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Massachusetts GOP Misrepresents Polling To Smear Elizabeth Warren And Occupy Wall Street

Pollster Doug Schoen misrepresented his own polling, and now the Mass. GOP did, too.

Earlier this week, consumer advocate and Massachusetts Senate Democratic primary candidate Elizabeth Warren told the Daily Beast that not only does she support Occupy Wall Street, but that her writing and research formed much of the “intellectual foundation” for the wider 99 Percent Movement.

The Massachusetts Republican Party capitalized on Warren’s words, and on Wednesday released a new commercial touting Warren as the “Matriarch of Mayhem.” The video splices Warren’s words with the out-of-context remarks of a handful of protesters and the words of pollster Doug Schoen, whose words are used to encapsulate polling his firm did in Zuccotti Park about Occupy Wall Street.

The ad quotes Schoen saying Occupy Wall Street “believes in radical distribution of wealth, civil disobedience, and in some cases, violence.” Watch it:

The problem with quoting Schoen isn’t just the reputability of his poll — where he had sample takers go out to Zuccotti Park for one day and poll the people who happened to be there at the time and who were willing to be surveyed — but the fact that his words radically misrepresent his own poll. Only 4 percent of poll respondents said Occupy Wall Street should choose as its goal the “radical redistribution of wealth.” The vast majority of poll respondents opposed the use of violence. It’s true that 98 percent approved of civil disobedience — a tactic used by the Founding Fathers and Civil Rights Movement. The Massachusetts GOP should stick to policy critiques and substantive criticism rather than misrepresenting polling to scare voters.