Yesterday, ThinkProgress revealed that pollster Doug Schoen grossly misrepresented his own polling data to smear Occupy Wall Street protesters. For example, he wrote that “radical redistribution of wealth” was one of the policies that “binds a large majority of the protesters together.” His actual poll found just 4 percent supported such a policy.
This afternoon on Fox, anchor Megyn Kelly confronted him about twisting the polling data:
KELLY: About this radical redistribution of wealth. Your data says only 4% said that they favor that. So how do you say, how do you apply that label to the entire group. You only surveyed 200. So what, 8 people support that and we are supposed to tar the whole movement with it.
Schoen fumbled through a response, admitting along the way that “radical redistribution of wealth… may not be their highest goal.” He’s right. In fact, of all the goals listed, it tied for last.
Schoen tried to save face by twisting his numbers in a new way: “21 percent of the people surveyed were for progressive values, single payer health care, dismantaling capitalism or redistributing wealth. So I think they are pretty hard core leftists.”
It’s true that his poll found a shocking 9 percent of protesters wanted to “engage and mobilize progressive.” But the other three goals Schoen listed were supported by just 4% of people who took the pool. To put that it perspective, his poll found that more protesters supported a flat tax (5 percent), a conservative policy not typically associated with “hard core leftists.”
Bottom line: Schoen misrepresented his data and his efforts to defend his actions are only making things worse.