What The Public Thinks

Drum grants that "polls do give us a general idea of where we're starting from," but also argues public opinion isn't hardened on a subject until it is the center of debate:

[W]e often take a look at polls and think they tell us what the public thinks about something. But for the most part, they don't. That is, they don't until the issue in question is squarely on the table and both sides have spent a couple of months filling the airwaves with their best agitprop.