The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Thursday, August 19, 2004

Pew foreign affairs attitude report marred by howler

It's a relief to shelter from the partisan barrages in the calmer waters of a piece of opinion research from the good people at Pew [1].

The report (PDF) Foreign Policy Attitudes Now Driven by 9/11 and Iraq looks to be full of good things.

But its credibility suffers rather when one reads:
...and nearly double the number who felt this way in January 1984, at the start of President Ronald Reagan’s second term.

Now, typos happen. But the same - 1984 - date is repeated in the box of polling numbers placed just above the statement quoted.

So, was the survey done in 1984 as stated - and therefore a year earlier than the start of Reagan's second term, or do the folks at Pew think that term started in 1984? Or did an identical typo occur twice on the same page entirely by chance?

[For tyro transpondians, the fact that Congressional and presidential elections take place in one year, but the terms of those elected start in the next year, is awkward: one thinks of a century split into presidential election years - FDR is identified with 1932, but one needs to apply a conscious mental adjustment to recognise that what happened in 1932 happened on Herbert Hoover's watch.

And that 1980 was Reagan's year of triumph - but he wasn't in charge during any of it!]

  1. One might almost believe there was such a thing as objectivity...

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