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Happy Hour Roundup

* Question o' the day: How much of our political conversation has been shaped by Research 2000 polling?

As many readers have pointed out, at least one big story -- the idea that a huge percentage of Republicans are "birthers" -- was initiated by a Research 2000 poll. Other polls have shown similar findings, and it's possible that Research 2000 will be vindicated.

But it's sobering to consider the possibility that a story like that one -- which preoccupied the political classes for some time -- could be based on, well, fiction.

* But: The Dem firm Public Policy Polling points out that their findings have born out the idea that Republicans heavily embrace "birtherism."

* And: A Post poll this spring found that nearly a third doubt Obama's citizenship.

* The DailyKos fight with Research 2000 is getting nastier: The polling firm issues a cease-and-desist letter to

* And conservative bloggers, unsurprisingly, are pounding Markos Moulitsas, raising questions about whether his forthcoming book about the right, American Taliban, will rely heavily on Research 2000.

* But Markos responds: "No premises in American Taliban depend exclusively on R2K polling."

* Out of the bunker! As has been widely reported since last week, Sharron Angle is sitting down for an interview at 9:30 p.m. eastern tonight with the dean of the Nevada press corps, Jon Ralston. You can watch it live-streamed right here.

* How many times can we use the Lucy/football crack? Dems are reconvening conference to see if there's a way to revamp the FinReg agreement to get Scott Brown's support.

* Here are the details of the emerging compromise.

* Obama is giving a big immigration speech later this week, but don't expect him to announce a lawsuit against the Arizona law.

* Hmm. Yes, Obama expressed strong support for carbon pricing today, but he also signaled he could be open to other approaches.

* But: Obama may have done exactly what was necessary to keep the measure alive.

* This is a good one: Obama dresses down a GOP Senator for trying to tell him that any conversation about energy reform should be about nothing but stopping the spill.

* And Sam Stein has Sharron Angle's latest: No abortion in cases of rape or incest, because God will take care of it.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  June 29, 2010; 6:22 PM ET
Categories:  Political media  
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@Greg: "Question o' the day: How much of our political conversation has been shaped by Research 2000 polling?"

A post like this is one of the reasons this conservative Libertarian appreciates Greg Sargent.

"It's sobering to consider the possibility that a story like that one... could be based on... fiction."

Yes indeed. I wish I could add more to the conversation. Quite possibly, manufactured poll results were used to tar a political party with the unwitting assistance of the blogosphere. It's not a right or left thing. These are dangerous times when the evening news can take their cues from the blogosphere.

Posted by: sbj3 | June 29, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

"How much of our political conversation has been shaped by Research 2000 polling?""


There's PLENTY of other polling on this topic. Here's two recent articles on the subject:

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 29, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

see the link to the ABC News story I just added. It's funny.

And Ethan, even if that's true, the Research 2000 poll was particulary dramatic in its finding, wasn't it?

Posted by: sargegreg | June 29, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

"Um. ZERO!"

Get real, Ethan.

There was discussion of that poll everywhere!

Steve Benen / Washington Monthly: WHAT THEY'RE THINKING

Ezra Klein: What Republicans believe about Barack Obama

David Adesnik / The Moderate Voice: Poll: Beck, Limbaugh too moderate for GOP

Katie Connolly / Newsweek Blogs: Poll Suggests GOPers Are Edging Toward the Extreme

Dan Amira / New York Magazine: The Ten Most Alarming Things in This Poll of Republican Values and Beliefs

Ed Kilgore / Progressive Fix: Among the Elephants: Rightward, Ho!

Jill / Feministe: Do you live in the United States? …

Aron Goldman / Poll Watch: Research 2000/Daily Kos Republican Survey

Little Green Footballs: Poll: Bad Craziness in the GOP Base, Part 2

Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC: Kos/R2K Poll: Republican Voters Are Extremists

Scott Whitlock / MSNBC's David Shuster Smears: ‘Most Republicans’ Are Birthers
Tommy Report / DailyKos/Research 2000 Poll: Palin Leads 2012 GOP Primary Race (Update: “Analysis")

Michael / What the GOP Believes When It's At Home

Libby Spencer / The Impolitic: The Off-base GOP Base

Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Kos poll: A plurality of Republicans favor impeachment

Pete Abel / The Moderate Voice: Meet the Republican Base

Joe Klein / Swampland: Mainstream America? — I was on Bill O'Reilly's program last night …

Stephen Spruiell / The Corner on National Review Online: That Kos Poll — By: Stephen Spruiell

Andy Barr / The Politico:
Majority of GOP: Obama ‘socialist’

Posted by: sbj3 | June 29, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

"Question o' the day: How much of our political conversation has been shaped by Research 2000 polling?"

