Deceptive Political Polling: Masking An Obama Re-Election Collapse?

BY Glen Tschirgi
3 years, 9 months ago

(H/T Drudge Report)

This post will require a bit of set up, so a little patience, please.

Historically, political polling originated as a means for the public to gauge which candidate was winning at various stages of a political race.   These early polls were crude efforts at asking gathered crowds which candidate they preferred with predictably poor results.   The consensus seems to be that modern polling started with George Gallup in 1935 as an effort to apply a more scientific approach with random sampling involving personal interviews with voters in 300 cities.   Because of the cost involved, newspapers and politicians did not conduct their own polls but relied upon the polling companies to inform them of public opinion.  In other words, the purpose of the polls, according to Gallup himself, was to help politicians figure out what the public wanted in order to be more responsive representatives.

This approach continued until a major shift to the use of telephone polling in the 1950’s.    The drastically reduced cost of telephone polling (which has its own inherent bias problems) enabled newspapers and politicians to conduct their own polls.   It did not take long until the purpose of polling in the hands of the media and politicians evolved into an attempt to influence the attitudes and opinions of the public.

With this background in mind, consider the explosion of political opinion polls.   The list of polling organizations– private, public and partisan– is long indeed.  With this plethora of polling groups there is a similar variety of methods used to garner opinion:  general adult population, registered voters, likely voters, sampling by partisan affiliation, automated polling, land-line polling, cell phone polling, internet polling, personal survey, and so on.   The decision by the pollster on which methods to employ, the framing of the questions, the order of the questions, the choices in the demographics and sampling size… all of these and more factors can greatly affect the results of any given poll.

So last week we had a poll released by NBC/Wall Street Journal that purported to show President Obama with a six percentage point lead over Romney in the general election.   Shortly after the poll was released, several bloggers did the necessary work to examine the choices that the pollsters made and how that affected the results.    Here is just one of those take-downs from Hot Air:

The 2008 national exit poll sample, taken when Hopenchange fever was at its zenith, was 39D/32R/29I, or D+7. This one, after three years of Obamanomics dreck, is somehow D+11 if you include leaners and D+12(!) if you don’t. Anyone feel like taking these results seriously?

In other words, the pollsters decided to radically over-sample Democrats in their poll for no, apparent good reason.   By comparison, the national party registration for Democrats and Republicans is now about even or slightly favoring Republicans.   Add to that the recent Gallup poll that found a huge lead for Republicans in voter enthusiasm which would drive proportionately more Republicans to the polls and you can only conclude that this is a poll designed to influence public opinion rather than report it.

And this is not the only, such skewed poll.   If you look at most of the polling being featured at Real Clear Politics (a purportedly neutral website for conservative and liberal news/opinion), most of the polls feature a similar, biased party sample, or sample only the general population or registered voters rather than likely voters.   All of these polls show Obama and Romney either at a dead heat or Obama with a small lead.

Add to this a report in The Weekly Standard from last week that the Obama Campaign spent over $2.6 million on polling just in the month of June (compared with just $460,000 in April) and a pattern seems to be emerging:  Obama is losing the voters and losing them badly.   Unless he takes some dramatic action or events intercede to change public opinion, he is headed toward a sizable, electoral collapse.

Despite everything that most pundits– conservative and liberal— are telling you, I believe that Obama is headed for a resounding defeat.   The spending by Obama’s campaign on polling is the result of panic.   They cannot believe the numbers they are getting and they are polling and re-polling for any and every conceivable angle that would turn opinion in favor of El Presidente.   Nothing is working, so far.

The hyper-skewed polling by NBC/WSJ is also telling.   Clearly this poll was designed to push public opinion in the direction of Obama by giving the impression that he is pulling away from Romney in voter preference.  This is not surprising in itself.  What is shocking is that NBC/WSJ had to resort to a sampling that favors Democrats by 12 points over Republicans in order to get the numbers that they wanted.

Contrast this with the daily tracking polls of likely voters from Rasmussen Reports that had Romney ahead of Obama by 5% last week.   For an incumbent like Obama to be trailing the challenger at this point in the election– before the public has focused on the race and before the convention and debates– is an indication that Obama is getting all the support he is going to get.   He is already maxed out and there is nowhere to go but down.

Obama’s only hope right now is to conceal his tenuous position from the public in order to avoid the “Bandwagon Effect.”     This is a well-known phenomenon in polling in which voters who have not yet decided or are not strongly committed to either candidate are strongly influenced by polling which indicates that one of the candidates is pulling far ahead in the race.   These voters want to be part of the winning team, so to speak, and throw their vote in with the majority.   So long as Obama and his allies in the Statist Media can manipulate the polling to maintain the appearance of viability, they can hope for a Romney implosion or some, other intervening event to save the election.

