A new Zogby poll shows Americans support Taiwan’s entry into the UN. The poll was commissioned by the Taiwan Government Information Office, so take with the appropriate grain of NaCl:

The survey, conducted Sept. 6-10, 2007, shows that 61% believe the U.S. government should support Taiwan’s petition to gain membership in the international body just as it did recently for Kosovo. Asked whether the UN should offer Taiwan membership, 55% of American adults said it should. Perhaps seeing it as a matter of consistency in dealing with allies around the world, American progressives are very supportive of this stance for the U.S. However, conservatives were not so sure. Among the very liberal, 77% said the U.S. should go to bat for Taiwan membership, compared to just 52% of those who considered themselves very conservative.

If the people of Taiwan pass a referendum to join the New York-based body, 70% of respondents in the survey said the U.S. should not oppose the island nation’s petition to join. Since the early 1990s, Taiwan has applied for membership but has never won it because of opposition from Beijing, which, as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, holds veto power over such applications.

Asked whether the U.S. should oppose China’s stance on Taiwan’s membership in the body and help Taiwan win membership in the UN, 52% agreed it should. On this question, conservatives were more supportive of Taiwan’s cause than were liberals. Among the very conservative, 72% agreed the U.S. should help Taiwan, while just 48% of the very liberal agreed.

The survey included 1,205 U.S. adults nationwide and carries a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.

Most Americans - 72% - said they think that, when it comes to UN membership, all countries should be treated equally and without discrimination, the poll showed. And 81% said the U.S. should respect every country’s right to UN membership based on the principles of democracy and self-determination.

Ideologically, Americans were all over the lot on the question of Taiwan membership in the UN. While 43% of those who considered themselves very liberal favored Taiwan membership, 58% of mainline liberals backed it. Moderates were very supportive - 71% supported membership for the island nation off the coast of China, but just 43% of conservatives supported it. Among those ideological groups where support was lower, the percentage of unsure respondents was notably higher. The survey also showed that the more familiar Americans were with Taiwan, the more likely they were to its membership.

ESWN has some anti-Taiwan spew on the report, alleging coverup! here:

(1,205 persons interviewed from listed telephone numbers in USA (note: about 60% of telephone numbers in the USA are unlisted — that is why professional survey organizations usually use random digit dial (RDD) methods). The cooperation rate is unreported, but it is claimed that it is ‘comparable to other professional public opinion surveys conducted using similar sampling strategies.’ WARNING: To the extent that they won’t give you a number, it arouses suspicion that something is being covered up. It is very simple — just say ‘the response rate was XX%, which is comparable to other professional public opinion surveys conducted using similar sampling strategies.’ Why won’t they tell us what XX is?)

ESWN’s position is cataclysmically hilarious: in the very post right below these complaints about the pro-Taiwan poll, he posts a poll on the Presidential election from TVBS — without noting that TVBS is 100% Hong Kong Chinese-owned, that it supports the pan-Blue team in Taiwan’s politics, and that its polls are notoriously unreliable — and without a similar hack on its methodology. I leave it to the readers to decide whether that is the act of a complete and total hypocrite.

But the hilarity doesn’t stop there. Roland’s claim on the non-response rate is the usual ESWN bullshit. Consider this from another Zogby poll on whether Bush/Cheney should be probed over the 911 attacks:

This is a telephone survey of adults nationwide conducted by Zogby International from August 23 to August 27, 2007. The target sample is 1,000 interviews with approximately 71 questions asked. Samples are randomly drawn from telephone cd’s of national listed sample. Zogby International surveys employ sampling strategies in which selection probabilities are proportional to population size within area codes and exchanges. As many as six calls are made to reach a sampled phone number. Cooperation rates are calculated using one of AAPOR’s approved methodologies and are comparable to other professional public-opinion surveys conducted using similar sampling strategies. Weighting by region, party, age, race, religion, and gender is used to adjust for non-response. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.

And their poll on the Iowa Caucus:

This is a telephone survey of [Republican Caucus Voters] conducted by Zogby International. The target sample is [487] interviews with approximately [28] questions asked. Samples are randomly drawn from telephone cd’s of national listed sample. Zogby International surveys employ sampling strategies in which selection probabilities are proportional to population size within area codes and exchanges Up to six calls are made to reach a sampled phone number. Cooperation rates are calculated using one of AAPOR’s approved methodologies[1] and are comparable to other professional public-opinion surveys conducted using similar sampling strategies.[2] Weighting by [party, age, gender] is used to adjust for non-response. The margin of error is +/- 4.6 percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.

I don’t need to give you any more examples, do I? What Roland claims is horrible conspiracy actually turns out to be their standard disclaimer, found in front of all their phone polls. Nothing can be said about the non-response rate in this poll — and it is certainly not some cover-up. For those of you interested in what Zogby actually does, their phone survey methodology is here.

UPDATE: Poor ESWN is still struggling manfully to cast doubt on this survey. Here’s his post from today on the issue:

  • [Permalink] The USA Is An Armed Camp (09/24/2007) China Times noted the following issue with The Zogby International Poll on U.S. Opinions on Taiwan: on page 5 of the Zogby International report, the sample distribution has the following:

    Armed Forces Member: 860 (72%)
    Non-Armed Forces Members: 343 (29%)

    According to the US Census, the number of active duty and reserves is 1.4 million (or about 0.7%). The number of veterans is 13%.

    Could Zogby International have been interviewing only armed forces members? No, they said “samples are randomly drawn from telephone CD’s of national listed sample.” If they said that they used these listed samples and they had a response rate comparable to similar studies, then there is a mistake somewhere because this is an impossible result.


LOL. Laziness-induced pathetic desperation? Obviously the result is not impossible because — doh — the definition of what Zogby means by “armed forces” isn’t given, so nothing can be known. Of course, it’s the same way for other phone polls. All ESWN had to do is dial up another phone poll, like this one on the Bush/Cheney 911 connection, and you find the same ratio (770 yes, 236 no for armed forces). What does it mean? Your guess is as good as mine (but I wrote Zogby to ask). Since Zogby polls are usually pretty good….but don’t expect to see that on ESWN.