Sunday, July 02, 2006

Public Opinion on Wal-Mart Favorable

From Rasmussen Reports, a take on public opinion toward Wal-Mart.
Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Americans have a favorable opinion of Walmart, including 29% who have a very favorable opinion of the retail giant. A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 adults found that 29% have an unfavorable opinion of the firm. Lower and middle income Americans are more likely to have a favorable opinion of Walmart than upper income Americans.

The reviews are even better among those who have worked for Walmart (or have family members who have been employed by the firm). Among these workers, 79% have a favorable opinion of the company.
Of course, different polls get different results, largely because of differences in question wording, the ordering of the questions (you can “prime” respondents to give the sort of answers you want by asking certain questions before you get to the key question that you report) and even the alternatives offered.

But a Pew Research Center survey found similarly favorable opinions of the giant retailer.

Note that only 56% of the Pew sample rated Wal-Mart as a “good place to work.” It’s not clear that they consider Wal-Mart a worse place to work than any other retailer — retail jobs generally are low-paying, fairly menial and lack much in the way of benefits.

But it’s also the case that when you ask a series of questions like this, you put a fair amount of implicit pressure on people to respond differently on the later questions compared to the earlier questions. In other words, the clear implication is that Wal-Mart is good in some ways and bad in some ways, and you ought to give it bad marks on some issue.

No doubt the massive union-financed campaign against the company has had some effect, but it seems that most Americans judge Wal-Mart by what they see and know, and not on the basis of leftist documentaries and the statements of liberal political activists.

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