is a loaded one:

The half sample questions are designed to measure one thing in two variations — a good practice when you think wording might cause differing responses. If you asked both questions of the same person, you might start adding bias as the interviewee’s view of later questions is conditioned by prior information/ responses.

The margin of error on the half sample is around +/- 4.3 percent, based on sub-sample size and population.

However, I note that the questions avoid assigning the brand that is General Petraeus. "Top general" doesn’t sound different from earlier generals who got it wrong. "Petraeus" may invoke positive assessments based on news about this man being different, picked to fix what was broke.

The second half sample question seems loaded to me, introducing the idea that maybe you shouldn’t trust this unnamed general.

Thought experiment: what if the question had been the following?

"General Petraeus" was selected by the President and confirmed by a bipartisan majority in the Senate to turn the military situation in Iraq around. This September he will report to Congress on the military and political situation in Iraq. If General Petraeus reports positive progress, how would your support for continued U.S. military operations in Iraq change? Would you be more supportive, less supportive or would it have no effect on your opinion?

We’ll hold our breath for that wording.

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