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What's a Landline? 'Outliers'

Topics: Outliers Feature

Gallup updates their "State of the States" interactive feature (via Lymari Morales).

David Hill says the GOP resurgence is more about candidate images than a sudden surge in brand appeal.

Chris Weigant points to a leveling off of Obama's approval in January.

Matt Continetti thinks avoiding a fall in Obama's approval ratings might not save Democrats in November.

Jim Geraghty finds
the results of the Daily Kos Republicans poll not "that surprising or even that troubling."

Keith Olberman catches something ironic in the Frank Luntz memo on how to defeat financial reform (via Atlantic wire).

Andrew Gelman challenges David Runciman's views on public opinion toward health reform.

Gary Langer shares polling data from a Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan.

Pew finds that 93% of 18-29 year olds and 75% of 12-17 year olds own cell phones (via Susannah Fox).

 

Comments

Gallup finds a majority "positive on capitalism, entrepreneurs, free enterprise, and small business," while "socialism had the lowest percentage positive rating and the highest negative rating of any term tested." Even though "53% of Democrats have a positive image of socialism."

Does this explain why Democrats are so low in the polls?

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AySz88:

Ptolemy, I'm not sure what explanation you're thinking of. I think it's probably some combination of:
* some liberals actually being socialists,
* that Republicans keep calling liberals "socialist".

An explanation for the second bit: some liberals can have the view that socialism is naive or just "doesn't work", but not evil. And for those that don't have a strong opinion about what's wrong with X (replace X with "socialism", "rap", "Lady Gaga", etc.), they might tend to defend their own stereotype -- "liberals are all being called socialists, and I identify with being liberal, so of course socialism must not be so bad," or some odd logic along those lines.

There also is a trend I've been noticing (anecdotally) about "socialism" being defined as simply any socially-beneficial program (like Medicare or veterans' benefits), and that might be affecting numbers. Relatedly, there's a meme about Medicare = "socialized medicine" (sometimes used by liberals to say how "socialized medicine" isn't actually so bad).

I wish someone also conducted something asking people if they think they knew what socialism was, and their definitions. :/

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JWilly48519:

Given that Gary Laner was polling in Helmand, and Western media have been reporting for years that a lot of households there have family members that are receiving income from the Taliban and/or their funders the drug kingpins, one would think an attempt would have been made to get data on those income relationships, so that crosstabs could be done against attitudes.

It would be perfectly understandable if the higher percentage of pro-Taliban, anti-Western-military attitudes in Helmand was strongly correlated with family members earning income from the Taliban and, indirectly, the drug kingpins.

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JWilly48519:

--> Langer. Sorry.

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