Monday, October 21, 2019

As I Suspected

The NYT did a poll on impeachment and came up with some interesting results--results that fit in with what my suspicions have been:

Voters in the states likeliest to decide the 2020 presidential election support the impeachment inquiry that House Democrats began last month, but a majority still opposes impeaching President Trump and removing him from office, according to a New York Times/Siena College survey.
In the six closest states carried by the president in 2016, registered voters support the impeachment inquiry by a five-point margin, 50 percent to 45 percent. The same voters oppose impeaching Mr. Trump and removing him from office, 53 percent to 43 percent.

How to figure that? Are these people totally schizo? Actually, no.

For starters, of course, you'd want to how the poll questions were framed, and the NYT isn't telling us that. However, you can get an idea of what the questions may have like from this sentence further down in the article:

acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, acknowledged that aid to Ukraine was conditioned on an investigation of Democrats. (He later retracted those comments).

See how fair they're being? After presenting a false version of what Mulvaney said, they add that Mulvaney retracted comments that they say he made but that, in reality, he never did make.

From that it's reasonable to suspect that the poll question might have run pretty much along these lines:

President Trump asked Ukraine to conduct an investigation for dirt on a political rival in exchange for military aid. Do you approve of an impeachment inquiry regarding whether that was an abuse of his office?

So, 50-45, the responders said: Sure, knock yourself out.

But, by double that margin, 53-43, they added: Nevertheless, we don't want Trump removed, even if he did do that.

Imagine if the poll question had run something along these lines:

President Trump asked Ukraine to assist the US Department of Justice in its investigation into criminal wrongdoing during the 2016 election. Do you think that was an abuse of presidential power? Do you think President Trump should be removed from office for that?

Dems know what the answers would look like. As a result they're engaging in Impeachment Theater, not an Impeachment Inquiry.


  1. We need to strongly support this President. It is our duty as conservatives, freedom lovers, lovers of the rule of law, etc., to stand with Donald.

    This is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party. Vote as if your life depended on it.

    Don't be a Pierre Delecto/

  2. I've never heard of a "reputable" pollster refusing to show the phrasing of a question, on such an important topic. How common is this?

    1. I don't say they refused--I didn't dig for it. I guess I was waiting for a commenter to do it. :-)

    2. It appears the question was in the form of two brief statements with three optional boxes to check for each…
      The inquiry into President Trump
      Support 50%
      Oppose 45%
      Don’t know/refused

      Impeaching and removing President Trump
      Support 43%
      Oppose 53%
      Don’t know/refuse

      That was about it. The NYT then ran with that to come up with its own editorial opinions...

    3. Thanks. I saw another poll this morning, I forget where, that came up with similar seemingly counterintuitive results: 50% support the inquiry, meanwhile Trump's positives go up--all in one poll.

      The answer seems to be that people aren't really paying attention but figure that the House is just doing what the House does. Once they start paying more attention things start going south.

  3. Polling has become about as corrupt and useless as it can be. Sample sizes aren't anywhere large enough because questions haven't been validated (used and verified against similar questions to determine response tipping point). Sample sizes aren't large enough because the sample hasn't been validated as random. (Typically samples are re-weighted for political affiliation, but that is retrospective, not prospective.) To say there's a legion of problems is to understate the unreliability of polling. Polling is used as a news hook to push a narrative. It's become the Big Lie repeated.