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Results of September 23-October 4, 2006 Poll

Below are the response rates for our current Sept/October '06 poll. Total number of cases in the data set =151. Fifty three percent were women, 47% men. Respondents reside in 40 states. Questions 6-10 on the Bill of Rights created confusion because they were composite questions. Thus the data will not be reported. The correct answers to the factual questions (2-16) and links to defend the accuracy of those answers are posted elsewhere on this web site.

In addition we created a knowledge index based upon the factual questions. Correct answers to questions 2-5 and 16 received 3 points, to 11-14 were worth 2 points and to the most difficult question (15) 1 point. The maximum points possible were 24. The average score of the 151 respondents was 8.5 meaning that most people had poor background knowledge on the questions asked. On another webpage, we post some of the interesting cross tabulations which are the heart of what our polls are intended to look at. These reveal how misinformation has been used effectively to gain public support for policies the public otherwise might not support.

1. In your personal opinion which statement best describes the impact of the U.S. Government's War on Terrorism:
a) It has been effective at reducing terrorism (24.5%)
b) It has created more terrorists and terror supporters (35.8%)
c) It creates public support for war and for greater government control of our lives (11.9%)
d) none of the above/ not sure (27.8%)

In the rest of this poll, you will notice that the first half asks for factual information and the second half asks for your opinions. In the first part it is better to say you don't know than to guess the answer to any question. Few people will know all the answers so don't feel bad about saying you don't know. But please try and be honest and complete the poll. We'll tell you where to find the right answers to the factual questions later. Ok?

2. True or False: Without exceptions, torture is a crime under U.S. law and a crime under International Treaties the U.S. has signed. (t/ f/ d)

(true,72.8%; false,12.6%; d,13.9%)

3. The earth's surface is rapidly warming. There is a controversy over whether this is due to controllable human produced carbon dioxide or is a natural occurrence. This controversy is generated by
a) differences among scientists (31.8%)
b) those who oppose government regulation of industry (19.2%)
c) liberal propaganda (5.3%)
d) don't know or none of the above (43.7%)

4. The number of Iraqis involved in the 9/11 attack on the U.S. was:
a) 8 (9.3%)
b) 0 (35.1%)
c) 19 (14.6%)
d) don't know

5. Is there evidence that Saddam Hussein worked with Osama Bin Laden's Al Qaeda? (y/ n/ d)

yes, 22.5%; no, 49.7%; don't know, 27.8%

Please state yes or no to whether the US Government has removed or otherwise infringed upon each of the following Rights from the United States Constitution's Bill of Rights: (hint: if a statement I read is not from the Bill of Rights the correct answer would be No)

6. The guarantee that accused persons have the right to a speedy and public trial. (y/n/d)

7. The right to be charged with specific crimes or be released. (y/n/d)

8. The right to take up arms against the government. (y/n/d)

9. Protection against unreasonable searches and seizures in our private lives and homes. (y/n/d)

10. The right to act first and ask questions later if someone makes us feel fearful. (y/n/d)

11. true, false or don't know The International Committee of the Red Cross charged that the American military has intentionally used psychological and physical coercion, in other words torture, on prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (t/ f/ d)

true, 43.7%; false, 14.6%; don't know, 41.7%

12. In the past 3 decades, the number of people in the U.S. convicted of murder, sentenced to death, but later proven to be innocent and released is:
a) less than 10 (12.7%)
b) between 10 and 65 (17.3)
c) over 120 (14.7%)
d) don't know (55.3%)

13. In March, 2006 the Hamas organization was elected by a vote of the Palestinian people to lead a Palestinian government in which country:
a) Palestine (23.8%)
b) Israel (4.6%)
c) no country--because they live in territories under the rule of Israel's army (16.6%)
d) don't know (55%)

14. true or false or don't know. A once-secret process called rendition has been used by the CIA to deliver suspects to countries like Egypt, Morocco, Syria, or Jordan, each of which is known to use torture in their interrogations. (t/ f/ d)

true=39.6% false=4% don't know= 56.4%

15. Troops returning from war often have mental problems including suicide, severe depression, inability to reintegrate with families or community, anger, and violent tendencies. What percentage of GIs returning from war in Iraq accessed mental health services in their first year home according to a US army study.
a) 5% (10.7%)
b) 26% (10.7%)
c) 35% (22.8%)
d) don't know (55.7%)

16. The right of the United States to go to war against another country that does not agree to the demand that it disarm is:
a) preserved in the US Constitution (8.8%)
b) agreed upon by most countries (11.5%)
c) outlawed by the United Nations and International Law (29.1%)
d) don't know (50.7%)

The following questions ask for your personal opinion. If you agree with more than one answer choose the one that best represents your view. If you have no opinion or your opinion is not among the choices, please so state.

