Misleading Polling Data

Misleading Polling Data: The significance and results of a recent Pew Poll are being widely misreported. Here’s a sample of what you’re seeing in stories all over the news….

“Public’s Confidence in War Success Drops

Images of battered American POWs, a downed Apache helicopter and U.S. fatalities in Iraq have had a dramatic impact on the public’s perception of the war. Just 38 percent said the conflict was going well on Monday, down from 71 percent last Friday, according to a poll by the Pew Research Center.”

The impression given is that suddenly the American public thinks the war is going poorly. However, when you read a little deeper into what the Pew Research Center is saying you get a very different picture…

“The percentage of the public thinking the war was going very well was as high as 71% on Friday and Saturday, only to fall to 52% on Sunday and 38% Monday as the public learned of American casualties and POW’s. Overall, the interviews by Sunday and Monday found about as many people thinking the war effort was going just fairly well (41%) as opposed to very well (45%). Only 8% went as far as to say the war effort was not going well.”

So 86% of the American public thinks the war is going very well/well and only 8% think things are not going well. Yet the spin we’re getting, even from the Pew Research center itself, is deliberately designed to mislead the public into thinking that suddenly everyone has lost confidence in how the war is going. The public deserves better from the media…

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