Are you aware of this sentence?
WorldNetDaily commissioned a poll on the national awareness of questions about Barack Obama’s eligibility to be President. Now quick, answer me whether you are aware that there are questions about Barack Obama’s eligibility to be President. Even if you just stepped off the space ship from Mars you’re aware of those questions because I told you about them in the first sentence of this paragraph. That’s about what happened in question 1 of the WND poll conducted by Wenzel Strategies, an Ohio-based public opinion research firm who has done a series of polls for WorldNetDaily. Here’s poll question number 1 (note the word “are” instead of “were”):
1. Are you aware of questions raised about Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility for the office of president?
I can hear the Verizon Wireless guy saying, “I’m aware of it now.”
And while we’re into leading questions, how about (emphasis added):
2. What is your view of lingering questions about Obama’s eligibility to be President?
- Questions are not valid (32.1%)
- Obama met requirements (9.1%)
- Requirements outdated (4.5%)
- Questions are troubling (7.9%)
- Obama should prove birth (41.9%)
- Not Sure (4.4%)
Diluting the results
The interpretation of the results of Question 2 is far more biased than the question itself. The WorldNetDaily spin on the results of the question says “Only 9% believe Obama has documented eligibility.” They way they force that small number is to dilute the response to Question 2 with other responses that overlap it. Before one can say that “Obama met requirements”, they have to get past the first response: “Questions are not valid” (32%). In fact, one could in theory answer with any one of those 6 responses and still believe that Obama has proven his eligibility.
How important is this extremely important information?
The next question argues the importance of Obama releasing educational records with the false premise that there is proof of Obama’s presidential eligibility in school records, and then asks the respondent for an opinion on whether the records should be released:
3. President Obama has refused to release his educational records, which could prove or disprove whether or not he was born in the United States as required by the Constitution. What is your opinion of the fact Obama has not released his educational records?
Does the fact that your life is in danger concern you?
This one is a hoot. They wave the words “nuclear disaster” in front of the respondent and then expect an unbiased opinion on the future of nuclear power in the US (emphasis added):
8. America is relying more and more on electric power today to run everything from computers to heaters to electric cars, and some parts of the country already suffer from a shortage of electricity. Some have said the only way to generate enough electricity is to build new nuclear power plants. But, in the aftermath of the nuclear disaster in Japan, new questions have arisen. Do you think America should press forward to once again begin building nuclear power plants, or should plans for nuclear power plants be shelved?
The poll is ridiculous, an attempt to shape rather than to gauge public opinion. I think the opinion research industry should unite to condemn this unethical kind of polling.