Sunday, April 26, 2009

Washington Post/ABC Poll Shows: It's Not Just Liberals Who Favor Investigations into Torture

If you read today's Washington Post article about their most recent poll results you might come to the conclusion that on the question of whether to investigate torture that the public is evenly divided and that this is just a partisan issue. In other words it's all about Republicans vs. Democrats or liberals vs. everyone else. 

If you concluded this though, you'd be wrong.

Obama Off to Solid Start, Poll Finds
But Release of Memos on Detainee Interrogations Reveal Deep Partisan Split


Americans also split about evenly on whether the new administration should investigate whether the kind of treatment meted out to terrorism suspects under the Bush administration broke laws, with 51 percent in favor of such inquiries and 47 percent in opposition. About seven in 10 Democrats support such action; a similar proportion of Republicans opposes it. As a candidate, Obama said: "I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of the Republicans as a partisan witch hunt, because I think we've got too many problems to solve."
Here is the actual question from their poll:
31. Do you think the Obama administration should or should not investigate whether any laws were broken in the way terrorism suspects were treated under the Bush administration?

Should:  51%        Should not:  47%        No opinion   2%

The Post tells us in their article that 7 in 10 Democrats are in favor of investigations and that a similar number of Republicans are not, yet they don't tell us anything about how Independents break down on this question. Curiously, nor do they give us any of this breakdown information in their raw numbers. Which makes one wonder why not?

Questions 32-33 held for future release. (are these the breakdowns?)


In reporting the results about this new Washington Post-ABC poll the Post also conveniently ignores the fact that of those poll respondents who favor investigations into the torture question, most of the 51%  were not liberal. That's right, the lie that the establishment media has been consistently pushing on the public that only "lefties" favor accountability for torture is debunked by the Post's own poll. How do I know that most of the respondents who favor investigations weren't liberal? Because even though you can't find information about the breakdown of Republicans, Democrats and Independents who took this poll, you can find information about the political leanings of the people taking this poll in the Poll's raw numbers. 

908a. Would you say your views on most political matters are liberal, moderate, or conservative?


So before questions are even asked in this poll we know that 23% of the participants are liberal and 74% of the participants  are not.

The Post's own poll results exposes the lie that liberals are the only ones who want accountability on this issue. Liberals were the lowest represented group in this poll and yet the poll still shows more respondents favor investigations than those who don't. I think somebody was trying to manipulate this poll and despite their best efforts you just can't hide the fact that there were still more Americans in favor of holding Bush administration officials accountable than were not and of those people the majority were NOT liberals.

Even if all the liberals taking this poll (23%) favored investigations that would still mean that 26% of the 51% of respondents who favored investigations were either moderates or conservatives. Why did the Post deliberately hide this fact from readers? Why paint this as a partisan issue?

Another interesting thing about this poll is that the Post reveals that there are fewer people who identify themselves as Republicans now (even though they included no such Party breakdown info in their raw numbers).

There is a warning sign for the GOP in the new poll: 21 percent of those surveyed said they identify as Republicans, the fewest to do so in a Post-ABC poll in more than 25 years. Last fall, Democrats outnumbered Republicans at the polls by the biggest margin in network exit polls going back to the 1982 midterms.

What this means is that there are more and more former Republicans who no longer identify with the Republican party. This information is crucial because the Post claims in their story that there is a partisan divide on this issue yet if you have more and more Republicans abandoning the Republican party is there really a partisan divide in this country or are more and more Americans just rejecting the ideas of the Republicans, including their ideas on torture? 

If only 21% identify as Republicans and you have 35% who identify themselves as conservatives in this poll it would appear that Republicans are not only losing moderates but conservatives as well. And how many of those conservatives are part of the 51% who favor investigations into torture? We don't know because the Post didn't reveal that information, perhaps because it doesn't agree with their view that only liberal score-settlers want accountability for torture. 

Of the 51% who favor investigations into torture the Post doesn't say what percentage favor criminal investigations over an independent panel. I don't know if they didn't ask the question or this is one of the questions that they say are being "held for future release? It's an important question because in order to have full accountability on torture you must have not only an investigation but the possibility of penalties if the investigation reveals that laws were broken. 

This isn't the first poll that our establishment media has tried to manipulate to support their view of no accountability on torture. In the last USA/Gallup poll their results showed 62% of the public in favor of  investigations and of that 62% there were 38% who favored criminal investigations, 24% who favored an independent panel, 34% who favored doing nothing and 3% who had no opinion and yet the media deliberately tried to hide the fact that more people favored criminal investigations over independent panels. 

Gallup has confirmed that they will be putting out new poll results about torture on Monday. It will be interesting to see if their poll results are distorted by the establishment media in the same way that the Post-ABC poll was done today. 

Anyone want to take  bets? 

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