Along, then, comes an article in The Hill that attempts to do this very thing.   Using the ridiculously skewed demographics, the article makes use of the NBC/WSJ poll as follows:

Despite voters’ worries about the economy, they continue to give Obama the edge on personal popularity. In a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Obama led Romney by 20 points on the question of whether voters liked each of them on an individual level. Two thirds said they liked Obama, whether or not they disagreed with his policies, while just 47 percent said the same about Romney.

Just 35 percent of voters held a positive opinion of Romney overall, with 40 percent negative, while 49 percent had positive opinions of Obama and 43 percent felt negatively about him. Both candidates saw slight upticks in their negative numbers since the ad onslaught began.

The article also mentions the Real Clear Politics average of polls for the idea that the candidates are locked in a statistical tie, a tie that is only made possible by the inclusion of polls that use unreliable or skewed data to give Obama a lead.

But even these partisan polls can only mask the reality for a limited amount of time.    If Obama’s numbers continue to slide and it becomes too obvious to skew the numbers in order to make the race look competitive, expect to see even Leftist polling groups grudgingly showing a Romney lead.   My personal prediction is that by September, absent an unlikely implosion by Romney, we will start to see a snow-balling of public opinion where the public has finally tuned in to the race and begins breaking for Romney.   Once that starts to happen the Bandwagon Effect will take hold and the bottom for Obama will fall out with only the hard-core, 35% of Democrats voting for him.  At that point we could be looking at a rout similar to the 2010 Elections, thus ending our national experiment in Mass Insanity.

  • Rich Buckley

    Your analysis would seem to lend weight to the idea being circulated to watch for an “October Surprise,” where we all fall in line and rally around the flag for yet another war.

    Two pundits I read predict these outcomes:
    (1) U.S. military is bone tired and fed up with being pawns to make the rich richer.
    (2) Neither Obama nor Romney will be President

    “America is not done for either way, neither Obama or Romney will be president. With October Surprise waiting in the wings to spring, we might just not even have an election. And, ultimately …. either one of the two wont change anything, they are Both Cabal Puppets. That’s what most don’t realize. While people think they are getting a choice, they really aren’t, the whole Electoral Process is corrupt to the bones. But, that’s all about to change.”

    One can only guess or intuit the dozens of possible time-line scenarios that could possibly manifest to bring this about. However these same two pundits correctly stated well in advance of the North Korean most recent failed launch, that any rocket launch made by North Korea that was anything other than the scientific weather satellite would be destroyed before leaving the atmospher. My on-line research indicates it indeed “failed” just under 76,000 feet asl, so I tend to listen a little closer when theses pundits make these complicated comments.

  • TS Alfabet

    The October Surprise is going to be an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuke facilities.

    But I doubt this is going to help Obama.

  • Deborah

    The October surprise could also be a assassination attempt on Obummer or his family. This will cause many to feel intense sympathy and vote for this POS.
    I do not believe that Baracka will go down easy. He and his minions, specifically Jarrett, will use any dirty trick they can think of to sway this election.
    My personal theory is that if Obama wins we will lose our Republic. Our grandchildren and their children will suffer terribly and curse us in our graves.
    We will always need to fight against the corrupt and powerful elite who want to control everything, but this election will be a turning point that will decide the future of America for the next 50 years.
    God Bless America.

  • MSgt Dale Day

    I’ve long believed that the only polls that count are the ones conducted on election day!!!

  • scott s.

    In the 19th c. elections were used as polls. Back then elections were held all year long. 1848 was the first year when all votes for Presidential electors, in states where voters chose electors, were conducted on the same day in November. It wasn’t until 1872 that elections for Representatives, Senators of course being elected by state legislatures, were also held in November.

    So elections gave continuous feedback on the popularity of the parties in the electorate.

    I’m dubious though that every poll that gives an answer one doesn’t like is labeled skewed.

  • Herschel Smith

    My own prediction: it will be an electoral landslide.

  • Warbucks

    We for sure, Herschel, my picks never win!

  • TS Alfabet

    @ Scott S.

    I don’t think the point of the post is that polls are skewed based upon the fact that they show Obama with some kind of lead. If you read it carefully (and the linked articles), the particular poll was skewed because… it was SKEWED. It had an 11 or 12 percentage point weighting in favor of registered Democrats when there was absolutely no rational basis to believe that there is or will be anything even close to an 11% advantage in Dem voting. One can only conclude that this skewed sample was designed to produce a sensational headline and buoy hopes of Obama supporters when other polls that properly weight likely voters were showing Obama trailing Romney.

  • Burk

    For another view on the “mass insanity” you mention, I am pro-Obama. I thank you for your poll analysis, and we will indeed see where all this ends up.

