Alternative Gallup

25 February, 18:48
Last week, Russian state broadcaster RT informed: “A Gallup poll has revealed that citizens of four NATO nations would sooner count on Russia to defend them rather than the United States”.

RT referred to a report by Bloomberg, which ran the headline “Four NATO nations would pick Russia to defend them if threatened: poll”.

While RT refers three times to the opinion research as a “Gallup poll”, Bloomberg is more precise and calls the source of the poll “WIN/Gallup”. It ends the article with the remark: “WIN/Gallup International — which is not related to U.S.-based Gallup Inc. — polled about 1,000 people in each of 66 countries around the world”.

The website of WIN/Gallup carries a disclaimer: “WIN/Gallup International Association or its members are not related to Gallup Inc., headquartered in Washington D.C which is no longer a member of Gallup International Association. Gallup International Association does not accept responsibility for opinion polling other than its own. We require that our surveys be credited fully as Gallup International (not Gallup or Gallup Poll).”

The detail in the name of the polling institution made little difference to RT. When a polling result can serve to underscore the pro-Kremlin narrative that some nations in Russia’s “near abroad” might actually feel comfortable about Russian protection, why not add some credibility to it?

Outlets like RT successfully attract audiences who have a strong degree of distrust in established media and institutions. According to a recent investigation, a part of RT’s audience even thinks that there is nothing wrong with such bias and disinformation, since these outlets are at least “honest about lying“.