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Posted by on Feb 2, 2010 in Politics, Society, War | 39 comments

Poll: Beck, Limbaugh too moderate for GOP

The Daily Kos has made a splash with its poll of 2003 self-identified Republicans. A fifth think the 2008 election was rigged. A third refuse to believe Barack Obama was born in the United States. Sixty percent think he’s a socialist.

Naturally, this is a good moment for certain liberals to heap scorn upon us Republicans. Either we’re pathetically ignorant or just easily misled. Kevin Drum writes,

I used to talk about the Texification of the Republican Party, but that’s now obsolete. We’re officially seeing the Foxification of the Republican Party. It’s Roger Ailes’ world now, we just live in it.

I thought Kevin might be a little more skeptical. I certainly am, and so is Dennis. But unless you have evidence that something is actually wrong with the poll, what can you possibly say? You can be suspicious of Kos, but that’s not an argument.

I think the one way to attack this problem is to find other polls that have asked similar questions. For example, the Kos poll reports that only 26% of Republicans think gays should be allowed to serve in the military, while 55% oppose and 19% are not sure.

While reading a Max Boot post about gays in the military, I noticed his link to a couple of Gallup polls on the subject.

In November 2004, 52% of Republicans supported gays serving openly in the military. In May 2009, the number was up to 58%. Overall support for allowing gays to serve was 63% in the first poll, 69% in the second. Those overall numbers are consistent with a large amount of data available from Regrettably, the data isn’t broken down by party. However, you can’t have 60-70% support for gays in the military if a majority of Republicans are against it.

So, is there any way to explain a 30% difference in the results between Kos and Gallup? It’s not the wording of the questions; they’re almost identical. If a few more examples like this turn up, I think the credibility of the Kos poll will be in trouble.

But for the moment, we’ll have to wonder if 23% of Republicans want their home state to secede from the Union.

Cross-posted at Conventional Folly