Home > US politics > Are they quite that crazy?

Are they quite that crazy?

I read Andrew Sullivan‘s blog regularly enough and enjoy it. But oftentimes he can jump to conclusions with data that lies with his general thesis. Yesterday he published two contradictory polls, without picking up or commenting on this incongruity.

In a post favouring the end of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, whereby gays and lesbians cannot serve openly in the military (a policy that should be repealed, as it needlessly leads to qualified soldiers being dismissed), he cited a Gallup Poll that showed that 58% of Republican voters favoured the end of this policy.

Then in a separate post on the worrying views of Republican voters, he cited a Daily Kos Poll showing a range of outrageous views. He drew attention to the statistic that only 8% supported allowing openly gay teachers in public schools, given that Republican icon Ronald Reagan opposed the Briggs Initiative in 1978 that would have instituted such a ban in California’s public schools.

Side-by-side, these two statistics seem strange. Following through on the links shows that the Daily Kos Poll does give a statistic on gays in the military, claiming that 59% of Republicans do not think gays should serve openly.

Had these appeared on separate days, it might be understandable, but to show both polls without wondering whether Gallup, founded in 1935 and well renowned for its methodology and predictive power, might not be a more reliable indicator of political viewpoints, seems a little strange.

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