Ohio Republicans Think Romney Killed Bin Laden?


Every once in a while you see a poll result that just leaves your jaw agape. Here’s a perfect example. A Public Policy Polling survey over the weekend asked who respondents thought was more responsible for the death of Osama Bin Laden, President Obama or Mitt Romney.

Now the answer to this should be obvious, since Romney could not possibly have had anything to do with it. Not so to Republican voters in that state, apparently, since only 38% of them answered Obama — with 15% saying Romney gets more credit and 47% saying they don’t know. I’m dumbfounded.

Comments

  1. dingojack says

    Must be his magic undies*.
    Dingo
    —–
    * Or perhaps it’s indicator that a sizable section of the Republican party are not mentally competent to vote.

  2. raym says

    I… well, I…

    That’s it. I can’t come up with a comment that even begins to describe what I think of this.

    I used to think “keep government out of my medicare” was right up there, but this… wow. No wonder the country is so f*cked up.

  3. Captain Mike says

    I want to know who the 1 percent of Democrats are who think Romney had more to with it than Obama. What’s up with that?

  4. says

    What bothers me more is the question of how the heck can anyone not know who got Bin Laden? It’s not like it’s a history question like “How did Rommel die?” (Forced suicide) This is a question about something that happened last year! I have pretty godawful memory, but I can at least remember something that happened last year that made national and international news.

  5. greg1466 says

    While I completely agree, the thing I’ve yet to see anyone mention is the fact that 37% of independent/others and 14% of Democrats give more credit to someone other than Obama. So it’s not just the Republicans.

  6. eric says

    The ‘not sure’ numbers are hard for me to believe. Maybe there’s some survey effect going on here? I.e., by simply having a person asking the question in a serious manner, people who would not otherwise question their initial thought suddenly find themselves “not sure.”

    They need a calibration question, like asking people whether they think the moon is made of cheese or something. The number of people who answer ‘not sure’ on the calibration question should then be subtracted from (or otherwise analytically considered) the ‘not sure’ responses to other questions, because the explanation for that group’s ‘not sure’ response would probably have more to do with test pressure or external circumstances than with what they actually think to be true.

  7. Alverant says

    Capt Mike: Margin of error? People saying they’re Democrats when they’re really Republicans?

    Anyway Republicans have a REALLY hard time admitting Obama has done anything good so their minds twist things around so Mittens deserves credit even though there’s no rational basis for that claim.

    mrbongo if anyone has a one-direction railroad track it’s yourself for bringing up something off topic.

  8. says

    Great point MrBongo! Your erudite response clearly reveals the fallacy of Ed’s point. Im assuming that your point is that ‘although republicans in Ohio have no grasp of recent and obvious history, this is irrelevant unless Ed simultaneously discusses the opinions of a professor I don’t like.’

    I’ll take douchebag for $1000 Alex.

  9. Mr Ed says

    Romney is a star spangle Indian Jones, a quite business man who turns into an action hero when duty calls.

    In late April 2011 Mitt Romney took a short break from the campaign to rejoin Bain Force Delta (BFD). Mitt opted to pilot a corporate Gulfstream over Pakistan after learning of Osama’s where abouts from a Free Republic article. Once over Abbottabad Mitt set the auto pilot and jumped out of the plane on a solo mission. Dressed only in a Brooks Brother suit, with camo tie, and armed with an AR-15, GOD bless the second amendment, and a K-bar Mitt took out the compound guards. Once inside Mitt located a fearful Osama who realized he was up against a real man, a Republican. Being pro-life Mitt gave Osama once chance to convert before killing him.

    On May 3rd Mitt rejoined his campaign with only a slight bruise on his right cheek. No one the wiser.

    Tune in tomorrow when Mitt and his sidekick Paul take one the evil Fed and their dastardly fiat money.

  10. coragyps says

    The “not sure” answers are from those who know who really was responsible – Ronald Reagan. He borrowed Obama’s time machine.

  11. TGAP Dad says

    I’m baffled that 1% of democrats and independents selected Romney in this poll. I’m guessing it’s a robo-phone poll, and they hit the wrong number. I really want to give these people the benefit of the doubt – despite the fact that they’re Ohioans – and interpret the “Don’t know” responses as “just can’t quite accept the fact that Obama got this done.” I liken it to a scenario where a gay child outs himself to fundamentalist parents, who are then polled about it.

    mrbongo: maybe if Ed posts on that topic, you should comment on it there. Because Ed has a long track record of advocating for speech suppression, I expect it will be any moment now…

  12. savagemutt says

    They need a calibration question, like asking people whether they think the moon is made of cheese or something.

