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Posted by on Oct 20, 2009 in Health | 7 comments

Everybody Loves the Public Option! errr… sort of

Proponents of government run health care are already cheering the definitive, solid as a rock, above question results of a new Washington Post / ABC poll which indicates that 57% of Americans favor a so called “public option” in any proposed health insurance reform. Well, that certainly settles that once and for all, doesn’t it?

Not so fast, skippy. (Courtesy of Hot Air)

My first clue that the new WaPo/ABC poll had big problems in its sampling came from question 38 of the raw data released by ABC last night, the generic Congressional ballot. Most polls have that within the margin of error; both Rasmussen and Pew have it at a dead heat. The WaPo/ABC survey has Democrats winning that matchup by twelve points, 51%/39%.

The sampling comprises 33% Democrats, as opposed to only 20% Republicans. That thirteen-point spread is two points larger than their September polling, at 32%/21%. More tellingly, it’s significantly larger than their Election Day sample, which included 35% Democrats to 26% Republicans for a gap of nine points, about a third smaller than the gap in this poll. Of course, that’s when they were more concerned about accuracy over political points of view.

Who is commissioning these polls? I mean, I don’t expect every one of them to peg the bullseye on each shot, but you’d think they could come in somewhere in the general vicinity of the generic ballot spread, wouldn’t you?

This same poll showed that 45% of those surveyed approved of the “broad outlines of the proposals now moving in Congress” while 48% were opposed. I suppose that should have tipped us off right there. Then again, this is the same outfit that gave Obama a more than 55% approval rating this week, while Gallup and Rassmussen both still have him in the mid to upper 40’s.

Curiouser and curiouser, Alice. But the wide, wonderful world of polling has always been a rather dark trip through a murky tunnel, so take from it what you will.