Polling Project: Fourth Release

This release covers two questions, #12 and #13. I should say that #13 is probably my favorite question in the poll, and something I have been looking for a polling firm to ask since late 2002. Since none of them ever did, I just had to jump at this chance.

First, question #12: Q12. Turning to the war in Iraq, did you support President Bush's decision to invade that country in March of 2003?

Strongly Support 18.7% Support 28.7% Oppose 21.8% Strongly Oppose 25.0% Not Sure / Don't Know / Refused 5.8%

Nothng revolutionary here. These numbers are pretty much in line with other, similar questions on Iraq. If anything, our results show a more hawkish public than most polls. However, what makes our poll interesting is that we asked people why they support or oppose the war. We did so with our open-ended question 13: "Why is that?"

We grouped the results into categories. Here they are: Support
Sufficient information regarding weapons: 6.2
Remove dictator Saddam Hussein / free Ir: 7.4
Support family / people in armed forces: .9
We are in danger / we have to protect ou: 5.1
Support our President, G. W. Bush / elec: 3.5
We were attacked first at the World Trad: 3.6
Better there than in the USA: 3.5
Inevitable / someone had to do something: 3.3
Should have dealt with Saddam Hussein du: .3
We must fight terrorism: 5.8
It is the right thing to do: 3.0
Support - other: 2.2
Support - don't know / refused: 1.1

No weapons of mass destruction: 7.0
War for oil and money: 2.5
Too many deaths: 3.0
USA should not have gone in alone / join: 1.7
Bush and family's interest / finishing w 204: 3.6
War is not the answer / should handle th: 8.2
No connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda: 5.3
We have no right to invade a sovereign c: 6.1
Not warranted / generally oppose / unspe: 2.2
Lack of information at the time: 2.7
War not necessary / we have more importa: 2.1
Don't support Bush: .3
Oppose - other: 3.3
Oppose - don't know refused: 1.6
Other: .4
Don't know / refused: 4.1 I don't even know where to begin to start parsing this, except to say that there is clearly no national consensus about either why the war was a good or why it was not a good idea. It should be noted, of course, that the Bush administration line of a "free Iraq" only came to mind for 7.4% of the people in the poll. Their message on Iraq does not seem to be working for many people.

I have to run, but I'll more releases from the poll later this afternoon and evening. Stay tuned.

Polling Project: Third Release

As first hinted at by Atrios, it is time for the third release in the polling project. This release focuses on only two questions in the poll, #10 and #11, but they are doozies.

Q10. Have you, personally, or your family followed the recommendations of the Department of Homeland Security on how to prepare in the event of a terrorist attack in you area?

Yes: 34.4% No: 61.1% Not Sure / Don't Know / Refused: 4.6%

That, ladies and gentlemen, is pretty big news in and of itself. According to our poll, only one-third of Americans have ever followed the recommendations of the Department of Homeland Security on how to prepare in the event of a terrorist attack. The question is even worded broadly enough to allow someone to say yes if s/he hasn't followed the recommendations, but their family has in some way. And still only 34% of Americans say yes.

As we will be able to show you when we get the entire cross-tabs online, these results are consistent across every demographic you can think of. A majority of people of every religious background, every ethnic background, every regional background, and every income level say they have never followed the advice of the Department of Homeland Security. A majority of both men and women say they have never followed the recommendations. A majority of Democrats, Republicans and Independents say they have never followed the recommendations. Usually, these majorities are quite large.

I think this says a lot of things. I think it says that the Department of Homeland Security is not doing a very good job reaching out to the public. I think it says that the Department of Homeland Security is not offering advice people feel is useful. I think this is something Democrats might want to talk aobut. I also think it says that people do not necessarily trust the federal government to give them good recommendations in these situations, as question 11 in our poll suggests: Q11. Should a terrorist attack or some other man-made or natural disaster occur in your area, how confident are you that the federal government's emergency response will be timely and effective?
1= Highly Confident, 5 = Not confident at all

1: 13.2% 2: 13.2% 3: 27.7% 4: 17.1% 5: 28.8%

Five months after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, Americans still clearly have little confidence in the emergency response efforts of the federal government. This may play a role in why few Americans are listening to the department of Homeland Security.

A prèss release concerning these questions will be sent over US News Wire later today. Also, stay tuned to MyDD, as there will be multiple polling project releases today .

Polling Project: Second Release

Polling Project: Methodological Statement

Polling Project: First Release

Now we are starting to get into the good stuff. The first release focused on the first five questions of the poll, mainly in order to demonstrate that the poll was a solid, accurate sample of national public opinion that was in line with the majority of other recent public polls. This release will look at the results to questions 6-9. While the really, really juicy stuff will come out in three separate releases on Monday, these questions should all tide over your appetite until that time. All of them reveal information that you won't find in any other public poll.

