|PATHETIC POLLS -- OR JUST WISHFUL THINKING?|
Opinion By Jan Bergemann
Published June 11, 2009
Florida's citizens and legislators are being bombarded with pathetic polls. These "polls" are not actual opinion polls but serve just one purpose: Create the result the group -- or organization -- wants to achieve: Sway the opinion of a person or a specific group -- like legislators.
Latest example: The poll published by the Florida Chamber of Commerce under the headline: VOTERS SUPPORT INSURANCE RATE DEREGULATION BILL H 1171. Actually, the press release was worded very carefully: "The Chamber polls shows 60 percent of respondents favor allowing policy holders to make the decision on whether to stay with their insurance companies regardless of how much they charge." In other words: The respondents were not really asked if they are in favor -- or against -- H 1171!
Citizens and media dubbed this bill the State Farm Bail-Out Bill for obvious reasons.
We all know that the insurance industry wrote this bill and is pushing it, as the "Consumer Choice" property insurance bill. This is an interesting selection of words, because the only "choice" the consumer will have with this bill is the "choice" to pay more in insurance premiums.
It's just a matter who you ask -- and how you ask! With these push polls you will always get the result that fits your agenda!
This specific "poll" had only one goal: Trying to dissuade Governor Charlie Crist from vetoing the bill, since he indicated he might consider just doing that. Don't forget, this bill contradicts about everything he has promised Florida's citizens in the last 3 years in regards to insurance premiums!
If these polls really work and influence our government executives it wouldn't be too difficult to throw a push poll together on short notice. Let's say: 95% out of 500 registered Republican voters, who voted for Charlie Crist as Governor, would state they wouldn't vote for him for US Senate if he doesn't veto H1171? It's easy to achieve. You just have to know the people on your e-mail list!
Remember the survey of the CAI (Community Association Institute)? It came to the conclusion that 83% of all owners living in homeowners' associations are happy. No wonder, because further research showed that the respondents of the survey were all board members, actually members of the CAI.
Polls are actually really easy to manipulate -- if it serves the purpose of the group paying for it.
Actually, many of these polls just reflect wishful thinking of the group ordering and publishing the poll results!