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« Christine Todd Whitman, the Republican Zell Miller? | WILLisms.com | Americanism versus Anti-Americanism. »

More On AARP's Manipulative Polling

WILLisms.com recently pointed out the disingenous nature of the public opinion polling data AARP released regarding Social Security reform.


It turns out it's even worse than we imagined. According to USA Next, the AARP did more than simply exclude those under 30 for its poll:

"* The survey includes no respondents under age 30 even though voters age 18 to 29 made up 17% of the 2004 electorate.

* Those age 60+ constitute 34% of the sample, yet they were 24% of the 2004 electorate.

* 20.7% of adults receive Social Security benefits. Yet 33% of AARP’s respondents report receiving benefits. This biases results against plans to strengthen Social Security since all surveys show resistance to change among Social Security recipients.

* AARP’s sample gives Democrats a six-point advantage over Republicans (37% to 31%). However, the parties made up equal percentages of the 2004 electorate (37% to 37%).

* AARP finds a right direction/wrong track margin of 32% to 60%, far below those of other recent major surveys: 46% to 53% in January 3-5 Gallup survey; 44% to 51% in January 3-5 AP/Ipsos survey; and 40% to 54% in January 5-9 Pew survey. This indicates a sample far more Democrat than are American adults.

* A 47% to 48% margin trust the President, similar to the Democratic party’s 48% to 43%.

* AARP finds all those age 30+ holding a favorable view of Social Security. Yet other national surveys have shown those under 55 hold a decidedly unfavorable view, again raising questions about the partisan composition of AARP’s survey.

* AARP asks respondents whether they favor or oppose allowing workers to invest some of their Social Security payroll taxes in the stock market -- never mentioning other options, such as bonds, that are seen as safe and win higher support. Even with the slanted wording, a majority of those under 50 favor the idea, and even with the skewed sample composition, the idea only loses by a slim 43% to 48%.

* AARP asks respondents whether they agree 'Social Security should be protected as a guaranteed benefit, and should not be privatized.' Yet no one has proposed privatizing the Social Security system and Social Security benefits are not now 'guaranteed.'

* AARP also asks whether respondents agree 'We have a responsibility to meet our obligation to people currently on Social Security to protect their benefits.' This clearly implies to respondents that personal account proposals threaten retirees’ benefits even though the President and others have emphasized that no proposal would affect retirees or those near retirement."


WILLisms.com, again, is appalled at the underhandedness of the AARP in its polling, but as we learn more about the organization, we're not surprised.

Posted by Will Franklin · 28 January 2005 06:49 AM