Misreading the new CBS poll

The headlines throughout the mainstream media are trumpeting the latest CBS poll: "71% of the country disapproves of the way the Republicans are handling the debt ceiling crisis." The implication being that the Republicans are at fault because of their intransience and Obama is winning the PR battle. However a more in depth look at the poll reveals a skewed, at usual, result. The poll is of 810 adults, not registered or likely voters. The sample is 25% Republican; 35% Democrats and 41% Independent (for comparison the vote in the 2010 Congressional elections were: 35% Democrat; 35% Republican and 29% Independent) There is only one question asked: "Do you approve or disapprove of the way Republicans [Democrats] in Congress [or Obama] are handling the current negotiations on the debt ceiling?" There are no follow up questions regarding various proposals for spending cuts or tax increases. Not surprisingly, therefore, 51% of the Republicans in the sample say they disapprove of the...(Read Full Post)