Here’s a pre-tangled mess of shitty intestines to unravel: Michael Bloomberg’s pollster arranged a survey of the Occupy Wall Street campers and published his paranoid/fearmongering results in the Wall Street Journal. The pollster/WSJ columnist, Douglas Schoen, then objectively described the #OWS protesters as “dangerously out of touch with the broad mass of the American people” and said the protesters are all “bound by a deep commitment to radical left-wing policies.” This proves something, probably about Obama, and even if the results of the survey are completely contrary to Schoen’s pre-written conclusions.
In the world of Murdoch’s cheat sheet for Wall Street, being an actual leftist is a very bad thing, of course — even if what American politics needs more than anything is a serious dose of serious leftist policies to swing at least one of the parties away from full-time suckling at the Wall Street teat. But Schoen’s conclusions aren’t even accurate, as a reporter at Capital New York found by simply asking Schoen for a copy of the raw data.
Left to my own devices to account for the raw responses to the survey (which Schoen was kind enough to send to me), I’d say the opinions of the protesters were not quite as … exciting as all that. They are about what I would have expected from a poll of the most committed long-haul demonstrators down at Zuccotti Park, who probably skew a lot younger and more activist-y than the much larger numbers of people who have put in appearances downtown ….
What the pre-interpreted numbers seem to show, to me, anyway, is that many of the protesters consider themselves Democrats, many will vote for Obama in 2012, and, relatively speaking, “income inequality” doesn’t actually rank too high on their list of grievances.
The OWS protesters top complaint about the U.S. political/financial system, according to Schoen’s survey, was “influence of corporate/moneyed/special interests.” That’s how 30% answered the question, while only 3% identified “our democratic/capitalist system” as the culprit for our continuing economic inequality and injustice. So much for the communist revolution.
Asked what the protests should achieve, the top response at 35% was “Influence the Democratic Party the way the Tea Party has influenced the GOP.” How radical. Invest in guillotine blades now, we guess. [Capital New York]