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BREAKING: Doug Schoen Grossly Misrepresents His Own Poll Results To Smear Occupy Wall Street

By Judd Legum on October 18, 2011 at 4:12 pm

"BREAKING: Doug Schoen Grossly Misrepresents His Own Poll Results To Smear Occupy Wall Street"

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In this morning’s Wall Street Journal, Doug Schoen reports on the results of a poll he conducted of Occupy Wall Street protesters. Here is the nut graph:

What binds a large majority of the protesters together—regardless of age, socioeconomic status or education—is a deep commitment to left-wing policies: opposition to free-market capitalism and support for radical redistribution of wealth…

At Capital New York, Azi Paybarah has obtained the full poll results, and Schoen appears to have grossly misrepresented the results of his poll. He writes that a “large majority” are bound together by support for a “radical redistribution of wealth.” But when he asked the protesters what they’d like the Occupy Wall Street movement to achieve, just 4 percent said “radical redistribution of wealth,” which tied for last on the list of answers given. There is no mention of “radical redistribution of wealth” anywhere else in the poll.

Meanwhile, 35 percent said they would like to “influence the Democratic Party,” Here are the full results of that question:

Similarly, while Schoen writes that a “large majority” express “opposition to free-market capitalism,” when asked what frustrates them most about the U.S. political process, only 3 percent named “our democratic/capitalist system.” Out of 198 respondents, that amounts to five or six people, which is quite the opposite of a large majority. Here are the full results for that question:

Schoen also writes that “[s]ixty-five percent say that government has a moral responsibility to guarantee all citizens access to affordable health care, a college education, and a secure retirement—no matter the cost.” But the actual question makes no mention of costs.

Schoen, who bills himself as a Democrat but has effusively praised the Tea Party and advised Obama not to run for a second term, was determined to paint the Occupy Wall Street protesters as politically toxic. As a result, he grossly misrepresented the results of his poll to Wall Street Journals readers.

You can write to the WSJ editorial page and request a correction HERE.

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