MyDD Poll: Release 1 Detail

Yesterday was an extremely hectic and exhausting day, for obvious reasons. But I'm very pleased to see all the positive comments, thoughtful questions and strong interest in the project, data and results. Thanks, there's much more to come, so stay tuned.

A very quick point. I'm fairly new to writing in html and posting extensively, although I've been doing research for decades. I will do the best I can in posting, particularly in doing crosstab tables, but just know I'm not a pro at this yet. I'm learning and still working on my posting style, which is more conversational, like we're talking face to face. We'll see how it goes. Thanks for your patience.

I've gotten the crosstabs for all questions run out, so I'll be following Chris' release of new data and questions with my detailed analyses of those questions. Sort of a big picture and then detail thing. And the crosstabs I show may vary a bit depending on which ones are showing important findings on any given question. I'll always keep region and party shown, but others might vary. So the detail starts now...

and begins with the right direction/wrong track question. We'll start with a full set of crosstabs on it, so you can see what slices we have. Remember, the margin of error of the data is +/- 3.1 percentage points at a 95% level of confidence. That means any numbers varying from the US numbers by 3 points or more are statistically significant. Here are the slices...

                                         Right             Wrong                Not
                                        Direction        Track                Sure

United States                   38%                48%                14%

Northeast                         36                51                13
South                                42                44                14
Midwest                            37                48                15
Rockies                              35                45                20
West Coast, AK, HI           33                52                15

Democrat                           18                70                12
Republican                         62                23                15
Indep/Other/No party        35                49                16

Male                                   43                44                13
Female                               33                51                16

Anglo                                40                46                14
Minority                             25                58                17

Household income:
Under $25K                         28                52                20
$25K to $49.9K                   36                51                13
$50K to $74.9K                   44                42                14
$75K and over                    46                44                10

Urban                                 32                57                11
Suburban                           42                43                15
Rural                                   39                46                15

Religious orientation:
Fund./Evangelical               56                28                16
Mainstream                        45                40                15
Liberal                                21                64                15

Jan. '06 Osama bin Laden tape:
Before release                    35                48                17
After release                       38                48                14

The first thing to note is significant variability among voter groups on this issue. No surprise. Belief the country is headed in the right direction peaks among those in the South, Republicans, men, some middle income and affluent voters, suburban voters and fundamentalist/evangelical and mainstream religious voters. Sound familiar?

Belief the country is off on the wrong track peaks among those in the Northeast, West Coast, Democrats, women, minority voters, those with less income, urban voters and liberal religious voters. Familiar also?

So out of the gate, we find the data already pointing us to a potential underlying finding that could be very important: the stark division of voter profiles on key public policy and political issues, this time on even a basic and non-political question. (Thinking in terms of a `conversation' with voters, I view the right direction/wrong track question as of a "How's it going?" sort.)

Additionally, I note the right direction response did fall below the sample norm prior to the OBL tape release, meaning voters were less likely to give this response before the tape. This brings up the issue: exactly what effect DID the OBL tape have on American voters? Well, folks, we were in the field before and after tape release and we're going to tell you over the next few days what we know.

Next, we have the data on the initial measurement of Bush approval. Here they are...

                                                            Dis-                Not
                                        Approve        approve        Sure

United States                     44%             50%              6%

Northeast                           36                53                11
South                                  51                43                6
Midwest                              44                50                6
Rockies                                42                51                3
West Coast, AK, HI             37                57                7

Democrat                             18                76                6
Republican                            77                19                4
Indep/Other/No party           38                53                9

Male                                      46                48                6
Female                                  42                51                7

Anglo                                     46                47                7
Minority                                  29                62                9

Household income:
Under $25K                           36                56                8
$25K to $49.9K                      46                47                7
$50K to $74.9K                      48                48                4
$75K and over                       48                49                3

Urban                                     38                57                5
Suburban                               43                51                6
Rural                                       49                43                8

Religious orientation:
Fund./Evangelical                   70                23                7
Mainstream                              53                42                6
Liberal                                      23                70                7

Jan. '06 Osama bin Laden tape:
Before release                           40                53                7
After release                              45                48                7

OK, we see the same/similar pattern in the data as before: stark division among American voters. Those most likely to approve of Bush include voters in the South, Republicans, some middle income and affluent, rural voters, fundamentalist/evangelicals and mainstream religious voters while those in the Northeast, West Coast, Democrats and, this time, Independents, minority urban and religious liberals are most likely to disapprove.

