Barnhart Media


Franken poll: a misleading narrative

2017-11-28 franken.jpg

A poll showing "Minnesotans want Franken to resign" is making the rounds, but, unlike most people, I took a look at the numbers. Here's what I found:

resign - 33%
stay - 22%
wait for results of investigation - 36%

Ok, that looks bad. But of course, you have to look at the demographic breakdown:

resign - 14%
stay - 34%
wait - 46%

resign - 61%
stay - 12%
wait - 18%

resign - 30%
stay - 22%
wait - 40%

And there ya go. "MInnesotans" don't want Franken to resign; Republicans want Franken to resign. Dems & Indies want to wait for the investigation to be completed. 

This is entirely a partisan outcome, but news agencies never report these breakdowns of the data. They just grab the overall number and report that as if it's the bottom line. It is not.

Sen Franken says he's not resigning, and that's good to hear. He doesn't have to run again until 2022, so approval ratings don't really matter. He has plenty of time to recover from this – especially if it turns out there's a lot of nothing in the charges. 

Seriously: When you see a poll released that says "X% of people think..." find the actual poll (this was on KTSP's website; they did the poll in conjunction with USA Today) and look for the demographic breakdown. Learn what the word “average” means and how polls work.

blogT.A. Barnhartmetoo, congress