Friday, September 16, 2016

The Monkey Fu Kung Sanification Factor

James Hohmann asks pollsters "Why most think the country is on the wrong track, despite positive economic indicators"?

Many paragraphs of BS follow. The first pollster quoted by Hohmann is, get this, Kellyanne Conway. Many pollters make claims about how those who think the economy is on the wrong track can reconcile this view with recent data (they really did). None hints at any asymmetry in the accuracy of perceptions of Republicans and Democrats.

The article includes the notoriously accurate pollster Anne Seltzer saying both sides do it, because, in recent decades, Democrats think the economy is on the wrong track when Republicans are in the White House. "Selzer ... : “If there is a Democratic president, Democrats most commonly say things are on the right track while Republicans most commonly say things are on the wrong track. And vice-versa.”

During those decades, this means that Democrats thought the country was on the wrong track when George W Bush was in the White House. I don't think Seltzer really thinks that this view can only be explained by partisan bias. I think she added her "and vice-versa" for Ballance.

Finally Hohmann gets to PPP (clearly in a partisan pollster ghetto unlike Conway).

Tom Jensen, who runs the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling: “Republicans pretty much universally say they think the country is on the wrong track because they don’t like the president and don’t want to give him any credit. One set of findings we had that really drove that home is that nationally 64 percent of Republicans say the unemployment rate has increased under President Obama, to only 27 percent who say it’s decreased. And 57 percent say the stock market has gone down under Obama, to only 27 percent who say it’s gone up. Obviously, when you see voters saying something that’s just very objectively wrong they don’t care about the actual statistics. Their assessments on that question are just driven by emotion and their negative feelings toward President Obama.”

Oh my. these are questions of fact. Most Republicans have incorrect beliefs about simple questions (on the unemployment rate I think PPP should have specified that they are talking about the official numbers not some "real" unemployment rate).

But look, there's that number again. On the two questions 27% of Republicans answer correctly. 27% is the Kung Fu Monkey crazification factor It turns out that there is some balance and symmetry. Overall 27% of Americans are crazy. Also 27% of Republicans are sane.

No comments: