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More on Deficits and Public Opinion

- February 11, 2011

bq. This is not surprising — if Obama said the key to recovery was spending the night in a haunted house, and Republicans insisted that no, it was eating spiders for breakfast, most Democrats, forced to choose between the two, would opt for the haunted house over an eight-legged McMuffin. That’s how partisanship works.

bq. But — and this is a crucial point — that does not mean they actually want to sleep in the haunted house, or even that they believe such a stay is essential to economic well-being. By the same token, if a few more respondents go for the Spider Meal — because independents happen to tilt toward Republicans, or because the Democrats in the survey are less likely to play along, or simply because of random variation in the sample — it does not mean that the public wants to eat arachnids.

From Greg Marx’s “take”:http://remappingdebate.org/article/deficit-hawks-or-just-fairy-tale on public opinion about the deficit and government spending, which includes some useful bird-dogging of media outlets who have published some questionable interpretations of recent polls.

For more, see “this post”:http://voices.washingtonpost.com/behind-the-numbers/2011/02/new_poll_same_public_resistanc.html by Jon Cohen at Behind the Numbers.