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Do 59% of Americans Really Support “Occupy” Protests?

With no way to see the actual survey questions or partisan breakdown from this stunning United Technologies/National Journal poll, put me down as skeptical on this one:

A new survey shows that Americans overwhelmingly support the self-styled Occupy Wall Street protests that not only have disrupted life in Lower Manhattan but also in Washington and cities and towns across the U.S. and in other nations. Some 59 percent of adults either completely agree or mostly agree with the protesters, while 31 percent mostly disagree or completely disagree; 10 percent of those surveyed didn’t know or refused to answer.

What’s more, many people are paying attention to the rallies. Almost two-thirds of respondents—65 percent—said they’ve heard “a lot” or “some” about the rallies, while 35 percent have said they’ve heard or seen “not too much” or “nothing at all” about the demonstrations.

With other recent polls showing public support for the Occupy Wall Streeters is dancing around the 25 percent range, a sudden spike to 59 percent seems unbelievable. The difference may be that Gallup asked respondents whether they “supported” or “opposed” the movement, while UT/NJ asked whether respondents “agreed” with the movement.

That’s much more subjective, and could depend on how UT/NJ characterized the beliefs of OWS. If they asked respondents whether they agreed with OWS’s claim that Wall Street is corrupt, then that would obviously elicit a different response than if they asked about OWS’s preference for higher taxes and entitlement expansion. Until (unless?) some basic information is released here, it’s hard to take this seriously.


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