Hemmer Cherry Picks “Unscientific Poll” To Distort Public Support For Collective Bargaining

Fox News' Bill Hemmer mischaracterized public opinion as strongly opposed to union rights, citing what he himself called an “unscientific poll.” In fact, actual scientific polls - including a Fox News poll - have shown widespread public opposition to restricting collective bargaining rights for public employees.

Hemmer Cites “Unscientific Poll” To Mischaracterize Support For Unions

“Unscientific” Foxnews.com Poll Suggests That The Majority Of Americans Want To Limit Union Rights. After interviewing State Sen. Keith Faber (R-OH) and discussing legislation in Ohio that would restrict collective bargaining rights for most state workers, Hemmer asked:

HEMMER: What do you think? Would you support limitations on unions in your home state? At Foxnews.com/americasnewsroom we have an unscientific poll online, you can cast your vote right there. Ninety-four percent say yes, they would. Six percent say no. Foxnews.com right now. [Fox News' America's Newsroom, 3/24/11, accessed via Nexis]

But Actual Polls Show Strong Support For Public Union Rights

Fox News Poll Concludes More Than Two-Thirds Of Americans Support[s] Public Union Rights. A Fox News poll indicates that more than two-thirds of Americans believe that states should allow public employee unions to negotiate for salary and wages, health care benefits, and pension and retirement benefits. [Fox News Poll conducted March 14-16, 3/17/11]

Quinnipiac: “No Matter How The Question Is Asked, Voters Oppose Limits On Collective Bargaining.” From Quinnipiac University:

Voters oppose legislation working its way through the Ohio legislature that would limit the ability of public workers to collectively bargain, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey finds. But the question wording has some influence on voter response:

• Half of those surveyed were asked about a bill that limited “collective bargaining,” and oppose the measure 48 - 41 percent;

• The other half were asked about a bill that limited “collective bargaining rights,” and oppose that measure 54 - 35 percent.


“Whether collective bargaining is a right or not is in the eye of the beholder, but the word 'right' appears to have an effect on the voters' response. But no matter how the question is asked, voters oppose limits on collective bargaining.” [Quinnipiac University, 3/23/11]