Wisconsin's Pretend Research Institute tries to resuscitate its reputation | Wis.Community

Wisconsin's Pretend Research Institute tries to resuscitate its reputation

 UPDATE: Equally unreliable Rasssmussen poll says Feingold and Thompson in a dead heat for US Senate. WPRI had Tommy up 12%.

Wisconsin's Pretend Research Institute (WPRI), the right-wing propaganda machine, is trying to defend itself against recent bad publicity suggesting its polls -- or the way it reports results -- are slanted to fit their world view: WPRI Poll Tracks Consistently with National Polls:

Today, NBC and the Wall Street Journal released a poll that details public opinion regarding the health care bill before Congress, the public’s views of the direction of the country, and other national issues. The NBC/WSJ poll tracks very closely with the WPRI poll we released late last week. To wit:

•In the WSJ/NBC poll, 48% of the public opposed the health care bill currently before Congress, while 36% labeled it “a good idea.” In the WPRI poll, 37% favored the plan and 55% opposed it.

•In the WSJ/NBC poll, President Obama’s approval rating was 48%. In WPRI’s poll, Obama’s approval is 49%.

•In the WSJ/NBC poll, 33% of Americans believed the country was headed in the right direction, while 59% believed the country was on the wrong track. In the WPRI poll, those numbers are 34% and 59%, respectively.

All of that proves exactly nothing, of course. Are we to believe that the opinions of Wisconsin people are exactly the same as those across the country?

If that's the case, there's no need to do any more state polling; we can just rely on Gallup or NBC and the WSJ (probably not the Washington Post, which WPRI no doubt regards like Pravda.) Did Barack Obama get the same percentage of votes in Wisconsin as he did nationally?  Don't think so.

This little bit of misdirection, penned by Christian Schneider, the blogging artist formerly known as Dennis York, does nothing to reassure anyone that WPRI's amazingly positive numbers for Republicans Tommy Thompson and Scott Walker are accurate. Nor does it excuse the fact that WPRI tailored its news release on one of its polls to make support for school choice look stronger than it actually is.

Nice try, though.


March 18, 2010 - 10:59am