Even More on the Zogby thing

Mind in the Qatar:

I believe that the main flaw in the poll, is that it is not a ‘public opinion’ poll about a far away or abstract policy. It is a poll of the people who are carrying out that policy. The results of that poll are less likely to be about the policy, than about their unique personal circumstances.

For decades one of the time honored traditions of the U.S. military is for troops to complain about their circumstances. A grunt ain’t happy if he ain’t complaining….

So what happens when you take troops, who are deployed from their families for months on end (sometimes multiple times), living in field conditions, risk getting shot at, risk getting bombed, and oh did I mention being deployed from their families for months on end, and ask them when troops should leave Iraq? What happens is those troops are going to answer the question as if it were a personal question, not a policy one.

You might as well as ask “When do you think you should go home?” What do you think the answer is going to be?

Now, I wanted to bring up the tradition of griping and all, but Murdoc’s just a dumb civie. Major Chaz, on the other hand, is not. He’s been there and done that and offers a bit of insight. Go read.

Also, Jason at Generation Why let me know that only a couple of the actual questions were spelled out in the $19.95 Executive Summary. I’m glad he let me know, because I was going to invest a bit of Murdoc Money in the report and give you all a full rundown. Apparently, though, there isn’t a whole lot to show. That’s too bad.

Take, for instance, today Gallup Poll results: Majority of NOLA Residents Approve of Mayor’s Response to Katrina. Now, Murdoc doesn’t really agree with much of what the poll says New Orleans folks think. But there’s a fair amount of detail in how the results are presented, including a significant amount of demographic info (such as the difference between what white and black residents thought of the “chocolate city” remark) which can often tell us a lot.

Now, the Gallup analysis does leave a lot to be desired, but it’s light-years ahead of what we get from Zogby.

Covered on MO previously here and here.

UPDATE: Just got this as a comment on my post from last night:

You said: “I’ve got to say that I don’t know a single serviceman or servicewoman who thinks we invaded Iraq to retaliate for Saddam’s role in 9/11. Now, I don’t know an awful lot of them.

I do know a lot of them, since I am one. I don’t know a single one who thinks that way either. I’ve never heard Soldiers talk that way on their own, and I have never heard officers talk to the troops in those terms. I’ll admit that I haven’t been to Iraq since 2003, but I was in the initial invasion force and we didn’t think or talk that way back then. I can’t imagine why troops would think MORE in that direction now than three years ago.

UPDATE: Much more, including the actual questions, here.


  1. I have done two tours in Iraq. I stayed on the FOB most of the time. I never encountered a journalist, I heard of one visiting my post but that they had a PAO along, which is standard procedure. SO, how did these poll takers get access to 944 troops all over Iraq at places that can not be disclosed because of security concerns? You cannot just walk onto an FOB by flashing a driver’s license at the gate guard, especially those in hot areas. Did they get permission to enter the base and conduct the polling from PAO or the base CDR? Something does not seem right with this.

  2. I suspect the poll is a complete fabrication. I’m in the polling business and there are standard procedures for verifying the accuracy of the poll. 1. The questions are always published along with the answers. Where is the questionnaire? 2. The location of the people being interviewed is always given. In this case how many interviews were done in Iraq? How many in the US? How many were conducted in Spanish (for those who don’t speak English)? How many were conducted with active duty personnel? How many in hospital? Who was present at the interview? Did Al Qaida provide the interviewers? 3. How many interviews were conducted with front line combat zone personnel? Because front line interviewing is very dangerous, interviewers are tempted to skip the interview and just make up the answers. What steps were taken to prevent fabrications. 4. Zogby Inc says all interviews were done in person. How many interviewers were there? When were the interviews done? What were the politics of the interviewers? Judging from their school, I’d suspect they were hostile to US personnel. 5. How many interviews were discarded and why? How were respondents selected? 6. Normally 50% of interviews in a study are verified. This means 50% of the respondents are recontacted and asked: – if they were interviewed -reasked certain key questions. -completely reinterviewed if incorrect answers found If 1 reinterview is done for an interviewer then all that interviewer’s work is verified and, if necessary, reinterviewed. If Zogby refuses to supply answers to these questions, then the poll is a fake.

  3. Max Friedman is pissed about a lot of things, so are others going to be after they read his rant. Papa Ray West Texas USA

  4. Sorry, here is the link. http://www.augustafreepress.com/stories/storyReader$39014

  5. God help America indeed if Max Friedman is the spokesman for America, quoting Fox news as an agent of the truth. The guy is nuts ‘sold out to communists’ what communists? the more you read his article the more it seems like an add on to a 50s reds under the bed scenario with evil Joe Mc leaning over your shoulder. He should put on his pyjamas go back to sleep and wake up again , maybe this time he will wake in the same world as the rest of us. He is not a tired old journalist he is a dumb hack.