While these findings are not new news, it's important for everyone to note the consistency in the pattern between the two questions so far, and the fact that it has been found regularly by others, provides even greater confidence these data are accurate. That's very important for upcoming questions, as we break new ground in our measurements of key issues.

And, hello, the OBL tape pops up again. This time we find voters are less likely to approve of Bush before release and more likely to disapprove. A clear impact. Not huge, but there, nonetheless. Statistically significant.

Before tape release, we found voters less likely to say the country is headed in the right direction. This time, less likely to support Bush. Hmm. A pattern? To the tune of: Osama bin Laden moves voters toward Bush? Possibly. Maybe. Maybe not. Most importantly, now we're hot on the trail of this pattern. It's gotten my analytical attention. We're going to look at all the data, each time, relative to it. You betcha.

Finally, here's the data for the jobs question. More answer categories, so I've got crunch them together a bit to fit...

                              Widely             Available,        Rarely             Not             Not
                               Available        not easy        Available        Available        Sure

United States            18%              38%                24%              9%                11%

Northeast                   13                37                28                9                13
South                          28                31                22                10                9
Midwest                      12                42                27                9                10
Rockies                       14                45                20                6                15
West Coast, AK, HI     19                39                22                9                11

Democrat                       8              36                31                14                10
Republican                   32                39                14                4                11
Indep/Other/No party  15                37                28                9                11

Male                             22                36                24                8                10
Female                        15                39                24                11                11

Anglo                            19                39                22                9                11
Minority                         12                30                36                13                9

Household income:
Under $25K                   11                30                29                14              16
$25K to $49.9K              16                35                28                11              9
$50K to $74.9K              22                43                21                8                 6
$75K and over               23                47                18                6                 6

Urban                            20                37                24                6                13
Suburban                      19                39                23                7                12
Rural                             16                36                27                13                8

Religious orientation:
Fund./Evangelical           29                35                20                7                9
Mainstream                    22                43                17                7                11
Liberal                           10                38                31                13                8

Jan. '06 Osama bin Laden tape:
Before release              19                40                23                8                10
After release                 18                37                25                9                11

A couple of notes about this question. One, I worded it specifically to focus on the job situation "in your local area". Not the US, not their region, not their state. Let's get personal. How is it in your neck of the woods? That's the geographic thrust of it. Second, note the question specified "good jobs at decent wages". We're not talking about flipping hamburgers or working at Wal-Mart. We're talking about jobs and wages people can live on.

Given the above, we find about a fifth of voters say good jobs at decent wages are widely available locally and another 38% say they're available, but not easy to find. That's 56% who are saying, in essence, good jobs and wages are around in their locale if people work hard to find them.

Who's most likely to see it that way? Guess who, our friend Mr. Political Division Pattern shows up again. This time, we find voters in the South, the Rockies, Republicans,
some middle income and affluent voters and fundamentalist/evangelical and mainstream religious voters are the ones most positive about local job conditions.

About a third of US voters are much more pessimistic about local job conditions. This includes a quarter who say they're rarely available and another 9% who say they're not available at all. Who's most likely to see it this way, very differently from the previous view discussed? Big surprise, the pattern asserts itself again, showing up in this view of jobs as we find voters in the Northeast and Midwest, Democrats and Independents, minority voters, those least affluent, rural voters and religious liberals are most likely to take this view of local job conditions.

So, overall, with these first few general questions from the poll we're getting some very interesting findings from the crosstab internals. Like I said earlier, the existence of such a sharp divide among American voters is not really new knowledge. However, we're getting some indications here that division is more than a political one, hence it emerges on non-political measurements of right direction/wrong track and on local job conditions. This indicates to me a major new potential finding (at least from what I've seen and read): the division among the American electorate may be evolving into more than a political or public policy one; it may be that such disparate perceptions on everyday issues involve fundamentally different world views, one the rose-colored glasses  `no worries' `we're winning' meme promoted by Bush, the Republicans and their allies as opposed to what one might call a less enthusiastic, more measured, `realistic', down-to-earth view, espoused by David Sirota and many, many others.

And the OBL tape is also hanging out there for further investigation and articulation of impacts, in addition to the data from measures yet to be released. Which are powerful in their own right.

In short, we've got a lot of meat on these bones, as they say. Even after this initial crosstab analysis, I'll be exploring, testing hypotheses and reporting the results back to you down the road, even a month or two. I set up this interview protocol to allow for some very deep and heavy duty statistical analysis. After things get back to normal a bit, I'll be full steam ahead on that part, too.

