CBS Poll: Most Don’t Believe Rhetoric Matches The Event
Okay, I am going to break a long-standing rule of mine and post an article about a poll. Yes, I am a long-time skeptic of polls, and this post shouldn’t be taken as a change in that policy. I am posting it only because it allows me a nice springboard to a little pontification.
The poll in question was run by CBS News shortly after the Tucson shooting, and finds that all the lefty talking heads full of nothing but talking points aren’t convincing people that Rep. Giffords was targeted because she was a Democrat:
Overall, 57 percent of respondents said the harsh political tone had nothing to do with the shooting, compared to 32 percent who felt it did. Republicans were more likely to feel the two were unrelated – 69 percent said rhetoric was not to blame; 19 percent said it played a part. Democrats were more split on the issue – 49 percent saw no connection; 42 percent said there was.
Independents more closely reflected the overall breakdown – 56 percent said rhetoric had nothing to do with the attack; 33 percent felt it did.
I couldn’t find the data on how many Republicans were polled compared to how many Democrats, but it still seems the weekend “right-wingers are to blame” blitz mostly convinced the choir, and it’s not at all clear that it was even necessary to convince those folks.
However, this leads me to my main point. Many people who work in, around, or follow politics tend to think that everything has to have a political angle. But most regular Americans don’t spend much time thinking about politics except for Labor Day to early November every other year… some even stretch it out to every four years, skipping the midterms.
While the average Dinosaur Media reporter might look at the cheese aisle in the grocery store and make their selection based on what company gives the most to causes they hold near and dear to their heart, most Americans just buy either the brand they think is the best, or the brand that’s on sale. Politics don’t enter into their thought processes.
Same thing with other activities… they go to a baseball game because they wanted to see the game, not to make a statement about their politics. They pick their church for reasons other than the pastor’s political stance–which, by the way, it should be impossible to tell from his sermons.
Therefore, to most Americans, when a nutburger goes on a shooting spree, politics don’t spring to mind as a motive. What most non-political-wonks think is, “wow, a nut went on a shooting spree,” and then they start thinking of the victims and the victims’ families, not how best to wring political advantage from it.
I also think that the longer the lefties try to paint the shooter as some rabid conservative driven mad by a map with symbols that resemble crosshairs on it, the more damage they are going to do themselves, because every attempt paints them as more out of touch with what regular Americans think.