    Perhaps the poll needed to be calibrated for sarcasm. That’s the only explanation I can think of for the 1% of Democrats giving Romney the credit.

  13. troll says

    @5: I think those are the people who eventually end up on Jay Leno’s Jaywalking segments or Failbook posts.

  14. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    you are a one-direction railroad track. – mrbongo

    … and in other news, an explosion in an irony meter factory is believed to have killed several employees.

  15. says

    @Mr. Ed:

    Wait. Fiats have money in them?! I thought they were just tiny, extraordinarily fuel efficent Italian cars!

    Is it lining the walls? Ala Arrested Development? “There’s always money in the banana stand.” ≈ “There’s always money in the Fiat.”

  16. rork says

    Folks, only 1% is an amazing result. Usually at least 5% don’t understand the question, understand it improperly, answer mistakenly, or answer sarcastically. On a complicated question 10% will screw the answer up.

  17. d cwilson says

    New question for Ohio republicans:

    Is your hatred for Obama so strong that you will rewrite history and deny reality?

    Of course, this entire thread is moot because MrBongo pointed out that Ed has yet to criticize some “leftist professor” that no one but he has ever heard of.

  18. flex says

    Just a quick breakdown of the numbers:

    1072 people polled.
    37% Self-identified as Republicans.
    41% Self-identified as Democrats.

    So the poll found 382 Republicans and 440 Democrats

    Of the 382 Self-Identified Republicans, 15% of them answered that Romney was responsible for the death of Bin Laden, or 57 of them.

    Of the 440 Self-Identified Democrats, 1% (rounding?) answered that Romney was responsible for the death of Bin Laden, or 4 of them.

    The poll calls the margin of error at 3%, which would be about 30 people over the entire range, but it’s not clear what the error would be in the sub-ranges.

    The methodology is not clear from the report, so we don’t know if this is a robo-poll using only land-lines. With about 400 people in the range from 18-45 it doesn’t appear likely. But what we don’t know, and what the pollsters rarely tell us, is how many calls were answered, but the person answering the phone didn’t take the poll. Instead, as it’s clear with many polls, the pollsters simply continued the poll until they reached the magic 1000+ mark which gave them their 3% confidence interval.

    It wouldn’t surprise me that there were 50 people who were taking the piss with the poll and answered the most unlikely responses possible. I’ve known party strategists who recommend doing so because they think it will motivate people to get out and vote if they believe they are behind in the polls.

    I don’t recommend it myself. I see no benefit in lying to a pollster, I simply refuse to answer their questions. But everyone chooses their own hypocrisy.

  19. D. C. Sessions says

    Of course Romney had zero to do with it. However, quite a few people are persuaded that Obama had even less — he was an liability to the mission, which is what you would expect given that he’s a Muslim mole in the US Government.

  20. Michael Heath says

    greg1466 writes:

    While I completely agree, the thing I’ve yet to see anyone mention is the fact that 37% of independent/others and 14% of Democrats give more credit to someone other than Obama. So it’s not just the Republicans.

    A significant portion of the population isn’t informed on hardly any political matters, along with the fact some portion are also going to give knowingly bogus answers.

  21. says

    I don’t find this particularly surprising.

    It is a common belief amongst racists, particularly right wing racists, that blacks are of low intelligence and genetically inferior. To somebody who holds that kind of view, it probably seems obvious that Obama could not have been responsible for killing bin Laden.

  22. says

    mrbongo wrote:

    Are you willing to criticize this leftist professor (as well as other leftist in U.S.) who are calling for the arrest of th Sam Bacile over the lame film on youtube because it offends Muslim sentiments?

    No wait, you are a one-direction railroad track.

    And as usual, you are either ignorant or lying. Hell yes, I’m willing to criticize Anthea Butler for that article. She could not be more wrong. If you actually read this blog, or had the ability to be honest with yourself and others, you would know that I have been a regular and strong critic of laws that criticize the “defamation of religion,” which is exactly what this idiot suggests. I’ve hammered the city of Dearborn for violating the rights of Terry Jones (also involved in the making of this film) and trying to prevent him from speaking and protesting in that city. I am absolutely consistent in my defense of free speech and against the barbaric reaction of violence by Muslims. But those are facts, and well documented. And you have no room for facts in your moronic attempts to villify me with lies.

