Frank Luntz and His Partisan Polling

After surveying an unidentified group of “opinion elites,” Republican pollster Frank Luntz now contends that Democrats have lost their support for Israel. In a column for the Jerusalem Post, Doulgas Bloomfield challenges the legitimacy of such findings. Bloomfield writes:

How credible is this poll? Consider this: it was conducted by a highly partisan Republican pollster who surveyed 802 “highly educated, high income... opinion elites” – not rank and file or members of Congress – that he selected to measure partisan American attitudes toward Israel...

Luntz’s findings reflect a GOP strategy designed to use Israel as a wedge issue to increase donations by wealthy single-issue pro-Israel campaign givers, not attract to the GOP Jewish voters, who remain firmly entrenched on the Democratic side of the partisan divide.

Republicans have raised a lot of Jewish money in their campaign to transform Israel into a partisan wedge issue, replete with painting Obama as an enemy of the Jewish state, and Netanyahu’s prominent role in that effort has helped turn away many Democrats.

Luntz suggests the Democrats are deserting Israel, but a fair-minded analyst might conclude that the reverse may be more accurate.

Democrats voted for Obama in large numbers because he promised to end Bush’s costly and futile wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now they see Israel’s government trying to push America into another war it doesn’t want and can’t afford.

You can read the full piece at the Jerusalem Post here.

Although Luntz did not reveal which "opinion elites" he surveyed (and what exactly “opinion elites” are) or how he conducted the poll and failed to release a report of the survey, mainstream media outlets have used Luntz’s claims to form grandiose—yet unfounded—conclusions about Democrats’ views on Israel. Flouting fundamental research standards and ethics, Luntz cannot accurately verify the results which he claims to have found.