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A Spoonful of Saccharine: American People Support Obamacare (If You Define “American People” to Mean “Mostly Leftists”)

September 30, 2009


Lat night, Rachel Maddow had another one of her “TRUTH about the LIES about ACORN” segments, but it was not worth dwelling on. Most of the segment was a rehash of what Maddow has been saying for the past week—ACORN is essentially good, the right wing is out to smear this organization unjustly, yada, yada, yada. She had the same guest—long-time ACORN apologist Peter Dreier—on to repeat essentially the same lines he had offered the last time he was on her show. Maddow apparently subscribes to the strategy that a lie becomes believable if you repeat it often enough.

She also spent a great deal of time trying to convince her audience of the lie (addressed and thoroughly debunked at NewsReal here, here and here, as well as other sites here and here) that Obama’s political director did not previously work for ACORN.

But we want to focus on Maddow’s earlier segment on health care, in which she played clips from Democratic Senators citing a public opinion poll supposedly in support of government health care. Maddow used this supposed support as a talking point to attack Republicans as being out-of-touch. But who exactly is it that is divorced from the facts?

Maddow had this to say about the poll:

“In fact, 65 percent of Americans are so afraid of the public option that they said in the last New York Times/CBS poll that they would please like a public option, 65 percent. You know, the least surprising news of the day today was that not a single Republican would vote in accordance with that 65 percent of the American people.”

Howard Dean, that level-headed purveyor of fact.

Howard Dean, that level-headed purveyor of fact.

This alleged fact was repeatedly cited by Maddow, Senator Rockefeller (D-West Virginia), and Maddow guest Howard “YEARGH!” Dean.  The problem is that in the poll, the American people only support health care when you redefine “American people” to look exactly like a leftist’s dream.

The poll that Maddow cites is here. There is no doubt that the poll actually does say that 64% of respondents believe that the government should insure health care for all Americans. But let’s take a closer look at this poll.

Here, you can find the breakdown of the poll by party demographics.  Republicans represent 24%, Democrats 38%, and Independents 31% of respondents, with 8% not affiliated. Nevermind that this equals 101%, we will assume that’s due to rounding issues.

party_affiliatonWhat is striking is how vastly different that sampling is from the populace at large. Let’s take a look at some recent polling data as to the political affiliation of the American people. According to Rasmussen—the most accurate and reputable of pollsters—America looks something like this: 37.3% Democrats, 32.6% Republicans, and 30.2% independent or unaffiliated. Both this poll and the NYT/CBS poll sample the populace at large—not likely voters, where Republicans are represented in higher numbers.

So, the NYT poll under-represents Republicans by 37.5%. When you ask a crowd composed mostly of Democrats and other leftists and left-leaners, you can, predictably, find support for government-sponsored health care.

But what does the public at large really think about ObamaCare? Well, according to Rasmussen’s latest poll, 41% support it. Turns out, conservatives and the right are more in touch with the actual pulse of America. But Maddow, Rockefeller, and Dean are free to continue to believe that the facts they see through their reality-distortion field are anything close to the truth. In fact, we hope they continue to do so right up until this latest attempt to socialize our health care system goes down in flames.

  1. jbtrevor permalink
    September 30, 2009 2:04 pm

    What are they good for…absolutely nothing.

    PS Now I know why my husband hated it when my hair was short…LOL

  2. Cas Balicki permalink
    September 30, 2009 4:28 pm

    “What are they good for…absolutely nothing.”

    How soon we forget that elections are a poll of the electorate. Indeed, an election may be the most important and significant poll of the electorate, but that does not make it any less a poll.

    • Swemson permalink
      September 30, 2009 8:53 pm

      Not so much any more…

      I’ve never heard of massive POLLING fraud…..

      And election fraud has been going on for a long time with the Democrats…

      Remember LBJ’s first election win in the Texas State House ?

  3. Cas Balicki permalink
    September 30, 2009 9:34 pm

    Do I remember “Landslide Lyndy”, you bet. Moral of the story is beat ’em so bad they can’t cheat their way in.

    • Swemson permalink
      September 30, 2009 11:12 pm

      But can we do that this time…?

