Here's The Logic Of That Little Tidbit

The other day, I posted that 28% of Republicans thought the oil spill in the gulf made them more likely to support offshore drilling.  Huh? What?

Well, Nate Silver come through with the logic:

At the same time, if you do give people an "illogical" response, sometimes they're going to pick it! This question was immediately preceded by one about support for offshore drilling overall. It may be that some of the respondents had an instinct to dig in their heels and wanted to appear consistent, using the question to reaffirm the support for offshore drilling that they'd already expressed. That is, saying that the spill makes you more likely to support offshore drilling may not literally be true but instead may mean something more along the lines of "you're damned right I support offshore drilling!".

It may also be that some people were confused by the question, or were not paying much attention to it. A lot of people might have taken PPP's call while ironing their clothes, or watching TV, or getting their kids ready for soccer practice. They might have been zoning out, and heard blah-blah-blah-blah oil spill blah-blah-blah-blah more, and thought it was the choice used to express that they had become more concerned -- not more supportive -- of offshore drilling. There is arguably some evidence of this in that the percentage of people selecting this response feel a bit off and do not always track underlying opinions about offshore drilling. For instance, 17 percent of liberals picked the "more likely" response, even though only 33 percent of them supported offshore drilling to begin with, and 29 percent of African-Americans did, even though just 44 percent of them support offshore drilling.

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