Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Daily Kos/Research 2000 Poll on Republican Views

Left-winger Markos Moulitsas, founder of the Daily Kos, commissioned a poll by Research 2000 to survey Republican views. Apparently he's writing a book, and wanted to get ammunition for his preexisting belief that Republicans are evil monsters.

I'm putting the finishing touches on my new book, American Taliban, which catalogues the ways in which modern-day conservatives share the same agenda as radical Jihadists in the Islamic world. But I found myself making certain claims about Republicans that I didn't know if they could be backed up. So I thought, "why don't we ask them directly?"
I know it's hard to take a Republican-hating extremist & propagandist like Moulitsas seriously, but the poll is actually pretty interesting. He comments on each poll question, so I thought I'd do the same. 

Should Barack Obama be impeached, or not?

Yes 39 
No 32 
Not Sure 29

Pretty meaningless question. You'd likely get a similar result among Democrats if we had a Republican president anywhere near as polarizing as Obama. 

Do you think Barack Obama is a socialist?

Yes 63 
No 21 
Not Sure 16

There's nothing surprising or strange about this response, other than that it wasn't over 75%. Obama may not identify as a socialist, but he's as much of a socialist as you can be and still be elected president. Is there any doubt that Obama would nationalize healthcare completely if he could get away with it? Or that he would drastically raise taxes on the rich, or pursue any number of other socialist policies? "Socialist" is a a pretty loose term to most people. Just because Barack Obama isn't an actual member of a socialist workers party doesn't mean that Republicans who view him as socialistic are wackos.

Do you believe Barack Obama was born in the United States, or not?

Yes 42 
No 36 
Not Sure 22

Unfortunately there are many birthers.

Do you believe Barack Obama wants the terrorists to win?

Yes 24 
No 43 
Not Sure 33

The 24% are blinded by hatred of Obama, and the 33% "not sures" are unwilling to give him credit for anything, even being against terrorism. This is evidence of an Obama Derangement Syndrome.

Do you believe ACORN stole the 2008 election?

Yes 21 
No 24 
Not Sure 55

21% isn't a big deal. Conspiracy theories are popular in both parties, no matter how ridiculous. The "not sures" probably have a reasonable response in this case. They are unclear on exactly how much ACORN affected anything.

Do you believe Sarah Palin is more qualified to be President than Barack Obama?

Yes 53 
No 14 
Not Sure 33

Given Obama's miserable performance so far, there's nothing unreasonable about thinking Palin might do a better job. A random person off the street might do a better job.

Do you believe Barack Obama is a racist who hates White people?

Yes 31 
No 36 
Not Sure 33

I wouldn't read too much into this one. I think some are judging based on his former church & Rev. Wright.

Do you believe your state should secede from the United States?

Yes 23 
No 58 
Not Sure 19

Moulitsas launches into lunatic accusations of treason, and a bizarre accusation of cowardice -- based on a speculative poll question. This demonstrates yet again that leftist Democrats are ever willing to call Republicans traitors, un-American or unpatriotic over the most trivial things, yet become outraged at the slightest hint of criticism that might imply they are acting in an unpatriotic fashion -- even when they obviously are.

Should Congress make it easier for workers to form and join labor unions?

Yes 7
No 68
Not Sure 25

Republicans are not pro-union, and for good reasons.

Would you favor or oppose giving illegal immigrants now living in the United States the right to live here legally if they pay a fine and learn English?

Favor 26 
Oppose 59 
Not Sure 15

I'm in the 26% here.

Do you support the death penalty?

Yes 91 
No 4 
Not Sure 5

Another reason to vote Republican.

Should openly gay men and women be allowed to serve in the military?

Yes 26 
No 55 
Not Sure 19

Only 55% opposition I see as a positive sign that times are definitely moving in favor of gay rights.

Should same sex couples be allowed to marry?

Yes 7 
No 77 
Not Sure 16

Unfortunately not surprising. This is a hot-button issue for many.

