Politics and Public Opinion

Occupy Wall Street violence

A new CNN poll shows that while many Americans are unsure what to think of Occupy Wall Street, support for the movement is inching up:

Thirty-six percent say they agree with the overall positions of Occupy Wall Street, while 19 percent say they disagree. That reflects an increase in support since early October, when 27 percent of those polled said they agreed with Occupy Wall Street’s position.

Overall, a plurality of people surveyed said they weren’t sure if they agreed or disagreed with the movement’s position. Of those polled, 44 percent said they weren’t sure, compared to 54 percent who said they weren’t sure at the beginning of October.

Perhaps these Americans would feel differently if they saw results of the survey of OWS activists conducted by Democratic pollster Doug Schoen. After conducting extensive interviews with OWS protesters, he found that “the movement doesn’t represent unemployed America and is not ideologically diverse…. What binds a large majority of the protesters together … is a deep commitment to left-wing policies: opposition to free-market capitalism and support for radical redistribution of wealth.”

Moreover, Schoen found, “nearly one-third (31 percent) would support violence to advance their agenda.” And not just in theory. Many have acted on this impulse.

Here is an interactive map detailing violence at OWS protests across the country, prepared by Wisconsin’s MacIver Institute.

Would love to see a comparable map showing violence at Tea Party protests. I suspect it would be a very short list.

3 thoughts on “Occupy Wall Street violence

  1. (1) Douglas Schoen is a Republican pollster and this poll was published by The Wall Street Journal.
    (2) Douglas Schoen misrepresented his own polling data when he stated that “What binds a large majority of the protesters together … is a deep commitment to left-wing policies: opposition to free-market capitalism and support for radical redistribution of wealth.” Nothing in his poll would allow him to draw that conclusion. I hate it when pollsters spin tehir polls. JUST SHOW US THE DATA!
    (3) The margin of error (to have the level of confidence of .05) is over 6% for questions answered by all 198 respondents. When the questions are to smaller subgroups, it is hard to look at the data with any significant confidence that it is validly predictive of what it claims.
    (4) The finding that the Wall Street Journal was hoping to obtain was that OWS protestors were all dirty hippies that recently graduated college, used lots of drugs, were unemployed, and lived in their mother’s basement. It found that 2/3rds of protestors were between 20 and 30 and that the rate of unemployment probably was not higher than the national average.
    Bottom line: This is a shoddy piece of polling by a guy hired by a publisher to do a hit job.

    • Dear Mr Tom Hillgardner,

      Have you read the WSJ article? Mr Schoen “served as a pollster for President Bill Clinton” – hardly a republican, right?

      Next, the statistical power of the study is sufficient given the size of the group tested. How many OWS serious and genuine (long-lasting) protesters one can really find? I am impressed that they have found 200 to interview and if I am to question the study setup I would like to know how much time these protesters have spent protesting at average.

      In addition, Marc Thiessen’s article represents fairly the conclusions of the study as these conclusions are presented in WSJ.

      Your criticism is unfounded.

  2. The violence in NY has been by the NYPD, unless trying to push thru police lines is considered violence, or walking in the the street. I do not know much about the Tea Party, except that they pay for permits to protest when the constitution sais nothing about getting permits to protest.
    I did see people on Youtube in Oakland damaging property, clearly they were not representing the peaceful Occupy Movement. Maybe they we’re implanted by the establishment to put a black eye on the movement.

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