The public opinion poll cited in the previous entry about the Seattle Post-Intelligencer deserves to win an award for partisan bias in social science research. The Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland summarizes its latest public opinion poll on Iraq as follows:
Strong Majority Continues to Approve of War With IraqNow who is being misleading? Here is the more detailed summary of responses to the question "Is it your impression that when the US government presented the evidence to justify going to war with Iraq, it was being misleading or not being misleading?"
But Only About Half Support Policy, Not Just President;
Only Half Confident Administration Was Not Being Misleading
The PIPA conducts frequent public opinion surveys about foreign policy questions -- international trade, global warming, etc. We read here, for example, that
A very strong majority of the US public embraces the idea that global warming is a real and serious problem and a majority (though a declining one) rejects the argument that taking action is too economically onerouswe also learn that 59% said that [free trade] hurts [American workers]. But are those widely held beliefs a result of being misled by, say, environmentalists or labor unions? We don't know, because PIPA didn't ask whether any participants to the debates on global warming or free trade were being misleading. In fact, if you search PIPA's web site for a survey question that includes the word "misleading" (go ahead, I dare you!) you will only find it ... in connection with the current Bush administration and the war in Iraq.
So the question about "being misleading" is a leading question, selectively applied. And isn't that more than a little misleading?Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at June 19, 2003 01:08 PM