      We’re up against some serious roadblocks, including:

      1: The better half of a 700 Billion Dollar democratic party slush fund that they’ll use to buy as many votes (real or not) in all the key battles that are really important to them…

      2: Unlimited ad buys, and they have far more creative liars and propaganda artists than the right does to make them effective… it’s easy for them remember, they don’t have to bother with things like the truth, etc….

      3: A virtually unlimited number of trial lawyers ready to attack the results of every election where the right is doing well, and fight back against the right’s challenges to their most blatantly dishonest campaigns.

      4: An almost complete degree of control of the judiciary to assure their side will be treated favorably in all disputes, & to block the vast majority of our actions from ever even being heard.

      5: And the NONSTOP 24/7 MEDIA repeating and repeating and repeating and repeating all their lies and propaganda…

      6: And last but not least, a VERY substantial portion of the electorate that simply isn’t bright enough to see past the lies about all of the free things that the left will promise them…. it’s an age old formula, and it just keeps on working…

      I do believe that we’ve begun to wake up many of the American people, and I think we’re going to get a lot of support from the seniors, but we can NEVER get complacent, or underestimate the depths of dishonesty and fraud that this rabid gang of thugs will stoop to, in order to achieve their goals….

      They’re going to fight a VERY dirty fight, and the facts and the truth aren’t going to be enough for us this time unless we can figure out the most effective way to get the message out, and we better start pounding it out nonstop from now till the election if we’re to have a chance…

      • In the know permalink
        October 1, 2009 6:15 am


        And one more bit of advice. Don’t take pity on them, they will stab you in the back.

  4. Freeme permalink
    October 1, 2009 9:17 am

    As Henry Hyde once quoted on Nation wide TV interview:
    “polls are not a Science, they are an Art”. How true it is.

    Polls are created by those who wish to sway your opinions one way or another, and the poll-taker… in ignoring the facts and/or stats, render polls that do just that!

    Polls should be viewed for ‘entertainment’ purposes only.

  5. Geppetto permalink
    October 1, 2009 1:01 pm

    Polls are a mathematical exercise in statistics required, as a practical matter, when attempting to draw conclusions about large populations from a population sample. As elegant and esoteric as the mathematical theories, parameters and proofs are, at least to those mathematically inclined, the results of these elegant solutions are only as valid as the validity of the sample and how the test was constructed. A long winded way of saying garbage in, garbage out.

    When the sample is representative and the questions unambiguous the results, including the margins of error, can be accurate as is the case with “Rasmussen—the most accurate and reputable of pollsters….”

    The sample alluded to by Maddow is a weighted sample carefully selected so that the result supports the desired though entirely false conclusion; that the Left represent “the American people” in the case of health care.

    This is the danger that surrounds the interpretation of polls. Improperly constructed, usually after the fact, they can be used to infer a predetermined result; select a weighted sample, collect the data, analyze the data then go back and compound the intentionally weighted sample distortion by selectively removing enough of the original samples until the final analysis fits the preconceived result; a relatively simple Excel exercise. Essentially destroy the validity of the entire process by fitting the sample to the result

    There is an additional and far more insidious danger and that is the influence exerted on public opinion by capitalizing on the very human impulse to go along with the crowd, the reason, I believe, why we are constantly bombarded with the phrase, “the American people want.” Both sides use it and at least one is lying through their teeth most of the time. This is also the reason why we are bombarded with a seemingly never ending series of polls right around election time. Very effective on the majority of folk who sit in ignorance on the sidelines waiting until the last minute to make up their minds on the basis of one or two soundbites emanating from Saturday Night Live, Dave Letterman and Jay Leno and on which political party they’ve been “convinced” represents what “the American people want.”

    Anyone care to guess, figuratively speaking, which candidate had the loudest voice in 2008?

    Sooner or later, when the predicted results prove to be well outside the margin of error, this propensity to fit the sample to the result will become obvious. Those who unethically use this tactic to satisfy nefarious ends, like unduly influencing an election for example, will eventually be exposed. Unfortunately it is often well after the fact.


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