Latest AP Poll Shows Public Supporting Government Health Plan Used Uneven Political Party Sampling

Posted on November 18, 2009


I’ve seen this poll in a couple of places in the last two days.  The AP is now reporting that Americans think the “rich” should be taxed higher amounts to finance health care reform  and the public now favors government health care.

Both of these reports emanate from the same poll which was conducted by Stanford University and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation over the time period between Oct. 9 – Nov. 8.

What the articles don’t tell you is that in the results, the breakdown of participants by political party gives an 8% advantage to the Democrats.  45% of the participants classified themselves as anywhere from leaning Democrat to strong Democrat, while 37% classified themselves anywhere from leaning Republican to strong Republican.   This uneven sampling can have a large effect on the outcome of your poll results, giving the impression that more people favor the Democrat stance when the results are just due to more Democrats being polled.  Of course, this breakdown is NOT reported by the AP in either stories. 

To read the results of the poll yourself, click here.  The political breakdown of respondents can be found on page 39.

Many polls lately are using uneven samples of Democrat vs. Republicans with the higher number favoring Democrats.

Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air has the information on the Washington Post/ABC poll which reported results from a poll with a 14% difference between Republicans and Democrats.

In this heated political battle on health care reform it seems many polls are being used to DRIVE public opinion rather than report it.

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