Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hurricane Katrina Victims ( Even Republicans ) Don't Deserve to Be Pawns For Public Policy Polling

Public Policy Polling was out with a poll on various matters relating to Louisiana this week. There was one question that has people seeing Red including me. That is a question on if Louisiana Republicans blamed Bush or Obama for the poor response to Katrina.

The poll itself is problematic with a sample size of 274 Louisiana Republicans . I might well as spend the day at the local Sonic taking a poll with a sample size like that . It also had other problems. But the question at the end " Who do you think was more responsible for the poor response to Hurricane Katrina: George W. Bush or Barack Obama? " was I find unprofessional and very well tone deaf to feelings and good taste. The Hayride ( from the conservative Louisiana side had a good post on this at Public Policy Polling Owes Louisiana Republicans An Apology -

However New Orleans media voices also are really questioned the why of this.From The Gambit :

...A statistically insignificant difference, to be sure. Of course, Bush was president at the time and Obama was a freshman Illinois senator in his first year of office. (In the crosstabs, older people were more likely to blame Obama, while younger voters were likely to be not sure.) But it raises a further question: Why was it asked in the first place? PPP, which largely conducts polling for Democratic and liberal groups, is fond of throwing curveballs. In 2011, PPP asked GOP voters whether they thought either Obama or former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin would be Raptured into heaven (19 percent thought Obama would; 51 percent thought Palin would). Three months ago, PPP conducted a poll about Americans' attitude toward "hipsters," which included a question about whether hipsters just “soullessly appropriate cultural tropes from the past for their own ironic amusement.” It also asked respondents to rate the palatability of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. Whatever the motivation behind the Katrina question, it's sure to be used as ammo against Louisiana Republicans' brain power (and ammo against Louisianans as a whole), while it also will give conservatives a chance to squawk they were set up.


As I mentioned yesterday the problem with the poll is among other things

( 1 ) As a smart ass question you are likely to get a smart ass answer

( 2)  This question is a no winner and that leaves no other options as an answers. It is very close to Yes or No Have you quit beating your wife. You either answer Bush or if you say don't know or Obama you look like a idiot.

The reality is this .Most Louisiana residents ( Republican or Democrat ) have a realistic view of the horror of Katrina. They see blame and shortcoming in all sort of different directions. Including blaming the hurricane itself. In other words in the land of blame people might assort blame depending on where they are on such things as " Ray Nagin " City of New Orleans " ,  Parish Government " " Blanco " , State Govt etc. These feelings can be quite intense.You present an scenario like PPP polling does and and split second choice and " Obama " becomes the entry for all that other.  Note the poll question did not ask do you blame the Katrina reponse on Bush or the action of the then SENATOR Obama.

The Lakeview area of New Orleans , to take just one example ,  is just one area that was full of Republicans that got completely devastated by Katrina. Many of those " Ha Ha look at these stupid Republicans "  have moved back to the area to rebuild. As we approach the anniversary of Katrina they and all Louisiana residents deserve a tad more respect than to be used as a PR tactic for a  poll company.

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