  23. says

    slc1 wrote:

    Mr. bongo is somewhat behind the curve on this one. The whackjob calling himself Sam Bacile is apparently one Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a convicted felon in California.

    I don’t see what that has to do with anything. The First Amendment still protects the right to make this film.

  24. says

    I think slc1 was pointing out that Mr. Bongo had tellingly ‘incomplete’ information, not that Bacile or whatever his name is should not have his 1st amendment rights upheld

  25. Jordan Genso says

    Can anyone explain why it ever occurred to the pollsters even to ask this question?

    That was my initial thought. I think it was a failure on the part of the polling firm to even ask such a pointless question. It’s like asking which candidate deserves more credit for the success of the auto bailout… wait a second… nevermind.

    I do suspect though the question’s intended purpose was to potentially make headlines the way it has.

  26. says

    I don’t get the point of even asking this question other than as an exercise in seeing how many people are willing to give ridiculous answers as long as it supports their worldview. I don’t believe that nearly 2/3rds of Republicans either think Mitt Romney killed Bin Laden or are simply not aware of what happened; they simply cannot bring themselves to admit that Obama deserves any credit.

    I want to know who the 1 percent of Democrats are who think Romney had more to with it than Obama. What’s up with that?

    There must be a name for it, but no matter how lopsided a survey question is, you’ll get 1-3% or so that will pick the totally insane option every time. Ask people if we should have mandatory human cannibalism, and you will get a few percent who will select “yes”. Maybe they’re pranksters, maybe they’re too dumb to understand the question, or maybe they accidentally pushed the wrong button. Or maybe they’re just nuts.

  27. aluchko says

    This is a useful and informative survey.

    There are lots of people who insist their hero can never be flawed, or their enemy can never have a positive quality. To take an extreme example look at the trouble Bill Maher got in for suggesting the 9/11 hijackers were brave.

    For a Republican who hates Obama it is very hard for them to complement Obama, which is what the survey is asking them to do. How many Ohio Republican’s fit this description? At least 15%, and possibly as high as 62%.

    On the bright side 38% are somewhat rational people who are able to admit that Obama did something good.

  28. Ichthyic says

    The First Amendment still protects the right to make this film.

    Ed, there are exceptions to what is covered under the first amendment, as determined by SCOTUS long ago.

    do you recall what those are?

    incitement is one of them.

  29. Ichthyic says

    ..and by incitement, I mean specifically that the makers of the film are ON RECORD being quoted as saying the reason they made the film was because they hate Muslims and knew that the film would be deliberately incendiary.

    you can search the articles on Huffpo for the quotes if you wish.

  30. Ichthyic says

    …what’s more, the actors in the film all say that there was nothing incendiary or anti-muslim in the lines they were using, but that the producers deliberately overdubbed their lines with anti-muslim rhetoric.

    sorry, but I’m really unsure this is covered by free speech.

  31. aluchko says

    Ichthyic,

    For the overdubbing the actors might have grounds to sue them on the grounds they were mislead or even slandered but I doubt it.

    On the incitement grounds all those cases in the provided link referred to people inciting some type of specific action against a group they hated.

    If this guy was trying to promote violence against Muslims then it would be applicable. But instead he’s trying to goad Muslims into some kind of exaggerated, and maybe violent, response.

    I don’t think stirring up a hornet’s nest is a violation of the first amendment, or if it was I think it would have to be a much more direct incitement than this. How many similar projects go completely unnoticed? Why would he have expected this level of response?

  32. Chiroptera says

    Ichthyic, #36: …the actors in the film all say that there was nothing incendiary or anti-muslim in the lines they were using, but that the producers deliberately overdubbed their lines with anti-muslim rhetoric.

    Huh. Are the actors identified or easily identifiable? Are in danger from retaliation from extremists?

    I don’t know if there is the possibility of criminal charges in this case, but it certainly seems that if the makers deliberately put the actors’ safety in jeopardy without their consent, the actors really do have some grounds for a lawsuit.

