update: Dan Froomkin at the Washington Post, too.
update: zogby says that he would 'consider' asking the impeachment question if he was paid - ive sent them an email asking what it would take. let me know what questions we should ask - and if you'd be prepared to contribute. its probably only a few thousand dollars.
Ok - so I finally got a real answer from Zogby about that impeachment question that I've been hounding them about for weeks.
Here's the background:
In a Zogby Poll, released June 30, 2005, we learnt that:
"...more than two-in-five (42%) voters say that, if it is found that President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should hold him accountable through impeachment."The 'interiors' of the poll say that 59% of dems, 43% of Independents and 25% of repugs "would favor impeaching the President under these circumstances."
On June 30, the day the poll was released, Keith Olbermann interviewed John Zogby on Countdown and they discussed the impeachment question and Keith asked him when he would ask the impeachment question again - Zogby replied:
"we'll test it periodically, probably in a month from now. Again, no-one is really talking about it, but it is a good barometric reading" (crooks and liars has the video)A week later, on July 6, Dan Froomkin in the Washington Post wrote:
"But you wouldn't know (that 42% want to impeach) from following the news. Only three mainstream outlets that I can find made even cursory mention of the poll last week when it came out.On August 3, when a new Zogby poll was released which didn't include the impeachment question, I sent Zogby an email asking "when you plan to ask that question again?"
Nevertheless, could there be anything that 42 percent of Americans agree on that the media care about so little?"
On August 10, I got a response - they tried kicking the can down the road, apparently hoping that I'd forget:
"We'll skip the summer and get back to it in September. John Zogby"
On August 28, I emailed Zogby again, trying to tease a commitment out of them:
"when will you be asking this question? early in september? or later in the month?"
At the same time, I wrote a post saying:
"my sense is that they are nervous about this question for one reason or other. and its tempting to think that they are nervous because of some pressure from the egadministration - and if the egadmin is nervous, then lets shine the light on em."
Anyway, I hadn't received a response from that Aug 28 email, so I sent the same question to another person at Zogby on Sep 12, and I promptly received this reply (see above):
"Lukery:E tu Zogby? E tu.
We have decided to not to ask the impeachment question again unless it is raised in Congress. We aim to remain as impartial as possible with our questions. Thank you.
It's not apparent whether the 'impartiality' (sic) rule is a new rule - or whether they already broke their own rule when they asked the question in the June30 poll, and also when John Zogby was on national TV saying that he'd ask the question regularly.
With remarkable restraint, I replied to Chris' email:
"thats an odd trigger point. i dont understand how 'impartiality' correlates with "unless it is raised in Congress"I'll let you know when/if I hear back from him - although its been a week now already.
could you please explain?"
Here's what John Zogby says about polling in the "About" section of Zogby.com"
"In a democracy, public opinion must be a factor in any policy discussion. I personally have some trouble when polls drive policy or decisions by our leaders, but the opinion of voters must be somewhere in the mix. Ultimately, we elect our representatives to make decisions on principle and conscience, but we also expect that they not be contemptuous of the people who elected them.On Aug31, in a post titled "MSM Refuses to Poll on Impeachment Question," Bob Fertik at Democrats.com noted that "The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll was published today, and despite record-low approval ratings for Bush (45%), there was no question on impeachment." He wrote a letter to some pollsters asking:
Polls are a good thing. They help connect us -- just like newspaper letters to the editor and talk radio. They let us know if our opinions are in the mainstream or not. They measure values, the ideas we cherish the most. They can also be abused, like anything else. But one thing I have learned in my decade and a half of doing this professionally: those who complain the loudest about polls follow them more closely than anyone else."