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Gallup to America: Drop Dead
From Bob Fertik, Democrats.com
Dear Frank (and Richard),
Thank you for responding to letters from Democrats about your refusal to poll on the impeachment of George W. Bush, even though a Zogby Poll in June found 42% support impeachment if Bush lied about Iraq.
You offer the following justification (copied in full below):
... the general procedure Gallup uses to determine what to ask about in our surveys is to measure the issues and concerns that are being discussed in the public domain. We will certainly ask Americans about their views on impeaching George W. Bush if, and when, there is some discussion of that possibility by congressional leaders, and/or if commentators begin discussing it in the news media. That has not happened to date.
Of course, your justification is completely dishonest. Is Bush's impeachment being "discussed in the public domain"? Unquestionably! Simply Google "impeach Bush" and you'll get 723,000 links.
And this discussion is not limited to the Internet. Wherever Bush goes, he is greeted by "Impeach Bush" signs (e.g. August 29 at Camp Casey and August 30 in Rancho Cucamonga). And I hear it discussed on political talk radio frequently.
But clearly you did not genuinely mean "discussed in the public domain," because your next sentence limits the "public domain" explicitly to "congressional leaders" and/or pundits.
Thus your answer to the 99.9999999999999% of Americans who are neither congressional leaders nor pundits can be summed up by paraphrasing a famous Daily News headline: "Gallup to Americans: Drop Dead!"
Still, even if we accept your absurd parameters - that a topic must be under "some discussion" by congressional leaders and pundits - who are your certified "congressional leaders" and pundits, and exactly how much discussion must they engage in to pass your test?
I can cite many discussions of impeachment by Members of Congress and pundits - here are just a few:
8/26/05 Pat Buchanan
7/8/05 Rep. Maurice Hinchey
7/6/05 Dan Froomkin
7/3/05 John Zogby
6/30/05 Keith Olbermann
6/30/05 John Zogby
6/22/05 Mark Morford
6/20/05 Rush Limbaugh
6/17/05 Rep. Charlie Rangel
6/2/05 Alan Colmes
4/6/05 John Dean
So on behalf of at least 42% of Americans who believe Bush should be impeached for lying about Iraq, I ask again: why aren't you polling on Bush's impeachment?
Bob Fertik, President
On August 30, Gallup Poll editor-in-chief Frank Newport blogged:
Last week, Gallup became the recipient of an e-mail campaign in which correspondents asked why we (and other polling firms) have not yet asked the public about the impeachment of the president on the grounds that he misled the country about the rationale for the war in Iraq.
Many of these e-mails are identical to one another, in the tradition of issue campaigns in which thousands of supporters of a cause are urged to send a postcard or letter to represent that cause's position.
Here's what one of the e-mails sent to Gallup said: "I'd like to see more polls on whether or not people think Bush lied to the American people regarding the reasons we went to war in Iraq and if they think he should be impeached for it. The Gallup Organization was very interested in if people wanted Clinton impeached. The latest polls were all we heard about at the time. Is lying about adultery more of a crime than lying to the American public in order to go to war? Shouldn't our soldiers know why they're dying? Give the Republicans equal treatment as you gave the Democrats. Raise the impeachment issue."
Gallup (and other polling firms) began asking about the possible impeachment of Clinton in January 1998, shortly after the stories were published about allegations of his having had an affair with an intern. There is no record of the precise rationale that Gallup editors used at the time for asking those questions. But the general procedure Gallup uses to determine what to ask about in our surveys is to measure the issues and concerns that are being discussed in the public domain. We will certainly ask Americans about their views on impeaching George W. Bush if, and when, there is some discussion of that possibility by congressional leaders, and/or if commentators begin discussing it in the news media. That has not happened to date.
9/1/05 reply from Richard Morin:
I endorse the position taken by Gallup in response to queries like yours.