In a press release describing astonishment today at “first vote” results that were pre-ordained by the choices made available, Unity08 and its co-Founder Douglas L. Bailey together enthused:
The data is all the more impressive, said Bailey, because “these are average Americans, including friends and family members of our troops in Iraq. Washington simply does not have much of a clue as to how upset the people are.
Average Americans? Unity08 respondents are certainly not average. They are quite possibly not American.
A good reference for “Average” American status is the Statistical Abstract of the United States. Let’s start there.
61% of the respondents who were sampled were college graduates or had postgraduate degrees. Only 27.6 percent of adults in the United States are college graduates in the most recent year for which data is available from Statistical Abstracts, 2005. 2% of respondents who were sampled had not graduated from high school. 15% of adults in the United States have not graduated from high school.
A full 60% of Unity08 respondents who were sampled were at least 50 years old. Only 29.4% of the United States population in 2005 (the last year for which data is available via Statistical Abstracts) were aged 50 years or older. 19% of Unity08 respondents who were sampled were at least 65 years old. Only 12.4% of the United States population in 2005 was aged 65 years or older.
The “first vote,” as Unity08 refers to the survey, asked respondents for household income. 64% of the Unity08 respondents who were sampled reported at least $50,000 in annual household income. In 2006, 48.6% of U.S. households reported at least $50,000 in annual household income (see here for documentation).
In regards to sex, 73% of Unity08 respondents who were sampled are men. In sum, Unity08 respondents are significantly older, significantly more educated, significantly higher in household income and much more male than the average American. No, not average at all.
Apart from the issue of averageness, it is not at all clear that the respondents are American. Well over a month ago, at http://unity08.com/node/1828#comment-28364, Unity08 member em43ny asked, “How do you know people who desire to be delegates are US citizens qualified to vote?” Nobody from Unity08 has answered that question, although Unity08 staffers answered many questions before and after that question on the forum thread. Em43ny’s question stands and, in the face of Douglas L. Bailey’s contention that sampled “first voters” are “average Americans,” deserves an answer.
It is a matter of fact that Unity08 asked a British citizen to participate in this “first vote.” See here for documentation.
Yes, I am a vocal critic of Unity08. But I am also an American citizen and a member and delegate of Unity08. Regardless of who I am, these are issues that I imagine even the most devoted Unity08 member and delegate would like to see addressed. These things have a way of coming out — it is in Unity08’s interest to address them upfront. I’ve posted this message at Unity08. Let’s see how they respond.