ROMNEY!!!!! Not the guy who was actually president and CiC at the time. Not even to the previous president through some magical "setting the stage" kind of pretzel logic. They credit Romney!!!!!
Turns out Public Policy Polling (PPP) asked Ohio Republican voters:
Q15: Who do you think deserved more credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden: Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?Normally, this would be the kind of question one reserved for a mental status check, on par with "Who is president?" and "What is today's date?" This wasn't some esoteric piece of information buried in a Friday night news dump about overseas trading after the market closed. This was the killing of Public Enemy #1. This was the guy who changed everything and pushed us into the "new normal" we have been dealing with for over ten years, now.
This wasn't some piece of long-forgotten history, like "Who started the French and Indian War?" (answer: George Washington) This was May 2, 2011 -- less than 500 days ago!
Apparently of ALL OH voters, 31% are UNSURE?!?!! Really. Where do these idiots come from? Apparently, most of them come from the same crowd who identify themselves as Republicans. If you look at the crosstabs, you find more than 50% of Conservatives are UNSURE. That's a majority of conservatives. That's not a fluke. That's the majority. Even more amazing 15% of VERY Conservative voters are sure Romney gets the credit for this.
And people want to pretend it makes sense to reach out to these folks, expecting a serious discussion in return? Why not get Honey Boo Boo on TV as a commentator? Why not have Tosh.0 moderate presidential debates?
Good thing PPP didn't ask who they thought Seal Team Six was. They might have gotten an answer that would have made the pollsters weep:
The secret's out: Seal Team Six referred to Romney and his five sons.— Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis) September 10, 2012
Ezra Klein has tried to downplay this... calling it a fluke. But if you go with that argument, then you are saying the entire survey is unreliable. After all, how can you screw that question up and still be credible on the others? And why is it that only 8% of "somewhat liberal" voters are unsure? 40% of "very conservative" voters are too stupid to use a touch tone phone?
If you think this is a fluke, you forgot about the days when 70% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein was personally responsible for 9/11 attacks on the WTC.
As pointed out in the comments by rebop, I may be overreacting here. Perhaps the answer given by these people demonstrates more insight than I am giving them credit for having. In the spirit of fairness, maybe we should entertain the notion they based their answer on a more profound parsing of the question.
After all Romney said we shouldn't move heaven and earth to find OBL, and that is the approach Obama eventually took. Instead of moving heaven and earth, Obama sent a team of Navy Seals to take him out. This was a better plan than moving heaven and earth, and clearly Obama was following Romney's lead here. Credit where credit is due. Really Obama ought to give more credit to Romney for pioneering the not moving heaven and earth strategy.Nah... If these people don't think the heavens and the Earth move -- Galileo would like to have a word with them.
I think we need a new rule. If you don't know who the president is and has been for the last 3+ years, nobody wants to hear your opinion when it comes to policy issues. On the bright side, this question can now serve as the new litmus test for "serious" commentators. Imagine the time you would save by asking this question before debating healthcare reform, military spending, environmental regulations, etc. If someone can't answer this question correctly, they aren't going to do any better when the questions become difficult. Imagine what would happen if they started every show on FOX with this question.