Media Matters: Wash. Times Cherry-Picks Poll To Falsely Suggest Americans Oppose Unions

March 11, 2011- The Washington Times cherry-picked a Quinnipiac poll to claim that "Americans are starting to catch on to the 'us vs. them' attitude of the unions." However, numerous other polls have shown strong public support for unions and collective bargaining.

Wash. Times Falsely Suggests Americans Oppose Unions

Wash Times: "Americans Are Starting To Catch On To The 'Us Vs. Them' Attitude Of The Unions." A March 11 Washington Times editorial claimed that "Americans are starting to catch on to the 'us vs. them' attitude of the unions" and cited a Quinnipiac poll that the Times said "found more national voters support limiting collective bargaining for public employees in order to reduce state deficits." From the Times:

Americans are starting to catch on to the "us vs. them" attitude of the unions. The unruly mob camped out in Madison has made few friends with the hateful signs and nasty rhetoric. A Quinnipiac poll found more national voters support limiting collective bargaining for public employees in order to reduce state deficits. That feeling will grow as those spoiled with lifetime employment and automatic raises betray the selfishness of their cause. [The Washington Times, 3/11/11]

Quinnipiac: 45% Say "Collective Bargaining For Public Employees Should Be Limited" In Order To "Reduce State Budget Deficits"; 42% Oppose Limits. While the Times did not cite a specific Quinnipiac poll, a February 21-28 Quinnipiac poll found that 45 percent of respondents favored "limiting collective bargaining for public employees" in order to "reduce state budget deficits." Forty-two percent of respondents opposed limits on collective bargaining. [Quinnipiac University, 3/2/11]

Fifty Percent Of Respondents In Same Quinnipiac Poll Thought Public Employees Were Not Being Paid Too Much. According to the same February 21-28 Quinnipiac poll, 35 percent of those polled say public employees are paid "about right" and another 15 percent say that they are paid "too little," while 42 percent say they are paid too much. In total, 50 percent of respondents thought public employees were not being paid too much. [Quinnipiac University, 3/2/11]

However, Numerous Other Polls Have Found Americans Strongly Support Unions, Collective Bargaining

Bloomberg: 64% "Say Public Employees Should Have The Right To Bargain Collectively For Their Wages." In an article about its March 4-7 poll, Bloomberg reported that "[s]ixty-four percent of respondents, including a plurality of Republicans, say public employees should have the right to bargain collectively for their wages." Bloomberg further noted that "[s]ixty-three percent, including 55 percent of Republicans, say states without enough money to pay for all the pension benefits they have promised to current retirees shouldn't be able to break those obligations." [Bloomberg, 3/9/11]

Bloomberg: "[P]oll Respondents With A Favorable View Of Unions Outnumber Those With An Unfavorable View 49-To-40 Percent." Reporting on its March 4-7 poll, Bloomberg wrote: "Overall, poll respondents with a favorable view of unions outnumber those with an unfavorable view 49-to-40 percent." [Bloomberg, 3/9/11]

NBC/WSJ Poll: 62 Percent Are Against Stripping Public Employees' Bargaining Rights. A February 24-28 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that "62 percent say it's unacceptable…to eliminate [public] employees' collective-bargaining rights as [sic] way to deal with state budget deficits," while just 33 percent of those polled would support eliminating those rights.  [MSNBC, 3/2/11] 

FULL STORY HERE:


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