So, there you go for today. Thanks everybody, hope you found it useful and informative. Please comment freely, I'll pop in and respond as much as I possibly can. Hasta!

Tags: MyDD Poll, poll detailed analysis, poll findings (all tags)



Re: MyDD Poll: Release 1 Detail

What? Republicans are more likely to beleive what the Bush Administration tells them, despite the lack of factual basis? I'm absolutely shocked. Simply amazed.

Still, this does mean you have good poll numbers. I'm looking forward to the next release.

by Geogriffith 2006-01-28 01:29PM | 0 recs
Re: MyDD Poll: Release 1 Detail

are there crosstabs on age as well? i'd be interested to see whether who is pessimistic about jobs correlates with generational cohorts (ie. a gen x v. boomer split).

by wu ming 2006-01-28 02:49PM | 0 recs
Re: MyDD Poll: Release 1 Detail

My bad. Yes we have the data for them but in the hullabaloo to get data and info out, I haven't run the calculations to create the actual age variable, and then age categories for crosstabs after that. I apologize. I'll get it done for you, it's still very hectic, but at worst those data will be publicly available a little bit later. Thanks much for reminding me.

by Sun Tzu 2006-01-29 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: MyDD Poll: Release 1 Detail

What were the questions?

Am I missing something? Chris, your Release 2 post is clear about questions 6-9 and refers to this post as enumerating the first five questions. I see only three, and though I can infer questions 1 and 2, I can't guess the "jobs question." If it's in the archives, please post a link.

by afox 2006-01-29 05:13AM | 0 recs
Re: MyDD Poll: Release 1 Detail

Those two questions are in Polling Project: First Release, located here. Enjoy.

by Sun Tzu 2006-01-29 11:47AM | 0 recs
Re: MyDD Poll: Release 1 Detail

When did "Liberal" become a religious orientation?  And why is it defined as out of the mainstream?

by ZamboniGuy 2006-01-29 07:12AM | 0 recs
Re: MyDD Poll: Release 1 Detail

Traditional "liberal" denominations. For instance: Unitarian Universalist.

by Michael Bersin 2006-01-29 07:16AM | 0 recs
Re: MyDD Poll: Release 1 Detail

I'm just thinking that regardless of the tradition involved, defining liberal as out of the mainstream is counterproductive idea.

by ZamboniGuy 2006-01-30 04:25AM | 0 recs
What about...

Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Wiccans, atheists, agnostics, or the nonreligious?  Are these all under the category of "liberal"?

by Geotpf 2006-01-30 09:35AM | 0 recs
Re: What about...
There's a difference between religious orientation (one's philosophical approach to one's religion: fundamentalist/evangelical, mainstream, liberal) and religious affiliation (the specific faith or denomination one belongs to: Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, etc.).

Your question asks about the latter, while the former is the data shown to date. The  religious orientation data are out early because they are informative, useful on their own and are easy to pull out of the data, crosstab, analyze and post. It was good info we could get out quick, bottom line.

We have data on affiliation, but have not shown it yet because the whole question of the impact of religiosity (both affiliation AND orientation) is best understood when these two apsects are combined into a single measure. That's when you see the power of religion in public opinion, especially in a political context. I simply haven't had the time to do that yet, but I will and I will post the results of that analysis. It's coming.

The specific faiths you inquire about are found at low incidence in the overall American population. Therefore, you don't get a large enough sample of each to analyze independently. Those faiths will be combined into a category called 'Other religion' and parsed within it by orientation: fund./evan., mainstream, liberal.

Atheists, agnostics and non-religious voters all fall into the 'No religion' category. They will also be shown, but not parsed by religious orientation because they don't have one.

I hope this answers your question. Thanks for asking it. And please stay tuned because the info out to date is just the beginning. We're going to learn a whole lot more through this initial MyDD Poll.

by Sun Tzu 2006-01-31 05:04AM | 0 recs
Those interested... the relationship between political attitudes and religious identification would do well to read John Green's work on the Twelve Tribes of American politics.  For example, the "Religious Right" (theologically conservative evangelican Protestants) and the "Religious Left" (theologically liberal non-Latino Catholics, evangelical Protestants, and mainline Protestants) both comprised approximately one eighth of the 2004 electorate.  Not surprisingly, the Religious Right went 88-12 for Bush, while the Religious Left went 78-22 for Kerry.
by KTinOhio 2006-02-06 07:00PM | 0 recs


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