Over at the Daily Kos, they are trumpeting a poll that shows that Americans would prefer to have American jobs protected rather than passing more job killing trade agreements. I'm with the Kosites on this issue, but this poll cannot be relied upon as a true measure of the feelings of the American people.
Let me explain.
The pollsters posed three questions. Here's the description of the last question, posed after two initial questions that introduced the subject of currency manipulation by countries like China:
When asked: If the Obama administration supports an international trade agreement that does not specifically prohibit currency manipulation, do you think the United States Congress should support or oppose that trade deal? A plurality of Democrats believe Congress should oppose such a deal—48 percent oppose, 41 percent support—while a majority of Republicans believe Congress should oppose a trade agreement without rules against currency manipulation—77 percent oppose, 17 percent support.
via Daily Kos
You see the problem, don't you?
Let's suppose for a moment that just one little word was changed in that question. Let's suppose that the word “supports” was changed to “opposes”, but the word “Obama” stayed right where it is. We can safely assume that this would shift the Democratic numbers by a fair amount. But the real tell is in the Republican figures. These trade deals, after all, are quite popular with the real Republican base, and so we can expect that the folks at Fox will manipulate the suckers to fall in line. But, not being properly Fox primed, and faced with a question which starts off with stating that Obama supports something, what can any red blooded Republican do but oppose it? Change that one little word, and those numbers would have flipped. If they had told those Republicans that Obama is opposed to killing puppies you'd have 77% of them in favor of a puppy holocaust.
So, this poll was gamed, and the pollsters had to know it. As I say, I'm on their side, but I'm surprised that anyone at the Daily Kos would give this poll the time of day.