Sunday, May 02, 2004

Missouri Voters Favor None Of the Above

Washington Post Article (in GuvWurld archive, links to original)

Since beginning the No Confidence campaign I have not explicitly mentioned surveys or polls as targets of absolute doubt. I simply haven't seen the kind of evidence that justifies the No Confidence charges leveled in the Vote of No Confidence resolution. Still, it is hard to take surveys and polls seriously and as a society we would do well to discontinue featuring them as news.

That said, this article is about neither a survey nor a poll. This article reports on two focus groups:

"The two groups, totaling 18 people, do not constitute a scientific sample of the Missouri electorate, but their opinions closely parallel what The Post and other news organizations have found in recent national polls, and their animated conversations provided a greater understanding of the challenges confronting both candidates."

The title of this article (and post) is both good and bad. It is bad because the impression created pertains to the entire state, even while subtitled: "Neither Bush Nor Kerry Impresses Focus Groups". The two portions of the title are not only mismatched, they conflict with the excerpt above.

The title is also good because the impression created pertains to the entire state, a sentiment which, if true, would seem to identify a large pool of people potentially sympathetic to the No Confidence campaign. True or not (likely unknowable), simply printing this headline reinforces the paradigm GuvWurld hopes to sustain.

It will not be the least bit surprising if a scandal about phony surveys erupts in the coming weeks and months. This space will continue to catalog additional justifications for declaring no confidence in the validity and legitimacy of the US electoral process.

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