Center for American Progress’ Poll: So Close and Yet So…

….AARRGGHH!!! One of my pet peeves are political polls that don’t get at how self-described political identification matches actual opinions: in other words, are some moderates actually like liberals or conservatives and so forth. By way of Matt Yglesias, we find that the Center for American Progress recently polled people in the U.S. by asking them 39 questions about political issues. The respondents were asked to disagree or agree on a scale of 0 – 11.

The study (pdf) is actually pretty thorough. They describe, in tables, how various self-described groups answered classes of questions. But what they didn’t do (or at least report–and if it’s not reported, then nobody knows about it) is any kind of analysis to see whether someone’s self-description actually matches his or her answers. There are all sorts of techniques to do this, but they didn’t do it.
There’s always been a disconnect between how people answer specific questions and gross ideological identification. This has typically helped conservatives. And this study, while providing some suggestive tables and figures, really could have gone to town on the statistics. And they didn’t.
An aside: I took the quiz and scored 335/400, which means I’m a dirty fucking hippie. This also makes me wish that had used standard deviations. More sigh.

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14 Responses to Center for American Progress’ Poll: So Close and Yet So…

  1. Joshua says:

    Don’t get me started. Work has decided to implement resolution time SLAs. The goal is to have 95% of each employee’s/group’s/department’s tickets meet the resolution SLA.
    The SLA time was determined by taking the mean response time of all tickets.

  2. nolrai says:

    hmm I got 355/400 too.

  3. CRM-114 says:

    333. And I used to be a Republican. (Now I have no party affiliation.)

  4. Elf Eye says:


  5. Edward says:

    I got a 323/400. I suspect most scientists (at least those in academics) would score over 300. So that proves that all of science is a liberal conspiracy, right?

  6. Mary says:

    Ha. 337 here. I was hoping it was actually going to say DFH in the results, but it didn’t…

  7. JThompson says:

    370/400. Clearly I’m one of the dirtiest fucking hippies.
    I was expecting to be DFH, just not to be quite that far into it.

  8. GE Wilker says:

    366/400. Hooray for dirty fucking hippiedom!
    I wonder what the average score amoung those with a postgraduate education specifically in the sciences would be, and what it would be for those with a business or law degree?

  9. 337/400.
    That made me a moderate compared to the visitors at my place.

  10. Bee says:

    What are the ways to do it and do you have a reference or a keyword?

  11. Blake Stacey says:

    350/400. I must be a commie pinko Jacobin radical.

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  14. JasonTD says:

    210/400 here. :p Which actually put me 0.8 below the mean for Catholics (ick). At least I did considerably better than Republicans (168.4) or Conservatives (177.9). On the questions that related to religion/social issues, I probably scored as ‘progressive’ as anyone else here, though. And there were a lot of questions that the amount that I would agree or disagree would really depend on specifics. I answered somewhere in the middle for most of those. For instance, a question that asked “Government regulation is necessary to protect workers and consumers” really deserves ‘duh’ as a response. So, someone’s position would really come down to how much regulation is the right amount.

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