The Corner

One Other Point…

related to the Bush underpolling thing.

Can anyone answer why focus groups are always groups? I understand why they need to be sometimes and I even understand why sometimes it’s preferable.

But take the example of the focus groups after the debates. All of these average Americans are asked to give their political opinions in front of strangers and, often, in front of television cameras. Most Americans didn’t watch the debates that way and they certainly weren’t asked to offer their opinions up to such scrutiny. Isn’t it possible that these sorts of pressures and dynamics make honest answers more difficult? Particularly on the last debate, I would bet that a sizable portion of the focus groupers would have answered differently if they weren’t expected to perform. By the third debate “intelligent” people were supposed to believe Kerry was the better debater. So the incentive for saying precisely that in a focus group was probably pretty high. If all those guys were put in their own isolated cubicle with a TV, I would be Bush would have scored much, much higher.