Tue, 02 Oct 2012 14:26:16 +0000
Are you depressed by polls showing the POS ahead of Mitt Romney, despite the mess Obama has made of our economy, foreign policy, race relations, and just about everything?
I’m trained in social science methodology and I’ve looked at the polls, calmly and dispassionately. And I say we have every reason to be skeptical about the polls and every reason to be hopeful. Here’s why we should be skeptical about the alleged findings of the alphabet polls:
1. Most polling agencies are liberal and partisan
The polls you’re reading/hearing are by such outfits as CBS, New York Times, ABC, Washington Post, Politico, and Gallup. Let’s call them the “Alphabet Polls.”
These media are notoriously pro-Obama and pro-Democrat. Study after study finds that MSM journalists are predominantly registered Democratic and had voted overwhelmingly for Democrats in previous presidential elections. Their partisanship affects the objectivity of their reporting, as FOTM has chronicled in post after post. Given their political bias, which has now become in-your-face blatant, we have every reason to suspect that their polls are also biased.
In the case of Gallup, the Obama administration was displeased with Gallup’s poll numbers and so sought to intimidate Gallup with a lawsuit.
2. Flawed Polling Methodology: Registered voters instead of likely voters
The Alphabet Polls use registered voters or even worse, U.S. adults. This makes their findings questionable because being registered or an adult doesn’t mean you’ll actually turn out to vote.
In contrast, Rasmussen Report polls only likely voters — Americans who say they’ll likely actually vote. And a Rasmussen poll in mid-September shows that, contrary to what the Alphabet Polls claim, the POS is not ahead in the critical swing states, but is neck-to-neck with Romney. That is bad news for the POS because the incumbent president normally should surge in popularity after his party’s convention.
3. Flawed Polling Methodology: Democrats are over-sampled
The methodology of the Alphabet Polls is seriously flawed because they improperly over-sample Democrats. Given that more Americans identify themselves as Democrat than Republican, political polls must compensate for that by including more Democrats than Republicans in their polling sample. According to Gallup, here are Americans’ party identification or affiliation in 2012 and 2008:
- 32% Democrat (2012); 36% Democrat (2008) – loss of 4%
- 24% Republican (2012); 25% Republican (2008) – loss of 1%
- 38% Independent (2012); 32% Independent (2008) – gain of 6%
In order that their findings be as accurate a reflection of the American people as possible, polls therefore should have a sample that consists of 32% Dem, 24% Repub, and 38% Independents.
But there is also the matter of voter turnout. It matters not if more Americans are Democrat than Republican if the Democrats don’t turn out to vote on election day. There is every evidence that Democrats are not as enthusiastic as they were in 2008, which means Democrats will have a lower voter-turnout on November 6.
As Breitbart’s John Nolte puts it, no one believes Obama will match the D+7 nationwide advantage he enjoyed in 2008, even less that he will surpass 2008’s D+7. And yet the Alphabet Polls, such as CBS/NYT, assume that Democrats will have a turnout advantage of +9 in 2012!
In other words, the Alphabet Polls’ claim that Obama is ahead of Romney is based on grossly over-sampling Democrats, which in turn is based on their grossly flawed expectation that Democrats will turn out to vote in even greater numbers than in 2008.
Here’s what the polling data should look like if the Alphabet Polls didn’t skew their samples:
Source: http://unskewedpolls.com/ LV = Likely Voters, RV=Registered Voters, MoE=Margin of Error
4. Flawed Polling Methodology: Independents’ swing toward Romney ignored
Given the fact that more and more Americans now identify themselves as non-partisan Independents (32% in 2008 → 38% in 2012), the samples used by polls should reflect that increase.
Independents also play an increasingly important role in determining the outcome of presidential elections. In 2008, Barack Obama carried Independents in Ohio by 8 points and in Florida by 7 points, which contributed a great deal to his 2.8-point win in Florida and his 4.5 point win in Ohio. A victory by Romney among Independents could tilt both key states in his favor.
Despite their importance, Breitbart’s Dustin Hawkins writes, “Curiously, Independents seem to be mostly ignored this election cycle, and their presidential vote preference is almost unanimously ignored by the MSM. Instead, ‘women’ have replaced Independents as the key demographic. This emphasis and sudden fascination conveniently ties in nicely with the Democrats’ fictitious ‘War on Women’ meme.”
In fact, most of the polls that show Obama with big leads also show Romney handily winning Independent voters. Yet, somehow, Obama manages to increase his performance from 2008 despite Independents now opposing him. Recents polls show Romney to be leading among Independents in two key battleground states — Ohio and Florida — where the POS had won by small margins in 2008, primarily by winning Independents by 7 and 8 points.
5. Flawed Polling Methodology: what about refuseniks?
In his post yesterday, “The Polls are WRONG,” Hardnox sounded the warning about another flaw in polling methodology. Pollsters rely on phonecalls, but a recent Pew study found that only 9% of U.S. households respond to pollsters’ phonecalls. 91% of households contacted by pollsters refuse to answer the phone, or if they did answer, refuse to answer the questions of pollsters.
6. Even the flawed alphabet polls are showing the presidential race to be tightening.
Two new polls released yesterday, from ABC/WaPo and Politico, both show Obama’s lead nationally has been cut to two points, 49-47. Also, in both polls, Romney leads Obama among Independents by four points. [Source: Breitbart]
To conclude, don’t be discouraged by the Alphabet Polls! We are in a political war and our opponents have no scruples and are deploying disinformation and psychological warfare to demoralize us. In the end, the poll that really counts is the one on November 6.
No matter what any poll says, be sure to vote on November 6! And pray, pray, pray.