Thursday, February 21, 2013


I've always thought Pew polls were on the up-and-up, and I still think that's true. But I guess it's impossible for Pew to completely banish the biases of the Beltway from its polling. Check out this subhead in Pew's write-up of its latest survey:

Now check out the graph that's meant to illustrate this point:

Does that tell you that "most" Americans "want deficit efforts focused largely on spending cuts"?

What it tells me is that the overwhelming majority of Americans (76%) want a mixed approach -- an utter rejection of the GOP's spending-cuts-only approach, which gets just 19% support.

Then, when they're forced to choose a mix, Pew asks them to choose either "mostly spending cuts" or "mostly tax increases" -- even though no one is actually proposing a mix that's "mostly tax increases." Given that choice, there's a resounding rejection of a proposal no one is making.

A sequester-avoidance proposal by Senate Democrats has a 50-50 mix of tax increases and spending cuts. Yes, that proposal is dead on arrival because it's unacceptable to Republicans -- but instead of asking about a mix no one is proposing, why didn't Pew ask about this? I think a lot of Americans would approve of a 50-50 mix -- though I guess we'll never know, at least from Pew. Beltway austerianism so pervades our politics that Pew's questions and data summaries had to be skewed accordingly.


Bulworth said...

Spending cuts probably poll pretty well as long as the respondent thinks the cuts will fall on someone else. Did Pew ask about the imminent sequester cuts?

Philo Vaihinger said...

Actually, the numbers do show the American public continues to fall for the "We hate taxes worse than anything!" stuff peddled by the GOP since the conservative takeover in the days of Reagan.

giantslor said...

"Does that tell you that "most" Americans "want deficit efforts focused largely on spending cuts"? "

Uh, yes?

Unfortunately, it shows that 73% of the public wants deficit reduction to consist mostly or entirely of spending cuts. They have been brainwashed but good.