    But as far as which party and which politicians are doing the bidding of the “elites” and are more in the pocket of business and corporate interests, and are corrupt, as your commenters are quite rightly concerned about…

    Who was caught in the abscam scandal? Mostly Republicans. Who started the disastrous Iraq war? Republicans. Who leads the way in giving money to the already-wealthy? Republicans. Which party is running a near-billionare for president? You know who. The Republican party talks a good read-meat game on social hot-button issues. For the votes, they are “severely conservative”. But what do they do? They serve the rich, even more than the Democrats, who are bad enough.

    And who votes most consistently to extend the patriot act, empower the surveillance state, and curtail civil liberties? That would be the Republicans again. And who spends the most when they are in power? The Republicans, again, with the exception of economic depressions, which the Republicans leave to Democrats to clean up. Consider the facts, and look past the advertised ideology.

  • Herschel Smith

    As statist and controlling as Obama has been in each and every aspect of everything he has done, it’s strange to hear anyone argue that the GOP is the party that has curtailed civil liberties. The single most egregious example of such controlling statism is Kathleen Sabelius who is now and has always been a eugenicist, or Nazi, in favor of abortion, eugenics and so on, and has been the one who pressed hardest to force catholics to fund things contrary to their faith. Again. Strange … but then again, I think all statists are strange in their continuing to do things that fail again… and again … and again… throughout history.

    As for who has what and how much money someone makes, I really couldn’t care less. I would vote for my dog for president if she would consistently vote my ideology. When I cast a vote I am casting it for one thing and one thing only, and nothing else, ever, at any time: a vote. The job of Congressmen and Senators is to vote. Nothing else. The job of a president is to sign bills or veto them.

  • TS Alfabet

    A disappointing effort, Burk. Really.

    Is that what you are basing your vote upon? A simplistic tally of scandals such as ABSCAM from the 1980’s? Do you really want to get into a game of which party has more crooks and abusers? Pretty sure the Dems can outpace the Pubs there fairly easily (although the Statist Media does their best to always hide the party affiliation of every Dem who is caught in any misdeed while headlining that another Republican is accused).

    And serving “the rich” ? Puh-leeez. Obama has spent more time sucking up to the Hollywood and Wall Street and San Fran elite than any other President to date. He can’t find time to meet with important cabinet members, but he can do $50,000/plate dinners every night of the week. It’s sickening to see Dems parade around as if they are the champions of the proletariat when they are every bit the money-grubbing-hustlers as the rest.

    You must be living in a fantasy world. Today’s Democrats are far Left wing ideologues who worship at the alter of the all-powerful, all knowing, all benevolent STATE. Maybe that wasn’t true 40 or 50 years ago (although as far back as Wilson and FDR, they didn’t have much use for the Constitution), but today there is no doubt that the only types permitted in the Dem Party are Big Government lovers. So who should be more worrisome to our civil liberties? The party that wants a ever-expanding Central Government that regulates and criminalizes behavior to such absurd degrees that we cannot even breathe— literally: exhaling carbon dioxide is considered a threat to Dem environmental whackos who are central to the Dem Party now– or the Party that at least pays lip service to the notion of SMALL government, local government, less regulation, less government intrusion. That is the essence of the Tea Party Movement– a rebellion against big govt by Dems and Pubs. Unfortunately for the U.S., the Dems have no interest in that.


    I strongly believe that the current polling as it stands is deceptive at best. I believe there is strong evidence to suggest that Obama’s team will do everything in its power to manipulate the landscape to their advantage. They play like “Survivor” and will use all tricks to make their advantage point. They will also feel justified in doing so no matter how wrong, deceitful and false it is. They feel the end justifies the means. The Dems we have in power right now are much different than other generation of dems. They represent a viewpoint that is the most unAmerican I’ve ever seen. They count on the ignorance of the voters to pull their agenda through because they can’t win on their record and being upfront. You may have issue with the Repulicans, but to vote for this progressive movement is a vote against democracy, our republic. Think very carefully about your choice. You might not agree or like the Republicans, but what Romney proposes to do is much different in the future than Obama’s socialist team (some no longer deny it). What future do you want to leave. We can always vote Romney out in the future, but we all want to keep the republic. Obama will fundamentally change America as he said he would. No matter how awful you feel the Republicans have been, they don’t propose to dismantle, grow the size of government and redistribute the wealth. Vote Romney for the republic because Obama IS NOT one of us! DisasterMOM

You are currently reading "Deceptive Political Polling: Masking An Obama Re-Election Collapse?", entry #8848 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Mitt Romney,Politics and was published August 7th, 2012 by Glen Tschirgi.

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