Manipulation in new poll apparent

by on December 28th, 2003

A new Annenberg poll shows brilliantly just how much poll results can be manipulated by clever pollsters, concluding whatever pollsters wish.

Asked whether they support “a Medicare bill which among other things provides prescription drug coverage and allows private companies to provide some services,” almost two-thirds, 63 percent, said yes, according to the poll by the National Annenberg Election Survey.

When those polled were presented with opponents’ arguments that the bill won’t help seniors that much and cutting costs will eventually destroy Medicare, support faded. After hearings those arguments, only one in five of the total sample, 21 percent, supported it and another two in five said they were unsure.

Why the poll would want to reveal the scientifically bankrupt nature of its findings is beyond me. And why the poll would be taken to mean that Americans are confused about the new Medicare bill in an AP story entitled, “Poll: Americans Waver on New Medicare Law,” is also a mystery. The only thing this poll does is to show just how much the way a question is phrased can skew results. And, my, how the results were skewed. Certainly, any reasonable person would conclude that the findings have less to do with American opinion of the bill and more to do with poll manipulation.

Editor

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