Should gay couples receive any state or federal benefits?

Yes 11 
No 68 
Not Sure 21

Bad question. It's way too vague. Define benefits. I'm extremely pro-gay rights and I'd probably answer "not sure."

Should openly gay men and women be allowed to teach in public schools?

Yes 8 
No 73 
Not Sure 19

This is pretty bad and seems to reflect a visceral homophobia. Too many people seem to equate homosexuals to pedophiles, even though abuse by heterosexuals is far more common.

Should sex education be taught in the public schools?

Yes 42 
No 51 
Not Sure 7

I have no problem with sex ed, but there's a reasonable argument to be made that it shouldn't be the responsibility of schools.

Should public school students be taught that the book of Genesis in the Bible explains how God created the world?

Yes 77 
No 15 
Not Sure 8

At first glance this is disturbing, but upon a second look the question is too vague. It is unclear whether the question means that the Biblical account should be covered in school at all, or taught in science class as a replacement for science. There is no problem, in my opinion, with teaching the Genesis account in a class about religion, history, or literature. Teaching it as something that is true, rather than from a neutral perspective, is a different matter.

Are marriages equal partnerships, or are men the leaders of their households?

Men 13 
Equal 76 
Not Sure 11

Useless and uninteresting question.

Should women work outside the home?

Yes 86 
No 4 
Not Sure 10

Same as previous.

Should contraceptive use be outlawed?

Yes 31 
No 56 
Not Sure 13

This one is bizarre. I'm not sure what percentage of Catholics were included in the survey. I have never been aware of any significant number of Republicans railing against contraception. 

Do you believe the birth control pill is abortion?

Yes 34 
No 48 
Not Sure 18

Another "so what" question. I guess an argument could be made for a yes answer. It's not like the question of when life begins is somehow settled.

Do you consider abortion to be murder?

Yes 76 
No 8 
Not Sure 16

Republicans are mostly anti-abortion. Big surprise.

Do you believe that the only way for an individual to go to heaven is though Jesus Christ, or can one make it to heaven through another faith?

Christ 67 
Other 15 
Not Sure 18

67% of Republicans are apparently Christians who believe one of the most basic teachings of Christianity. Again, no surprise.


  1. Uber interesting. I don't know why so many Republicans are anti-gay. It's terrible.

  2. Yeah, that's the most disturbing part of the poll.

  3. It's very interesting to see this response to the poll from a Republican perspective, particularly point by point. I can appreciate that you are trying to be intellectually honest in your responses. However, I disagree with your explanations/excuses.

    For example, 1 in 5 Republicans believe their state should secede. This is not a trivial sentiment. It adds to the toxic environment where "San Francisco" is used to slander people, the same as the word "hillbilly" is. This is not constructive in bridging our differences.

    But particularly troublesome is where 1 in 3 Republicans believe Obama is a racist. This is NOT understandable. If 1 in 3 Democrats believed that President Bush was a racist, I would no longer be a Democrat.

    That said, I am heartened by how much common ground we can find, in sex-ed, immigration, and gay issues. Thanks for posting.

  4. 91% support the death penalty and 76% think abortion is murder.. does that mean around seven out of ten Republicans are likely to think women who have abortions, and the doctors who perform them, should face the death penalty? Presumably it would be a pretty clear case of premeditated murder for them?

    I can only imagine that it must be at least a little embarrassing for reasonable people to be part of a political movement that has more than half of its self identifying members not sure, or flat-out denying, that Obama was born in the United States. Or to be so blatantly homophobic.

    The explanation of the 77% support in Genesis being taught in terms of "explaining how God created the world" is a bit misguided, given that polls have shown that around 60% of Republicans actually believe in literal biblical creation (http://www.gallup.com/poll/108226/republicans-democrats-differ-creationism.aspx). Obviously from those numbers the majority of these people are not expecting Genesis to be taught in classes about religion or literature, but as a fact. And that is scary, how can so many members of a major political party be so clearly divorced from reality?