These four questions are the terrorism and "fear" questions.  None of these are groundbreaking in and of themselves, as several other polling outfits have asked similar questions. However, I have always been frustrated that no polling outfit who asks these questions ever releases cross tabs for these questions, specifically party ID cross tabs. Who is more worried about terrorist attacks taking place, Democrats or Republicans? Who is more concerned that we haven't captured Osama Bin Laden, Democrats or Republicans? Who feels more safe and secure since 9-11, Democrats or Republicans? I really want to know this stuff, because I think knowing whether or not there is a difference between partisans on these topics would inject an interesting new dynamic into several relevant debates. As such, I have looked for partisan ID cross tabs for a long time within the releases of many polling outfits, but I have never found them provided for these sorts of questions. I don't know why. Maybe I just haven't looked hard enough. Maybe it just never occurred to other pollsters. Maybe pollsters were worried they would be "politicizing" fear and terror by releasing such cross-tabs, even though Republicans have now run two entire elections our of politicizing fear and terror. Who knows.

Well, whatever the reason, I am happy to be able to present these numbers to you today:

Q6. How would you rate the federal government's efforts in protecting America since 9/11?

                     All         Dems      Reps      Ind/Other/No Party
Excellent     13.8%      3.2%    28.1%            10.7%
Good           40.1%     29.8%    51.3%           39.6%
Fair             29.2%     40.1%    14.7%            32.1%
Poor            11.3%     18.4%      4.6%            11.0%
Very Poor     5.5%       8.4%     1.3%               6.6%

Wow. Even though the margin of error on these sub-samples is pretty large, Democrats and Republicans obviously give the government very different ratings on protecting America since 9-11. Non-partisans seems to fall roughly in between the Democratic and Republican positions.

Q7. How would you characterize your own feelings of safety and security since 9/11?

(1-5 scale. 1 = Feel a lot safer and more secure now; 5 = A lot less safe and less secure now)

            All      Dems      Reps      Ind/Other/No Party
1         23.7      11.6        34.4                25.4
2         19.3      13.5        26.6                18.3
3         33.1      39.8        23.0                35.8
4         12.2      17.9          9.2                  9.8
5         11.5      17.2          6.9                10.7

Again, a large difference. Democrats feel a lot less safe and secure since 9-11 than Republicans. Interesting.

Q8. How worried are you that there will be another terrorist attack on the United States in the next year?

(1-5 scale. 1 = Not worried at all; 5 = Extremely worried)

            All      Dems      Reps      Ind/Other/No Party
1         18.5      14.4        22.0                 19.1
2         19.0      14.7        22.0                 20.2
3         28.8      27.9        27.3                 30.8
4         17.5      21.6        16.3                 15.0
5         16.2      21.3        12.3                 15.0

Again, Democrats are more worried, but the margin here is lower than it is on other questions.

Q9. How worried are you that the United States has not captured Osama bin Laden?

(1-5 scale. 1 = Not worried at all; 5 = Extremely worried)

            All      Dems      Reps      Ind/Other/No Party
1          23.9     17.1        31.9               23.0
2          15.6     13.0        18.9               15.1
3          24.0     21.0        24.9               25.8
4          14.0     14.9        11.6               15.1
5          22.6     34.0        12.6               21.1

Wow. A majority of Republicans in this survey are not very worried about capturing Osama Bin Laden. Only a quarter are very or extremely worried. The difference here between Democrats and Republicans is gaping.

There are lots of other cross tabs to these questions, and I can't possibly post them all right now. However, they will all be available within the next few days. I don't want to throw too much of my own analysis onto these numbers, as I think they are quite provocative in their own right. These are good, accurate numbers, which I think add a new, interesting element to the national debate on terrorism and national security. Besides, you guys paid for these numbers. I'd like to hear what you have to say first.

There's more...

Polling Project: First Numbers

The poll is finished. The methodology can be found here. We will release the results in eight separate bursts, starting today and finishing up on Tuesday morning. The releases will follow the chronological ordering of the questions. There are twenty-two questions in the poll, plus a number of demographic questions. The release will cover questions 1-5.

The reason we are not releasing all of our information at once is because we want to give proper attention to all of the questions in the poll. Of course, in the interests of full disclosure, absolutely everything in the poll, including the raw data, the methodology, the entire questionnaire, and all of the results, will be available to the public on Tuesday morning. This will be the most public, open-source poll of all-time--Chris

If you will forgive me for being a tease, our first release will focus on perhaps the most boring questions in the entire poll:

There's more...

NY-20: Gillibrand in striking distance of Sweeney!

A new internal poll released by Kirsten Gillibrand's campaign shows that John Sweeney's earlier 19 point advantage has now eroded away to only an 8 point advantage. You may view the results of the new poll here.

What I find significant about this poll is that it was conducted during August 29-31 AFTER the airing of the moveon.org "red handed" ad campaign had begun, while the earlier Siena Poll that showed Sweeney with a 19 point lead was conducted BEFORE the airing of the moveon.org ad campaign.

What's even more significant about the poll though, is that without mentioning Gillibrand or Sweeney's names, it shows that more voters in the 20th Congressional District would lean towards electing a Democratic congressional candidate (44%) than a Republican congressional candidate (36%). This is very good news considering that this is a district where enrolled Republicans account for 43% of the electorate, while Democrats only account for 25% of voters.

There's more...


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