A related question, perhaps of a less ephemeral quality: HOW MUCH of R2K's results come from cooked books?

Just because they've been fakin' it, that doesn't mean all their results are useless. (Well, for now it does because the question of what's tainted and what isn't can't be answered.)

Re the GOOPer-birther question: They probably deserve more credit for asking that question than they deserve criticism for hoop-lahing their results. There's plenty more other stuff they deserve criticism for.

Posted by: jzap | June 29, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Reading the comments on the ABC blog about Lamar Alexander's insistence that all energy policy should be about one oil well out of control, it becomes immediately obvious that not all the whack jobs are at Faux Noise. Just about every one of the comments was some sort of childish prattle similar to what you find in a grade school playground insult battle. It does not speak well for the intellectual level of the American public.

Posted by: dkmjr | June 29, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Interesting you mention the WaPo poll. Daily Kos started investigating Research2000's results based on the fact that it rated as one of the least accurate pollsters on

Washington Post rated as the second most accurate.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 29, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Larry King announces the end of CNN's 'Larry King Live'

Posted by: lynell33 | June 29, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

"But it's sobering to consider the possibility that a story like that one [many GOOPers are birthers] -- which preoccupied the political classes for some time -- could be based on, well, fiction."

Like death panels? Didn't see much sobriety there.

I don't mean to be a buzz-kill -- 'cuz this is a story that's obviously fun to run with -- but worrying that fictitious stuff might set off all those yammering heads and wagging tongues among the Beltway punditocracy... well, isn't that what you get coming out of politicians' mouths every day?

I hope you'll consider my gentle suggestion that all youz guyz might be taking this aspect of the R2K circus a bit too seriously.

Posted by: jzap | June 29, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Okay, the roundup is finally finished. jeez. apologies for the delay.

Posted by: sargegreg | June 29, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I've been vacationing in the boonies for the past week or so with no internet access and very little cell reception. Since I've gotten back to civilization I've noticed the conspicuous absence of QB and Bilgeman......anyone care to fill me in on what happened?

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 29, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

S-cat: Welcome back.

You can catch up by reading the archives. Start here ...

... and go to the bottom of the page where it says Sunday Roundup.

Here's a direct link to Greg's ultimate cease-fire proposal to BM:

Posted by: jzap | June 29, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

"""Get real, Ethan. There was discussion of that poll everywhere!"""

Gee, wow you listed a whole NINETEEN BLOG POSTS!

I should "GET REAL" because of what, ONE news cycle where that poll wasn't even the top story?

And how many news cycles did "DEATH PANELS" occupy?

10? 20? 30?

And you want me to "get real"?

I suppose by "get real" you mean that I should make up demonstrably, flagrantly false stories about how scary African-American(?) Muslim Barack Hussein Obama is going to come to YOUR nursing home to pull out YOUR plug and laugh as you die in agony.

Is THAT what you mean by saying that I should "get real"?

Kos pulls the plug on his OWN poll -- while you can flip to ANY show on Fox News and get pure, unadulterated lies -- and you're telling ME to "get real"?

SBJ, you are addicted to lies, lying, and liars. Seek help.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 29, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

These are dangerous times when the evening news can take their cues from the blogosphere.

Posted by: sbj3 | June 29, 2010 6:37 PM

It was so much safer when evening news took their cues from neocon lies about the DANGER POSED BY IRAQ!

Really, sbj3.

You've been totally discredited by history, and now all you have on your side is propaganda and the ignorance that it feeds.

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | June 29, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Polling, schmolling - Have any of you guyz learnt anything at all from the failure of all 'pollsters' from the 2008 elections fiasco ? When were these 'opinion' polls ever scientific ? This american obsession to poll anything and everything under the sun seems reflective of its american idol obsession. Talk about sheeple.

Posted by: amkeew | June 29, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, jzap, for the links. Guess I missed an exciting week.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 29, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Sharron Angle re incest, rape etc - "God has a plan"

Odd plan, all things considered.

"OK, so I've got birds and trees and Even and Adam and, uh, what else? Oh, I know. Let's toss in psychopathy and brain damage and brutalized children. Yeah. And I'll have some terrified women with knives to their throats raped by smelly strangers and make some new babies that way. Splendid. Time for a nap."

Posted by: bernielatham | June 29, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse


Are you saying God's Plan = Toronto?

