• Bronx

    The average Lebanese might have felt somewhat wary by strangers asking questions about Iran. In any survey one has to look at the overall survey to get the feel of a trend. None of the other countries involved in the survey are influenced to the same degree by Iran as is Lebanon. This seems to be born out in that Lebanon stood alone.

  • Shiwa7ad

    Political opinion polls are extremely unreliable in Lebanon and always skewed towards Hezbollah’s side because of the intimidation factor. A very obvious illustration of that fact was the result of the last parliamentary elections where all polls (with no exception, if I remember correctly) predicted the victory of March 8, with a comfortable margin. In the end March 14 won. Had the sample been truly random, and had the people polled all revealed their true voting intentions, this outcome would have been close to impossible, statistically.

    I think it was unprofessional from Zogby not to publish the poll methodology in detail (were these phone interviews ? how many declined to answer ? Was the fraction of the people who declined to answer lower when the poll was non political (e.g. what do you prefer 7-up or pepsi), and if so, by how much ? Did he take the possibility of intimidation at all into account ?
    I mean, just remember the negative reaction by some of Mustafa’s readers (including me) when he mentioned the possibility of adopting facebook comments instead of anonymous comments. Do you think those people would say they view Iran unfavorably to someone they don’t know over the phone, or even in the street, say, in, um, Hamra next to an SSNP sign ?
    Even in the US and Europe pollsters are wary of the “Shy Tory” and Bradley effect. Zogby should have taken the intimidation factor into account in some way, for example by checking whether people are more likely to answer an innocuous question than a question that can get them into trouble, and comparing the result in Hezbollah areas, in areas neighboring to Hezbollah areas, and in areas not at all controlled by Hezbollah. Of course if the pollster believes other sides practice intimidation too, he should take similar precautions against all sides he suspects of intimidating people

  • Shiwa7ad

    Ah and I also forgot to mention, did the questions in the poll just mention Iran, or the Iranian government, or the Iranian foreign policy ? One can have a positive opinion of Iran and the Iranian people, and a bad opinion of the system of government there.

  • Mustapha

    Very good points as usual Shiwa7ad. To me the biggie is disclosure. For all we know, they could have a method to compensate for the factors you mentioned above, but why not come forward with their methodology? Are they afraid people will steal their secret sauce?

  • Moh

    Ok, frankly speaking I don’t think it’s all that surprising that Iran would have such strong support in Lebanon.