Fishing Polls

Somehow, I am one who gets a Zogby poll in my email from time to time. Yesterday I got one dubbed Zogby International and was interested in what questions it would have vs. the usual plain old Zogby.

Every time it asks standard  background info such as age, state, political party, income and education level. It also wants to know how often I shop at Walmart,   how often I attend church and whether  I consider myself a fan of Nascar. Do I consider myself a social networker is a new one. Has anyone in my family gone without food , lost a job or suffered a decrease in pay. I wonder if elements of these answers mean they throw your answers away. After all, as we know from NPR, there are a lot of dangerous gun toting churchgoers – perhaps brain starved from lack of food in the Obama economy – who need to have their opinions thrown out.

Zogby presents statements to which I am to reply whether I agree, disagree, strongly agree, strongly disagree or no hold no opinion on various  statements. Here were the current ones:

“Most politicians who want to pass laws preventing public employees from negotiating their benefits are union busters.”

“Most public employees are greedy and unwilling to make concessions in their union contracts.”

“Republicans in states where they want to prevent public employee unions from negotiationg benefits want to weaken unions and their ability to campaign for Democrats.”
“Democrat politicians now defending public employees know that these workers are too highly compensated and are just trying to protect the campaign cash and support they get from unions.”

“Many public employees do not have the skills and ambition to find similiar jobs in the private sector.”

“If compensation, including benefits, for public employees such as teachers, police and firefighters is decreased, fewer qualified people will want those jobs and the services they provide will suffer.”

Rather slanted, don’t you think? Some answers put you in the Simon Legree category. Some are too broad brushed. For instance, most public employees do have skills to get a job in the private sector; but undoubtedly, some don’t.

How about the poll phrase it like this: “States that find themselves in a critical economic situation need to cut back on minor negotiations so as to save as many jobs as possible.”

“Politicians  who find the coffers empty do not have enough money to pay bus drivers a salary of $157,000 a year (as they do in Wisconsin) so they need to make cutbacks so that the state functions at all.”

“Do you think that the winning party in a state that took control of the governorship, house and senate can consider their voters’ wishes a mandate?”

“Credit ratings for bankrupt states mean states will no longer be able to fund themselves and belt tightening is one solution.”

Zogby’s questions are framed as to look for certain answers. But wait; there’s more.

Usually there is a political match up or several that it wants to know about. For instance, the list of contenders includes Chris Christie, who has said he will not run for president, along with Huckabee, Romney, Palin, et al. I’m asked whether I would vote for him, does he represent my views and could he defeat Obama. At one point, you wonder if this is opposition research.

Zogby likes to throw in a few outside-politics questions in a bid, I suppose, to put the poll taker at ease or maybe to distract us from the “hard” issues we’ve had to handle. The poll this time veered to whether I purchase anything from Amazon or am a Netflix subscriber. Curiously, this is followed by a commentary on Amazon’s streaming of TV and movies without any question to answer. Previously he’s thrown in such oddball questions as whether I believe in horoscopes and whether I ever urinated in a neighbor’s pool. 

Finally, Zogby throws in the Tea Party. Do endorsements by the Tea Party organization make you much more likely to vote for a candidate, somewhat likely, somewhat less, much less, no difference, not sure or I refuse. Perhaps they could ask whether the network news shows  have the same effect.

I never did find any question that had any international bent. Nothing about the Middle East, world economy or China.

Maybe that one is for the next time.

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