On the Newsstand:Polls

/ November 29, 2013 12:34 am

Just How Good Was the Obama Campaign?

A more complicated story emerges.

/ April 18, 2011 10:06 am

Like Father, Like Son?

Paul for President? Sure, but which one?

/ January 19, 2011 9:10 pm

Lying with Statistics

The headline at RealClearPolitics: “65% of doctors think new law will worsen care.” The headline at CNBC: “Survey: U.S. doctors fear healthcare reform.” The headline at the Wall Street Journal: “Survey of U.S. physicians finds pessimism on future of health care.” The reality: This poll was conducted through a “fax-response methodology,” which means it didn’t survey a random sample of ... Read More

/ December 10, 2010 7:28 am

The Uselessness of “Public Opinion” on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

One point that stands out to me about the failure to repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” is the irrelevance of public opinion on this issue. Polls have consistently shown that DADT is extremely unpopular—clear majorities of the American people support repeal. Since DADT was introduced in 1993, it has become consistently more unpopular. Now, 57 senators voted for repeal and ... Read More

/ November 6, 2010 10:57 pm

Poll at Your Peril

This column first appeared in the Harvard Independent. In the weeks before Election Day, we were besieged by polling data, breathlessly conveyed as breaking news by unimaginative journalists. This might seem rather benign, a mild diversion for political obsessives. But I’m not sure polls are quite so innocent. We either need to train a more critical eye on opinion polls ... Read More

/ June 19, 2010 6:51 pm

Illegal Immigration: Rhetoric and Reality

One question from the ABC/WaPo poll on immigration was, “Would you support or oppose a program giving illegal immigrants now living in the United States the right to live here legally if they pay a fine and meet other requirements?” To my surprise, 57% would support such a program, with 40% opposed. These results, which as with all poll results ... Read More

/ June 7, 2010 2:38 pm

In Iraq, Messy is Better

A close election indicates a strengthening democratic process

/ May 19, 2010 7:57 am

Reality Check: Democrats Continue House Special-Election Streak

Last night probably could not have gone better for Democrats, even though the party establishment is shedding crocodile tears over Arlen Specter and Blanche Lincoln (the latter of whom is in serious trouble, as Lt. Gov. Bill Halter outperformed polls and has three more weeks to close the deal). Even in Kentucky, Democrats probably got the more exciting (not to ... Read More

/ May 18, 2010 10:23 am

Scandals: Three-for-One Sale!

It’s scandal day in the world of politics. First, Sue Lowden, the front-runner in the Nevada Republican primary, looking to replace Harry Reid, seems to have broken campaign finance laws by accepting a luxury campaign bus from a donor. This could be good news for Reid because Lowden has been performing better in polling match-ups against Reid than have either ... Read More

/ May 15, 2010 9:27 am

Chris Christie Takes Down Reporter, Earns Grudging Respect

I don’t pay enough attention to politics in my home state of New Jersey. I think I fear it would sap all of my youthful idealism. I certainly did not celebrate Chris Christie’s victory last fall. And his governance so far has been exactly what I feared. He’s actually trying to do what he campaigned on: make huge cuts to ... Read More

/ April 17, 2010 3:16 pm

Robin Hood Strikes Again, Part 2

In his April 11 post, “Weighing In: The Great Tax Debate,” Max Novendstern rebuts my most recent argument that it is inappropriate for 73 percent of federal income taxes to be paid by 10 percent of the American population. Since our disagreement is to at least some extent based on our differing conceptions of fairness, I will offer only a ... Read More

/ March 23, 2010 6:54 pm

Mini-Kristols in the Crimson

In today’s Crimson, Colin Motley and Caleb Weatherl knock off most of the requirements for your standard anti-Obamacare hit piece. Invocation of public opinion without acknowledging that majorities favor the actual policies just enacted when they are described? Check. “Government takeover of health care”? Check. Moaning about how the bill isn’t “post-partisan,” while ignoring the fact that Republicans were never ... Read More

and / March 8, 2010 3:02 pm

Taking a Pickup to Washington

How Scott Brown pulled out a victory in New England

/ February 24, 2010 6:01 pm

Jobs Bill, Cloture, Kabuki

So the Senate passed a jobs bill today by a vote of 70-28. In policy terms, this isn’t big news. The CBO estimates the bill will cost some $15 billion, a fortune to you and I, but a pittance in Washington terms. In any case, the moneys allocated pale in comparison to the $500-600 billion worth of stimulus which has ... Read More

/ February 11, 2010 3:29 pm

Anti-Atheist Prejudice: Response to the Salient’s Response

I’m glad to see my Crimson column of October 18 is still getting some attention! I had written that discrimination against atheists, both in the legal arena and in the popular mind, is a serious problem — not the biggest problem in the world, but a problem worth noting and criticizing. In his critique of that column, the Harvard Salient’s ... Read More

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