Category Archives: Survey Research

Can Government Data Be Trusted?

CAVEAT EMPTOR …

It’s been said that numbers don’t lie.  It’s also been said there are “lies, damn lies and statistics.”

Obviously, we know politicians lie.  And we know media outlets like to lie about politicians.  And at this point it’s become abundantly clear traditional polling lies about elections.

But shouldn’t we be able to trust the data that’s produced by government agencies (using our tax dollars)?  Shouldn’t basic economic data – employment, income, GDP growth – be held to a higher standard than faulty political polling?

It should be … but increasingly it isn’t.  In fact, it appears as though this data is more and more prone to manipulation – especially in advance of popular elections.

That’s a scary proposition to contemplate, isn’t it?  Yes.  But it frankly isn’t surprising.  If we think long and hard about the numbers we’re bombarded with on a daily basis … we know things aren’t as good as the government bean counters tell us.

That’s why it is critical to assess the information government provides us – to break it down in an effort to determine whether we are being told the truth.  

And if groups like Market Research Foundation don’t do the assessing/ breakdowns, no one will.

Consider this …

Continue reading Can Government Data Be Trusted?

Study: Americans Economically Isolated

BIG GOVERNMENT, BIG BUSINESS BOTH BLAMED BY VOTERS

Americans are feeling economically isolated as their hard work continues to produce “diminishing returns” – and they’re looking for someone to blame, a new study from Norman Analytics and Research reveals.  Big government and big business?  They’re as inviting targets as any.

Decades of left-leaning messaging has internalized the belief that businesses exist not to create profits, but to “help society.”  And self-identified Democrats (64 percent), 2012 Barack Obama voters (64 percent) and blacks (63 percent) affirm the latter belief – leading to a narrow majority among all Americans (52 percent).

“This lack of faith in America’s traditional economic system comes after years of flat or even negative wage growth and increasing costs of living,” the report’s authors conclude.

According to the report, one quarter of our country “sees big business and big government both as the enemies and feels like neither group cares about them.”  These economically isolated Americans – who have grown increasingly frustrated with their financial situation – still believe in the importance of achieving success through hard work, but “that could change if they continue to see diminishing returns.”

What does all this mean for political messengers?  It’s an opportunity to forge an entirely new coalition – assuming the right balance is struck.

“It is possible to tap into the anti-big business sentiment without being economically liberal,” the pollsters found.  “Messages against crony capitalism will be especially effective with Independents and Republicans in the economically isolated group.”

Specifically, the study’s authors concluded that candidates who can clearly articulate how their plan for less government “will lead to less favoritism of large corporations” had ample room to build successful coalitions.

Attacks on government programs should also emphasize “bloated bureaucracy and frivolous programs.”

To view the results of the study for yourself, click on the link below …

ECONOMICALLY ISOLATED AMERICANS (.pdf)

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Wage Fight: All About The Jobs

Americans support raising the minimum wage by overwhelming majorities … or do they?

A slew of public opinion polling would certainly lead one to believe so. For example a Washington Post/ ABC News poll released last month revealed 50 percent of American adults would be more likely to vote for “a candidate for U.S. Congress (who) supports increasing the minimum wage.”

By contrast, only 19 percent said they would be less likely to support such a candidate.

Meanwhile in February, a Pew Research Center survey found 73 percent of American adults supported raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.  Last August, a poll commissioned by the liberal National Employment Law Project Action Fund found support for raising the minimum wage at 80 percent.

Those are obviously consistent, compelling numbers.

But what happens when the wage debate is linked to jobs?

Last December, a Reason/ Rupe poll found 72 percent of Americans supported raising the minimum wage – consistent with other polling. But when informed that such a hike could “cause job layoffs or slow job growth,” only 38 percent still supported the increase – compared to 57 percent who opposed it.

Last month these results were confirmed by a Bloomberg poll. According to that survey, 69 percent of respondents supported a minimum wage hike – at least until they were informed that a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report estimated it would cost the country 500,000 jobs.

After hearing that estimate, 57 percent opposed the wage hike compared to only 34 percent who supported it. The Bloomberg poll also found only 49 percent of respondents who said the minimum wage issue would impact which congressional candidates they supported – making the results of that Washington Post/ ABC survey a little less impactful.

Clearly the minimum wage battle hinges on informing the electorate about the impact a hike would have on jobs. An informed electorate appears poised to reject such a proposal – even if their initial, uninformed inclination is to support it.