A push poll is one that is conducted with loaded questions intended to elicit a specific response. They are often used in political campaigns to gain spurious results which can then be presented to the media as proof of how popular a candidate and his ideas are. Another form of the push poll is to plant negative information about a candidate with prospective voters: Would you vote for Candidate X if you knew that his wife is an alcoholic and has been hospitalized for depression?
The push poll below is being disseminated by Newsmax, a rightwing online news aggregator, which is also in the push poll business. Below you will read, “Newsmax will provide the results of this poll to major media outlets. Additionally, Newsmax’s results will be shared with popular radio talk-show hosts across America.” I cannot imagine what media outlet would be interested in this poll, other than the obvious rightwing radio talk shows and Fox News. The poll has no scientific validity, as all of its respondents were self-selected.
The introduction below also says, “Newsmax reports have been cited by major media outlets, including CNN, ABC News, Fox News, CBS, MSNBC and other major networks.” This may be true, but “reports” and “polls” are two different things and I think the spinmeisters at Newsmax are trying to confuse the two in the reader’s mind. Don’t fall for it!
Of the questions below, the two most egregious are No. 2 and No. 5. The second question asks, “Do you believe the Democratic health plan should include 45 million uninsured, including illegal aliens?” Insuring illegal aliens is not part of any Democratic healthcare plan and to confuse and conflate it with the urgency of insuring 45 million uninsured Americans is disingenuous and malicious.
Question No. 5 asks, “Do you agree that new health care costs should be paid for by increasing taxes on the ‘wealthy’?” Why is this question written with “wealthy” in quotation marks, as if to imply that the wealthy might not actually exist, as if to imply they might be some mythical creatures like angels or unicorns. Republicans had no problem defining and identifying the wealthy when they were dolling out the largest tax cuts in history at the beginning of the GWB administration.
Yes, the wealthy do exist and they have grown vastly wealthier in the last 30 years of Republican domination. The disparity of wealth is greater in the US than in any industrial democracy, and greater than its been since the 1920s. Their wealth has grown at the expense of the working class and middle class, which are being driven to extinction in this economy.
Yes, the wealthy should be taxed to pay for healthcare for the same reason Willie Sutton robbed banks: That’s where the money is!
See the Newsmax poll below.
Do You Support Obama’s
Health Care Plan?
Vote in This Urgent Poll
Scroll down to vote.
Newsmax.com, one of America’s leading online news services, is conducting an urgent national online poll about President Obama and the Democrat’s plan for universal health care.
Newsmax will provide the results of this poll to major media outlets. Additionally, Newsmax’s results will be shared with popular radio talk-show hosts across America.
Newsmax reports have been cited by major media outlets, including CNN, ABC News, Fox News, CBS, MSNBC and other major networks.
Don’t miss this opportunity to let your voice be heard! Many media outlets and national leaders are interested in your opinion. Hundreds of media outlets have reported on Newsmax’s online polls.
1) Do you support President Obama’s and the Democrat’s plan for universal health care?
2) Do you believe the Democratic health plan should include 45 million uninsured, including illegal aliens?
Yes, should include 45 million.
No, should not.
3) Do you approve of President Obama’s handling of health care reform?
4) Do you believe Obama’s health care plan is too expensive?
5) Do you agree that new health care costs should be paid for by increasing taxes on the “wealthy”?
Yes, increase taxes on the wealthy.
No, don’t increase taxes.
6) If you were allowed to join the public health care system at rates cheaper than your private insurance, would you join it?
Yes, I would join.
No I would not join.
7) Who did you vote for in 2008?