Friday, September 12, 2008

Poll Madness: Gallup-ing To The Right... Again.

"McCain pulls ahead of Obama in National Poll."?


Hearing those words from the news anchor's lips induced a slight twinge in the center of my chest.

"That can't be right", I quickly reassured myself, "There's no freaking way those ridiculous results can be scientific or accurate."

After all, McCain had just introduced Sarah Palin as his nominee for VP. Regardless of the outwardly boisterous - if not internally bewildered - support shown for McCain's choice... I mean Come On... Are You Serious?

After hearing all of the cries from both Senator Clinton's camp and the Republicans about Senator Obama being too inexperienced... McCain chooses an unknown Governor from a sparsely-populated state... who hasn't even finished her second term as Governor... who has never been a member of Congress... who can be seen in a video on YouTube to be declaring the Iraq War to be God's Plan... who also invoked God's will when encouraging another audience to pray for a a $30 billion national gas pipeline project to be built in Alaska... who reduced the aid given to pregnant teenagers in Alaska (luckily for her own pregnant teenage daughter, the Palins do O.K.) to lead the U.S. Senate and possibly be in line for the Presidency?

Then, there's the whole pitiful act of desperation shown by McCain's campaign people when they suddenly pulled out their "New" motto "Change is Coming.".
(The Original Rallying Cry - "Change You Can Believe In" - is from Senator Barack Obama's campaign - going back about a year.):

To say McCain's campaign is painfully lacking in originality and in new or good ideas is an understatement.
But, Hey... He is Right about One Thing...
Change is Coming... It's Just Not Coming By Way of John McCain and Sarah Palin.

He's a Bushie.

'Nuff said.

Back to those goofy poll result claims...

My first question would be...

Who owns/pays the salaries of those who allegedly did the polling?

Rupert Murdoch? Nah... News Corp. is another behemoth entirely.

Well, I did some searching...

The questionable poll results came from Gallup, USA Today and CBS News polls.

I checked into Gallup's practices regarding whom they choose to poll...
Apparently, Gallup doesn't adjust its "pool" of voters to add or subtract Republicans or Democrats in an effort to mirror those parties' estimated make-ups in a population.
Something they did often enough in 2004 - skewering things so as to make it appear as though the Republicans were further ahead "in the Polls" than they actually were (or could - be based upon exit poll numbers.) - that placed a full-page ad in the New York Times with this headline:
"Gallup-ing to the Right. Why does America's top pollster keep getting it wrong?".

Maybe instead of Gallup, we should start getting our poll information from Zogby International, an independent polling firm that does adjust its pool so as to reflect a given population.

Who owns USA Today?
What does Gannett own?
Among other things... Gannett owns 100 daily newspapers in the USA; the Army Times, Navy Times, Navy Times Marine Corps, Air Force Times, Federal Times, Defense Times, and Military Market.

Who owns CBS?
Well, both CBS and Viacom are owned by multi-billionaire Sumner Redstone. Mr. Redstone is also Viacom's founder. Viacom was was split-off from CBS Corporation in 2005.

Check the current article below and see for yourself just what might explain the the alleged McCain "jump in the polls".

In case you were unaware...
"In 2007, Viacom filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Google and YouTube for copyright infringement and recently a federal judge granted Viacom's request for data of all YouTube users. The blogosphere has since called for a boycott of all Viacom properties - so that means no MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon or - gasp - Comedy Central for you!" (From:

My final thought:
"Hey, Gallup... Poll This."



Poll Madness: McCain Takes Lead Even As Democrats Out-Register Republicans?

This week's mainstream coverage of the presidential horse-race has been dominated by a series of polls showing the McCain-Palin ticket with its first stable lead over Obama and Biden. Gallup's tracking poll, USA Today and CBS News all show the Republicans with some kind of lead over the Democratic ticket. But, interestingly, all three polls were also conducted using a higher sampling of Republican voters than in July, raising a question of methodology.

In a year in which Democrats have a lead of 11 million registered voters over Republicans, and have been adding to that advantage through a robust field operation, are pollsters over-sampling Republicans?

Despite a raft of advantages in the electorate for Democrats, in September's first Gallup tracking poll, an equal number of Republicans and Democrats were surveyed (including "leaners") from Sept. 3-5, compared to a 10-point Democratic identification advantage two weeks ago. That partisan makeup of the polling pool resulted in a 5-point lead for McCain in Sept. 5 tracking poll. Meanwhile, the new CBS poll features a 6-point swing in partisan composition toward Republicans, which plays some role in the poll's two-point lead for McCain. Finally, the latest USA Today poll, which claims a four-point edge for McCain, was arrived at after a 10-point swing in partisan makeup toward GOP respondents.

Some polling experts say the changing state of party affiliation in the field is slow to be reflected in polls themselves. Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg told the Huffington Post that "when it comes to registration and turnout, the polls often do a very bad job of taking those [factors] into account," because newly registered voters aren't in the voter files used by firms that survey public opinion. "You could make the argument they are under-representing new registrants," she said, which would mean that the Democrats new edge would not be taken into account.

Monday's USA Today poll had a 48-47 split between Democrats and Republicans surveyed. That represents a nearly 10 point shift in party identification toward Republicans since USA Today's July polling. When asked for comment, USA Today polling editor Jim Norman wrote that "it's possible" that their latest sample includes too many Republicans. Though he added, "it's also possible that we have too many Democrats," because "there's always the chance of an over- or under-representation" in polls.

Still, Norman admitted that the GOP identification in the latest survey has spiked. "The party ID in our most recent poll does show a shift away from what Gallup has been getting in earlier polls, going all the way back to 2005," Norman said. "But previous conventions -- the Republican one in 1988, the Democratic one in 1992, the Democratic one in 2000 -- have also shown shifts in party ID toward the party that had the convention, and those shifts seemed to last, to greater or lesser degrees, though the election. Further, I've been told by Gallup that their tracking poll has shown a similar shift in party ID since the Republican convention. ... I guarantee you we will be watching closely in all of our polls between now and election day to see whether there are further shifts in party ID in either direction."

And it's true. Gallup's own GOP identification (including leaners) has swung six points in the last month, from 42 percent of voters to 48, according to tables provided to the Huffington Post. Meanwhile, solid and leaning Democrats have fallen from 52 to 48 percent of those polled. For political scientists who believe that partisanship is largely stable over time -- and who take note of the advantage in voter registration being experienced by Democrats during the same period -- the newly GOP-heavy poll samples can raise eyebrows.

Emory University political scientist Alan Abramowitz is highly skeptical of the new Gallup, USA Today and CBS polls. About the latter, which showed a statistically insignificant two point lead for McCain, Abramowitz said: "One reason for the dramatic difference between the two recent CBS polls is that the two samples differed fairly dramatically in terms of partisan composition. The first sample was 35.2% Democratic, 26.2 percent Republicans, and 38.6 percent independent. The second sample was 34.9% Democratic, 31.1% Republican, and 34.0% independent. That's a change from a 9 point Democratic advantage to a 3.8 point Democratic advantage. That alone would probably explain about half of the difference in candidate preferences between the two [CBS] polls."

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