Posted by: tao9 | June 29, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

2tao - Toronto isn't specifically mentioned by Irenaeus, though of course neither is rape nor incest, Nagasaki nor 9/11, Rumsfeld nor Son of Sam, nor the Holocaust nor hemmoroids (though Karl Rove does gain a brief mention). So you'll have to check with Ms Angle to get a theologically authoritative response to your (very good) question.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 29, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Thanks 4 clearing that up B. I'd toss in the Ukraine famine, the Cultural Revolution, the Khmer Rouge, and, of course, the French nation in general, but probably query VanDenHeuvel as opposed to Angle.

Or maybe Zinn or Chomsky, those are a couple a' spiritual cats.

Posted by: tao9 | June 29, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse


"...[GOP as birthers] preoccupied the political classes for some time..."

Um, if I recall correctly...when that poll came out for DK, nearly everyone dismissed it as bull simply because it was based on questions from DK. In fact, FiveThirtyEight was skeptical about that poll for reasons other than R2k.

It don't think it ever "preoccupied" the political classes, and if it EVER got any sort of legitimate coverage, it was only after multiple pollsters got similar results.

There are likely story lines that might have been influenced by R2K...but I don't think any storyline could be traced back as R2K being the sole cause. Just as Rass has a serious GOP lean to it, which rarely gets disclosed when new polls from them come out...but that doesn't mean that the "Dems are Doomed" meme is SOLELY because of Rass's house lean, just that it's influenced by it.

More than anything this R2k mess should force pollsters to release MORE information with their polls, and should have people and news orgs LESS trusting when they don't see the full set of data.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 30, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

tao, you watching the World Cup? Thoughts?

Plum Line has been pretty quiet re: biggest sporting event in the world every 4 years.

Plum Line After Dark now with Extra Sports!

Also, what are you reading?

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 30, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

"Or maybe Zinn or Chomsky, those are a couple a' spiritual cats."

I don't know enough about Zinn, I confess. It would be rather odd to describe Chomsky as "spiritual" but that nor a criterion of mine for a good human (or a lousy one). Joseph Campbell, Bishop Tutu, MLK, Dawkins, Chomsky, Einstein...I'm happy all of them showed up on the stage. But Chomsky gets as close to a good answer on origins of moral "intuitions" as I've bumped into.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 30, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

@BG - I've been trying to watch as much as possible but that hasn't been much this time around. It's the only sporting event I have serious interest in at this point in my life. I conceive of it quite like dance, actually. Athletics and artistry.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 30, 2010 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Rightly so, Bernie. That's exactly what it is.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 30, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

If you're going to talk about athletics and artistry, think about the sports in the Winter Olympics. With the exception of curling (!), they all require some sort of meld of body and apparatus--skis, skates, sleds, snowboards . . . It's part of what makes them both dangerous and beautiful.

Posted by: AllButCertain | June 30, 2010 4:48 AM | Report abuse


Actually, I curled for years and I think one brother might still be playing. But it ain't pretty. My real passions were mogul and powder skiing. But I know expert skiers who also surf and the consensus is that the latter is the more sublime. Next lifetime, I guess.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 30, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

"These are dangerous times when the evening news can take their cues from the blogosphere."

The reverse is far more dangerous.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 30, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

If blogs are so dangerous, why do you spend so much time hanging out in the comment section here?

Posted by: oldabandonedbeachhouse | June 30, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

As for the polling kerfluffle: whatever else its significance, it does absolutely nothing to suggest that the GOP is any less reckless or irresponsible than reality shows. You don't need a weatherman (or a pollster) to know which way the wind blows.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 30, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

All, morning roundup posted:

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 30, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Tomasky makes an interesting point (at his Guardian blog)...

"Meanwhile, next door in California, I heard on NPR yesterday that the Golden State has not elected a non-pro-choice senator in 30 years. Carly Fiorina is against abortion rights. You'd think that that alone, even setting aside her dismal record at Hewlett-Packard and sacking by the board, should increase Barbara Boxer's odds."

Posted by: bernielatham | June 30, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Bernie, surfing is the one thing I've missed more than anything else I've ever done but can no longer quite manage. I literally dream about it.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 30, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

During his confirmation hearings: Justice Roberts said that a Supreme Court Justice calls Balls and Strikes, just like a baseball umpire.

Looking at his record, since he was confirmed, Roberts does not call balls and strikes.

He is like an incompetent World Cup Soccer Referee, who keeps taking away legitimate goals scored, and allowing illegitimate goals to be counted.

Like those rotten World Cup Referees, John Roberts, and his four line judges, should be sent home, in disgrace.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 30, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

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