Friday, September 11, 2009

Meaningless Polls

Gallup Poll, yesterday:
A new Gallup poll finds half of Americans believe the court is “about right” ideologically, an all-time high and an increase of 7 percentage points over last year.

Sixty-one percent of Americans surveyed approve of the job done by the U.S. Supreme Court, the highest level since 2001, when the court had an approval rating of 62 percent, Gallup reports.
Given this Zogby poll, which famously found that 3 times as many Americans could name two of Snow White's dwarfs as could name two Supreme Court Justices, asking Americans to rate the Supreme Court's performance is a meaningless exercise. It's like asking people who have never heard of any physicists at all, other than maybe Stephen Hawking, to rate the world's top 10 physicists.

1 Comments:

Blogger Jeffery Dean said...

As a measure of legal and professional competence, a poll of ignorant Americans does not tell us anything. But as a measure of public feeling, it does. The more the court does things to upset people, the lower its approval rating will be. The inverse is also true. Its approval rating is simply reflective of its fit with popular feeling at a point in time, and this feeling is quite independent of the public's knowledge of court particulars, for better or worse.

2:17 PM  

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