November 19, 2008

Obama Voter Ignorance Revealed: Mandate, Schmandate

Memo to the “with us or against us” Obama intimidators — This proves that there is no coherent “us,” and no mandate. Period.

A Zogby poll result (details below the fold, with links to some related BizzyBlog posts added) utterly destroys any illusion anyone might have that president-elect Obama has any kind of mandate:

Just 2% of voters who supported Barack Obama on Election Day obtained perfect or near-perfect scores on a post election test which gauged their knowledge of statements and scandals associated with the presidential tickets during the campaign, a new Zogby International telephone poll shows.

Only 54% of Obama voters were able to answer at least half or more of the questions correctly.

The 12-question, multiple-choice survey found questions regarding statements linked to Republican presidential candidate John McCain and his vice-presidential running-mate Sarah Palin were far more likely to be answered correctly by Obama voters than questions about statements associated with Obama and Vice-President–Elect Joe Biden. has the details, including video interviews of a dozen seemingly intelligent Obama voters who didn’t know Jack …. or Barack …. or Joe.

Congrats to John Ziegler for commissioning this poll, and to Zogby for executing it — and, as you’ll see below the fold, having some fun in the process.

The heartiest of laughter goes to Obama apologists who are calling Zogby’s work a “push poll” (Zogby’s response is here). I guess the multiple-choice section of the SAT test is a “push poll” too. Zheesh.

It would be nice to see a post-mortem poll like this done after every presidential election. In fact, it would be nice to see it done during campaigns on the general populace, but without asking for candidate preferences, to measure how much or how little voters are learning. Further, it’s a little bit stunning that news organizations don’t do this already to measure public awareness of issues during campaigns. I would argue that, in a contested race, this kind of info is at least as important as who happens to be winning or losing at any given moment.

The troubling aspect of this, as Ziegler correctly notes, is that it proves how the nation’s media “simply refused to do their job.” It also proves that those who tried to do the media’s job for them largely failed to break through the clutter and the information blockade. The answer as to how to break through in the future remains elusive.


Overview of poll result:

512 Obama Voters 11/13/08-11/15/08 MOE +/- 4.4 points

97.1% High School Graduate or higher, 55% College Graduates

Results to 12 simple Multiple Choice Questions

57.4% could NOT correctly say which party controls congress (50/50 shot just by guessing)

81.8% could NOT correctly say Joe Biden quit a previous campaign because of plagiarism (25% chance by guessing)

82.6% could NOT correctly say that Barack Obama won his first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot (25% chance by guessing)

88.4% could NOT correctly say that Obama said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket (25% chance by guessing)

56.1% could NOT correctly say Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground (25% chance by guessing).

And yet…..

Only 13.7% failed to identify Sarah Palin as the person on which their party spent $150,000 in clothes

Only 6.2% failed to identify Palin as the one with a pregnant teenage daughter

And 86.9 % thought that Palin said that she could see Russia from her “house,” even though that was Tina Fey who said that!!

Only 2.4% got at least 11 correct.

Only .5% got all of them correct. (And we “gave” one answer that was technically not Palin, but actually Tina Fey).



  1. Actually, the B. Hussein voters did better than I thought they would, which says more about my low expectations than their now proven ignorance. For example, I’m surprised that even ~43% knew that the Democrats control Congress.

    The clincher is the Tina Fey question. I am never surprised by the level of ignorance by most Americans; but, that question alone shows how persuasive and effective the Old Media’s pro-Obama propaganda campaign was. Now we see why the leftists fear free speech, and want to shut down any nonaligned media.

    Comment by Joe C. — November 19, 2008 @ 2:47 pm

  2. The thesis of the study was that much of the knowledge that voters brought to the voting both was skewed by distortions in the MSM. Apparently the researcher feels his thesis was confirmed. Seems logical since it was basically an all-out, no-holds-barred effort by them to elect Obama.

    But it strikes me that isn’t really the important story about November 4, 2008. To use an analogy, the U.S. voting process seems more and more to be the evolving auto industry in reverse. That is, the buyer, read voter, seems more and more to be seeking to select an auto (read candidate) with more chrome, fins that reach the sky, two tone paint schemes (get it), and generally more bells and whistles. Reliability, economy, cost of repair, etc., are simply not important.

    Occasionally, although I fear less often in the future, we have seen an absence of flashy models (see 2004 with Bush-Kerry), but the success of an all flash-no substance candidate such as Obama will probably lead to a can-you-top-this nomination process by both parties in the future. Unless, of course, 2008 turns out to have been a colossal failure.

    Comment by boqueronman — November 20, 2008 @ 9:24 am

  3. Good points about Obama, who I called the Ad Age president in another post.

    What I’m seeing is a methodology that proactively goes around the 15% or so who stay informed to reach the rest who aren’t, and who generally vote only in prez election years, with tasty-looking pablum. If that’s the template for future campaigns, your points will have been prophetic. If “hope” and “change” aren’t substance-free examples of pure pablum, I don’t know what is.

    Comment by TBlumer — November 20, 2008 @ 9:40 am

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