17. The government response before and after the Katrina Hurricane in New Orleans was:
a) reasonable given the difficulty of the problem (34.9%)
b) irresponsible and negligent toward many New Orleans citizens (52.3%)
c) excellent (2%)
d) don't know (10.7%

18. The many people who cross into the U.S. without permits and stay here to live and work are:
a) a terrorist threat (9.5%)
b) a natural result of enforced economic inequalities between nations (44.6%)
c) scofflaws who are taking advantage of our country (28.4%)
d) don't know (17.6%)

19. The US Supreme Court has previously ruled that it is legal to execute innocent people if correct legal procedures were followed. Given that over 120 people have been proved innocent after having been wrongly sentenced to death by the US Court system, should we continue to execute convicted murderers knowing that some will be innocent? (yes, no, don't know)

yes, 30.4%; no, 38.5%; no opinion, 31.1%

20. Do you support or oppose creation of a national health fund providing total health care insurance coverage for every American at all medical institutions, with the elimination of health insurance company profits and out of pocket patient costs? (s/ o/ d)

support, 59.5%; oppose, 26.4%; don't know, 14.2%

21. Should the U.S. immediately withdraw all its troops and military bases from Iraq in a safe and orderly fashion? (y/ n/ d)

yes, 41.9%; no, 47.3%; don't know, 10.8%

22. Do you support or oppose the U.S. government torturing people in captivity? (s/ o / d)

support, 17.7%; oppose, 71.4%; no opinion, 10.9%

23. Do you agree or not with the government's position that people detained at Guantanamo must be dangerous criminals or they would not have been seized in the first place? (a/ n/ d)

agree, 37%; don't agree, 32.9%; don't know, 30.1%

Rank each statement from 0-5 as to whether these behaviors by the administration disturb you: (where 0 means doesn't disturb and 5 means very disturbing)

24. claiming Saddam Hussein was a threat to justify war and the occupation of Iraq

0, 24%;
1, 6.2%;
2, 2.7%;
3, 19.9%;
4, 11.6%;
5, 33.6%;
no opinion, 2.1%

25. authorizing the National Security Agency to spy on our phone lines

0, 23.4%;
1, 6.9%;
2, 3.4%;
3, 13.8%;
4, 12.4%;
5, 37.9%;
no opinion, 2.1%

26. violating US and international laws against torture

0, 13.8%;
1, 3.4%;
2, 9%;
3, 17.9%;
4, 16.6%;
5, 37.2%;
no opinion, 2.1%

27. restricting or removing many rights guaranteed by the US constitution

0, 11%;
1, 3.4%;
2, 4.8%;
3, 13.1%;
4, 9.7%;
5, 53.8%;
no opinion, .7%

28. Should President Bush and Vice President Chaney be impeached? (y/ n/ d)

yes. 29.7%; no, 55.9%; don't know, 14.5%

29. Should President Bush be tried for war crimes such as the murder, torture and indefinite detention of detainees? (yes, no, don't know). (y/ n/ d)

yes, 20%; no, 62.1%; don't know, 17.9%

30. Was Israel justified in destroying the infrastructure of Lebanon and killing over 1,000 non-combatant civilians in response to Hezbollah's capture of 2 Israeli soldiers? (y/ n/ d)

yes, 30.3%; no, 37.9%; no opinion, 31.7%

31. Would military attacks on countries that do not give in to U.S. demands--such as Iran, Syria, Venezuela or Cuba--cause you to become more supportive of or more opposed to the US government? (s/ o/ no opinion)

support, 27.6%; oppose, 58.6%; no opinion, 13.8%

Please provide your age (32)___________; gender (33)______(use small f/ m);

highest educational level(34)______ (G=grades 1-11, HS=high school grad, SC=college without a degree, AA=2 year degree, BA=any 4 year degree, AD=Advanced or professional degree

City(35)___________(begin with capital letter);

State (36)___(use 2 letter abbreviations in capitals);

Ethnicity (37)______________(NA=Native American 1%, AP=Asian/Pacific Islander 1%, AA=African American 5%, LA=Latin American 9%, CA=European-American 62%, DS=Decline to State 12%, BR=Biracial 1%)

38. Lastly, please name your single best of source of news and political information? ____________________ (try and avoid broad answers like "TV", "radio"or "the web" and try for a specific network, program, blog or news service).

As in many other studies most people get their news from television networks. Most commonly mentioned were CNN=15% Fox=15% NBC (including MSNBC)=9%. 19% use newspaper as their primary source of news (most commonly mentioned NYTimes, Wall Street Journal).

Thank you so much for participating in our poll and for caring enough to share your views. For answers and links to the factual questions please check our web site at any time. Final poll results will be posted on October 12, 2006.

See Data Table for some crosstabs

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