Monday, January 25, 2010

Polling Literalism 101

The right way to interpret a poll showing 74% of the public thinks the stimulus money has been wasted is pretty obvious: 74% of the public is disappointed that unemployment is at a higher level than it was when Obama took office. Obama was enacted in the middle of an economic collapse. He promised to enact certain policies. He enacted some of those policies. Everyone seemed to think that those policies would help us get us out of the collapse. But things are worse now than when he started. Therefore, it's hard to see that the policies worked. If unemployment were 6.5% today I doubt does anyone think polls would show that Tom Coburn is a genius for exposing stimulus waste?

1 comment:

Jonathan Bernstein said...

Gotta think about might be that people would still think that the stimulus was mostly wasted, but they would also give Obama >60% approval ratings.

I do think Obama can be faulted for failing to publicize the amount of tax cuts within the stimulus. Surely people don't believe that was wasted, do they?

FWIW, CNN had a good story about this topic this morning. It's part of a week-long series; no idea if the series will be any good, but the intro bit was solid.