  33. says

    Ichthyic wrote:

    Ed, there are exceptions to what is covered under the first amendment, as determined by SCOTUS long ago.

    do you recall what those are?

    incitement is one of them.

    But this doesn’t come remotely close to the legal definition of incitement. Incitement is when you fire up a mob to commit a violent act that you want them to do; it does not mean doing something that might make someone commit violence against the person doing the speaking (and even less does it mean inciting someone to commit violence against someone else that had nothing to do with the speech in the first place). And this is a very narrowly drawn exception, as it should be. You cannot set the limits of free speech based on the potentially violent reaction of someone who objects to that speech, for the obvious reason that doing so gives those who object to that speech a clear means of censoring the speaker — make it clear that you intend to kill people if someone is allowed to say something and, voila, by your reasoning, the person doing the speaking has to be arrested for “incitement.”

    By your reasoning, if a group of militant Christians decided to burn down the homes of atheists in response to criticisms of religion, then anyone who criticizes religion becomes liable for that violence and the government can punish us for criticizing religion. The standard you suggest is a great way to make the first amendment null and void and to encourage people to react violently to anything that offends them.

    Answer this question: Should Salman Rushdie be punished by the government for writing a book that led to violence? how about Andres Serrano, who created the infamous “Piss Christ” piece of art, which was clearly offensive to Christians? Or Pussy Riot, the Russian punk band sentenced to 3 years in prison? Should we emulate Russia? What’s the difference between that case and any of these others?

  34. Ichthyic says

    Incitement is when you fire up a mob to commit a violent act that you want them to do;

    it sure sounds like that’s exactly what the intent of the producers of this film was?

    Answer this question: Should Salman Rushdie be punished by the government for writing a book that led to violence?

    was it his intent to foment violence with that book?

    no, it was not.

    totally different things.

    Should we emulate Russia?

    really? that’s where you want to go with this?

    sad.

    nevermind, I thought this would be an interesting and informative discussion.

  35. Ichthyic says

    I don’t know if there is the possibility of criminal charges in this case, but it certainly seems that if the makers deliberately put the actors’ safety in jeopardy without their consent, the actors really do have some grounds for a lawsuit.

    I hadn’t considered that.

    interesting notion.

  36. Ichthyic says

    I don’t think stirring up a hornet’s nest is a violation of the first amendment

    the question is not whether it is a violation of the 1st, but whether it is defensible by the 1st.

    I think it’s right on the edge myself.

  37. blf says

    Don’t now recall where I read this, but someone opinionated that the reason for this poll’s bizarre results was the pollee’s saw / heard “Rmoney” and “Atheist moolsin commie uppity gay facist” and automatically picked the autoliar without even bothering to read / comprehend the question. Something like Pavlovian conditioning, Obama is simply never the correct answer (which makes me wonder what the answers would be to “Who is the current president of the USA?”).

  38. blf says

    the question is not whether it is a violation of the 1st, but whether it is defensible by the 1st.

    I think it’s right on the edge myself.

    I was contemplating this on the ride into work today. Namely, is the “movie” (which may not actually exist) a case of shouting Fire! in a crowded theater (which is not protected), or a nazi parade (which is reprehensible but also protected).

    I’m leaning in the nazi parade direction.

  39. Michael Heath says

    blf writes:

    Obama is simply never the correct answer (which makes me wonder what the answers would be to “Who is the current president of the USA?”).

    The answer, huffily stated, is, “He’s not my president!”.

  40. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Incitement is when you fire up a mob to commit a violent act that you want them to do; it does not mean doing something that might make someone commit violence against the person doing the speaking (and even less does it mean inciting someone to commit violence against someone else that had nothing to do with the speech in the first place). – Ed Brayton

    Suppose it turns out (as seems possible, although not likely) that the film was in fact made by Islamist extremists with the aim of falsely presenting it as made by Islamophobes, and so inciting their fellow-Muslims to violence. Would that then by incitement?

    You cannot set the limits of free speech based on the potentially violent reaction of someone who objects to that speech, for the obvious reason that doing so gives those who object to that speech a clear means of censoring the speaker — make it clear that you intend to kill people if someone is allowed to say something and, voila, by your reasoning, the person doing the speaking has to be arrested for “incitement.”

    That’s not the question, of course. The question is about “speech” with the express intention of provoking others to violence.

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