Media Politics

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.


I Don’t Care Whose Fault It is. Just Fix It.

Down the line on most any issue, my politics fall predictably to the left. I think that’s pretty clearly understood by anyone who reads my stuff. You know, what with the title of the website, the six years spent blogging on said site, and all. But over the last two years, I’ve slowly come under the impression that the issues that drove me to blog in the first place are entirely irrelevant to the “discussion” as it happens between the political poles of our country. In fact, issues don’t really seem to factor in to the “discussion” at all, save of course, as props.

Both the Left and the Right of the country seem to be entirely focused on the proposition that the only means of saving the economy is a radical shift in one direction or another. I say that as an ardent supporter of public financing of health care. And one who believes the Stimulus package was both necessary and successful. Nevertheless, just because I agree with my friends on the Left – down the line. on every issue – doesn’t make that the relevant issue of the day. Right now, the relevant issue of the day is in fact the figurative business of “getting the car out of the ditch.” That is the problem. That is what I suspect most people want to talk about.

And while I generally look to my beliefs and therefore my politics for answers to the issues of the day, now I just look at the two sides bickering over issues in disbelief. Both sides are citing historical precedents and studies from the colleges of their choice,…. and I just remember the thing I heard my mommy and daddy say to my sister and I countless times:

I don’t care whose fault it is. Just fix it.