Survey: Many Occupy Wall Street protesters are unhappy Democrats who want more influence

survey-many-occupy-wall-street-protesters-are-unhappy-democrats-who
The demonstration. (Matthew Wolfe)
Tweet Share on Facebook Share on Tumblr Print

Here's a little bit more about Doug Schoen's survey of 200 Occupy Wall Street protesters, which he wrote about in today's Wall Street Journal.

In the Journal column, Schoen, who is Michael Bloomberg's pollster, said the survey, conducted by a senior researcher at his firm, was the first "systematic random sample of Occupy Wall Street opinion." Its findings, which formed the basis for Schoen's conclusions about "the movement" as a whole, led him to write that Occupy Wall Street is "dangerously out of touch" with American values and that protesters are "bound by a deep commitment to radical left-wing policies." His lead was, "President Obama and the Democratic leadership are making a critical error in embracing the Occupy Wall Street movement—and it may cost them the 2012 election."

Left to my own devices to account for the raw responses to the survey (which Schoen was kind enough to send to me), I'd say the opinions of the protesters were not quite as ... exciting as all that. They are about what I would have expected from a poll of the most committed long-haul demonstrators down at Zuccotti Park, who probably skew a lot younger and more activist-y than the much larger numbers of people who have put in appearances downtown but don't have the wherewithal to camp out, and are certainly an imperfect reflection of the overall (apparently majority) segment of New York that has told other pollsters that it sympathizes with what Occupy Wall Street is doing. 

What the pre-interpreted numbers seem to show, to me, anyway, is that many of the protesters consider themselves Democrats, many will vote for Obama in 2012, and, relatively speaking, "income inequality" doesn't actually rank too high on their list of grievances.

MORE ON CAPITAL

ADVERTISEMENT

What frustrates you the most about the political process in the United States? {Open Ended}

30% Influence of corporate/moneyed/special interests
3% Our democratic/capitalist system
3% Stagnant middle class wages
21% Partisanship
15% Joblessness
6% Income inequality
7% Corruption
2% Entrenched bureaucracy
2% Bush tax cuts
2% Obama abandoned left
2% Military spending
2% Federal Reserve
5% Everything

Also, fascinating:

What would you like to see the Occupy Wall Street movement achieve? {Open Ended}

35% Influence the Democratic Party the way the Tea Party has influenced the GOP
4% Radical redistribution of wealth
5% Overhaul of tax system: replace income tax with flat tax
7% Direct Democracy
9% Engage & mobilize Progressives
9% Promote a national conversation
11% Break the two-party duopoly
4% Dissolution of our representative democracy/capitalist system
4% Single payer health care
4% Pull out of Afghanistan immediately
8% Not sure

Occupy Wall Street Poll