Commentary by David Rosman
Columbia, MO – “Rush and Sarah” (Ink and Voice, February 9, 2010) was provocative enough that many of you responded. I love feedback. You were angry, you laughed and you provided fact checks; it was not Sarah who claimed to be able to see Russia from her front porch, It was Tina Fey doing her best Sarah impersonation. You also provided new and interesting information. I knew my readership was waaaaay above average.
Your responses generated a second article. Newsertainment” in the Columbia Missourian resulted from a conversation concerning my supposedly disrespect for Sarah Palin in “Rush and Sarah.” You think?
One reader sent me to an MSNBC report concerning the political demographics of the GOP conducted by Research 2000 for The Daily Kos. The numbers from the complete survey in the Daily Kos were more interesting.
I question the validity of polls, especially if the sponsor of the survey is the opposition party. The Daily Kos is a “liberal” Internet news site. The target group was Republicans. The survey must be questioned. I did, including speaking with Del Ali, president of Research 2000.
So, here’s the scoop, Jackson. Ali said the survey indentified 2003 self-proclaimed Republicans from over 5,000 persons contacted. This is larg sampling. Individuals who identified themselves with the Tea Party, as a conservative or anything other political affiliation were not included in the survey.
Looking at the survey as an academic, it appeareds that the questions were fair and the choices did not lead the responder. With a margin of error of +/- 2 percent, 95 percent of self-identified Republicans should be represented.
As for demographics, 89 percent of the respondents identified themselves as “white.” 44 percent as female. 75 percent of all respondents were over 45 years of age. The highest concentrations were from our southern states. Ethnicity, gender or age seemed to make little difference.
Here is my analysis and what MSNBC did not report.
• 91 percent will vote in the 2010 elections. Expect a strong Republican turnout in November if the numbers hold true. This may also indicate that a percentage answered positively due to perceived peer pressure
• More than two-thirds of the respondents are not pro-union. This does not mean they are anti-union, though that is a consideration. This means those surveyed do not want to make it easier for unions to organize.
• Congress has considered from time to time enacting laws allowing illegal immigrants who have resided in the U.S. to become citizens with the payment of a fine and learning English. If one includes the undecided, two-thirds of the GOP oppose such legislation.
• Opinions of gays in the military, gay marriage, gays receiving government benefits and gays teaching in public schools received an overwhelmingly negative response.
• Gender equality, however, shows a liberal quality, with about 90 percent of the respondents believing a woman has the right to work and has equal say in household affairs.
• A majority agree with the use of contraceptives and birth control pills as well as teaching sex education in public schools. However, an overwhelming 77 percent want Creationism taught.
• Asking about salvation and belief in Jesus Christ, 70 percent of whites responded that Christianity is the only way to be accepted into heaven. Are the other 30 percent out of luck?
• 91 percent support the death penalty. This is a conservative apparent absolutist interpretation of “eye for an eye” retribution found in Leviticus 24:19–21, Exodus 21:22–25, Deuteronomy 19:21 and Numbers 35:9–30. However, none of the four speaks to the taking of a life for a life.
Ali was not asked to conduct the same survey of Democrats and I was unable to find one. However, I am sure one would show a similar bias. The liberal crowd is just not as noisy – they are, shall I dare say, more conservative.
Is the poll fair and accurate? From my antidotal experience and speaking with my friends from the “other side,” I think so. Will those described be upset? Most likely and calling the Daily Kos as proof positive.
Regardless of the accuracy of the survey, this represents only a snapshot of the GOP and not the moderates or “Red Dog” Republicans. (I just made that up.) The survey does seem to indicate that the GOP is not the all-inclusive party as they profess, especially if one is an ethnic minority, atheist, gay, Darwinist, pro-choice, middle of the road conservative.
So, what are your thoughts?
(c) 2010 InkandVoice.com Columbia, MO