An example of a wording difference that had a significant impact on responses comes from a January 2003 Pew Research survey. When people were asked whether they would: “favor or oppose taking military action in Iraq to end Saddam Hussein’s rule,” 68 percent said they favored military action while 25 percent said they opposed military action. However, when asked whether they would “favor or oppose taking military action in Iraq to end Saddam Hussein’s rule even if it meant that U.S. forces might suffer thousands of casualties,” responses were dramatically different; only 43 percent said they favored military action while 48 percent said they opposed it. The introduction of U.S. casualties altered the context of the question and influenced whether people favored or opposed military action in Iraq.
Cherry picking polls here and there to fit the writer’s definition works for his letter but falls short of reality. I think if you ask the average taxpayer voter three simple questions: If government spends too much, if government has grown too big, and do you think you can make better spending decisions with your money than the government, the overwhelming response would be yes.
Al DeKruif is a former District 25 state senator. He is the owner of Dekruif Enterprises and Sakatah Trail Resort. He lives in Madison Lake.