Thursday, November 20, 2008

Stupid is as stupid does

Not to belabor a point that has been made elsewhere, but we are again in possession of proof that Obama voters are as dispossessed of quantifiable knowledge as their candidate. The results of a recent Zogby poll commissioned by John Ziegler (author of The Death of Free Speech: How Our Broken National Dialogue Has Killed The Truth And Divided America) at How Obama Got Elected confirm what conservatives and supporters of Sen. John McCain - and yes, there is a difference between the two - have always suspected.

The poll was described at the Zogby website

The 12-question, multiple-choice survey found questions regarding statements linked to Republican presidential candidate John McCain and his vice-presidential running-mate Sarah Palin were far more likely to be answered correctly by Obama voters than questions about statements associated with Obama and Vice-President–Elect Joe Biden. The telephone survey of 512 Obama voters nationwide was conducted Nov. 13-15, 2008, and carries a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points.
It does not entirely surprise that the poll results were not particularly complimentary of Obama voters.
Ninety-four percent of Obama voters correctly identified Palin as the candidate with a pregnant teenage daughter, 86% correctly identified Palin as the candidate associated with a $150,000 wardrobe purchased by her political party, and 81% chose McCain as the candidate who was unable to identify the number of houses he owned. When asked which candidate said they could "see Russia from their house," 87% chose Palin, although the quote actually is attributed to Saturday Night Live's Tina Fey during her portrayal of Palin during the campaign. An answer of "none" or "Palin" was counted as a correct answer on the test, given that the statement was associated with a characterization of Palin.

Obama voters did not fare nearly as well overall when asked to answer questions about statements or stories associated with Obama or Biden -- 83% failed to correctly answer that Obama had won his first election by getting all of his opponents removed from the ballot, and 88% did not correctly associate Obama with his statement that his energy policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry. Most (56%) were also not able to correctly answer that Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground.

Nearly three quarters (72%) of Obama voters did not correctly identify Biden as the candidate who had to quit a previous campaign for President because he was found to have plagiarized a speech, and nearly half (47%) did not know that Biden was the one who predicted Obama would be tested by a generated international crisis during his first six months as President.
The poll also asked respondents which party currently controlled Congress. According to Zogby, "57% of Obama voters were unable to correctly answer that Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate." The poll findings are made plain by a video of Obama voters who were asked the same 12 questions. Seeing the responses "in the raw" is equal parts funny and frightening. But they are informed by data from two surveys by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. If we are allowed to make extrapolations from these data sets, we might indeed conclude that the knowledge base of liberals leaves a bit to be desired.

The most recent of the two looked at the which news audiences were best informed on political matters. Among other things, respondents were asked to name the current U.S. Secretary of State, the majority party in the House of Representatives and the British Prime Minister. Significantly more Rush Limbaugh listeners were able to identify all three (36 percent) than regular audiences of Comedy Central's Colbert Report (34 percent) and The Daily Show (30 percent), the evening newscasts of NBC (21 percent), ABC (19 percent) and
CBS (10 percent), as well as MSNBC (25 percent), CNN (19 percent) and CNBC (17 percent).

The earlier survey, while slightly contradictory, also enables us to observe levels of political knowledge based on news source. The study concluded that "well-informed
audiences come from cable (Daily Show/Colbert Report, O'Reilly Factor), the internet (especially major newspaper websites), broadcast TV (NewsHour with Jim Lehrer) and radio (NPR, Rush Limbaugh's program)." The study also made distinctions based on political affiliation.
Republicans and Democrats are equally likely to be represented in the high-knowledge group [36 percent versus 37 percent respectively]. But significantly fewer Republicans (26%) than Democrats (31%) fall into the third of the public that knows the least.
Given that the study also posits that "conservatives and Republicans are especially attracted to Limbaugh, while more Democrats are found among the audiences for the NewsHour, the comedy news shows, news magazines, and the websites of major newspapers," it stands to reason that "Obamacrats" would know a great deal about the Palin scandal du jour - which constituted much of the MSM's "reporting" over the last three months - while being clueless about substantive issues regarding their own candidate. Regrettably, their collective ignorance will not save them, and it has damned the rest of us to (hopefully only) four years of unmitigated misery that will be the hallmark of the Obama administration.

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