A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Liberal Ad Misleads with Poll Numbers


The liberal advocacy group Americans United for Change has released a new ad backing President Obama’s "plan to reform health care." According to the ad, "a new poll shows that 62 percent of Americans support" the plan.

But that’s misleading. The poll in question, conducted for Diageo/Hotline, didn’t ask respondents about a specific plan. Rather, it asked whether they supported or opposed a "major overhaul" of the health care system, without any specifics.

Diageo/Hotline Question: Do you support or oppose Congress and the President enacting a major overhaul of the U.S. health care system?

According to the results of the survey, 38 percent of respondents "strongly support" a major overhaul and 24 percent "somewhat support" it, for a total of 62 percent. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that while overhauling the health care system is one of Obama’s top priorities, he has laid out goals and parameters but has avoided committing to a specific "plan." At a town hall event on June 11, he laid out many of these principles, at the same time describing himself as "open-minded" and saying he was "happy to steal people’s ideas." Americans United for Change has said it’s spending "five figures" to buy air time for the ad on cable in Washington, D.C.