Posted: 08/13/08 20:15, Edited: 08/13/08 20:15
by Dave Mindeman
I have no doubt that a majority of Americans would be willing to allow drilling in the OCS if it reduced the price of gas. Republicans have worked long and hard to correlate drilling to prices, even if it is a dubious connection.
But the polling on this issue has some questionable methods. Rassmussen released a poll that asked this question:
Congress is currently on a recess. Some people believe Members of Congress should return to Washington immediately and vote on whether or not to allow offshore oil drilling. Should Members of Congress return to Washington immediately and vote on this issue?
10% Not sure
I highlighted the middle part of the question because I question why that part is there. "Some people believe"...some people? I guess that must refer to the publicity hounds occupying the floor of the House of Representatives. Notice it also does not ask the person being questioned as to what their preference would be -- For or Against Drilling. Only their opinion on whether or not Congress should vote.
How likely is it that Congress will adjourn for the year without allowing offshore oil drilling?
42% Very likely
29% Somewhat likely
13% Not very likely
3% Not at all likely
14% Not sure
Again, just asking about a vote allowing drilling -- not about preferences. So far we have a majority that want a vote on drilling, but don't believe that any vote will happen this year.
Generally speaking, do Democrats in Congress favor or oppose offshore oil drilling?
26% Not sure
So they are still not asking how the person being questioned personally feels about drilling -- but their opinion about they think the Democrats feel about it.
Okay? do Republicans in Congress favor or oppose offshore oil drilling?
24% Not sure
Now, we know how Americans feel about how Republicans feel.
In terms of how you will vote for Congress this year, how important is the issue of offshore oil drilling?
45% Very important
32% Somewhat important
17% Not very important
4% Not at all important
3% Not sure
So, in the end, we have a poll that tells us that offshore drilling is an important issue, that Democrats are generally against it, Republicans are generally for it, that they want a vote to happen, but don't believe it will.
It is a poll that doesn't really say anything -- but insinuates volumes.