Herald Journal Columns
Dec. 19, 2005, Herald Journal

‘Survey’ tries to manipulate


I burst out laughing when I read the results of a survey Dec. 8 by St. Cloud State University about how Minnesotans supposedly feel about public figures.

According to this survey of 567 adults, 60 percent said they had “favorable and warm feelings” for Amy Klobuchar, compared to 59 percent for Laura Bush, 55 percent for Patty Wetterling and 53 percent for Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Klobuchar’s rating was higher than anyone else in the survey.

I believe this like I believe there are leprechauns outside dancing on the snow.

This survey sounds to me as if the survey takers were more interested in manipulating public opinion rather than measuring public opinion.

Minnesota has 87 counties. Klobuchar is the Hennepin County attorney. The odds that a majority of a random selection of adults even recognized her name and knew enough about her to have warm feelings for her are remote. Do you suppose other county attorneys were listed in the survey?

Klobuchar is a DFL candidate for Senate, though. That’s why the survey takers included her name with notables such as President George Bush, Sen. Norm Coleman, and Rep. Mark Kennedy, R-6th Congressional District. Sen. Mark Dayton wasn’t listed in the results, though.

If Klobuchar wins the DFL nomination, she will be running against Kennedy. Kennedy had a 47 percent rating in the same survey.

The survey takers want us to believe that Klobuchar is more popular than Kennedy, so we might as well all jump on her bandwagon because she is sure to be elected.

Stephen Frank, a political science professor and one of three faculty directors of the poll, told the Star Tribune shortly before President Bush came to Minnesota for Kennedy, that Bush’s national troubles are having an impact on Minnesota.

“Usually, national politics don’t affect us all too much, but there are times when it does have an effect,” he said in the Star Tribune Dec. 8.

In other words, he was telling us that Kennedy will lose to Klobuchar in 2006 because Kennedy is associated with Bush.

In journalism we are told to avoid using double negatives so I will use a double positive instead. About the St. Cloud State University Poll? Yeah. Right.

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