Gallup Doesn’t Know the Difference Between Ideology and “Attention”

If I told you Conservatives weren’t paying much attention to the state of our environment, would you be surprised? If I told you Liberals weren’t paying very much attention to the state of our Faith Based Initiatives, would you clutch the pearls in horror and confusion? I suspect not.

Why, then, does Gallup not notice the difference between those who say they’re watching the debt debates “very closely” and those who are watching “somewhat closely” as what they are: Conservatives and Liberals, respectively.

The problem isn’t just that they haven’t broken down the “watching closely” and “somewhat closely” groups down by Party affiliation, but that without this detail, we’re left with the impression that “informed minds think we should not raise the debt limit.” Regardless of where you come down politically on the issue, the implication based on poll numbers is faulty.

Attention to Debt Ceiling Debate Doesnt Affect Policy Views.

This 16-percentage-point margin against raising the debt limit among the most attentive Americans is similar to the 20-point margin among those following the matter somewhat closely, 48% vs. 28%. Those not following the issue closely are also more likely to want their member of Congress to vote against raising the debt limit than for it; however, the majority, 59%, have no opinion.