Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Dirty Pool in Political Polls

Ken Falkenstein sent me the following this morning. Another example, roughly #2,748,295, of media bias, and I'm not talking about conservative bias.

Ken says:

"It's no surprise that the lapdog liberal news media are campaigning for the Democrats like they always do, but "Newsweak" is going pretty far out of their way to do it. Their latest poll, in which Bush had a 28% approval rating and every top-tier Democrat presidential candidate outpolled every top-tier Republican, was a fix. "Newsweak" polled 50% more Democrats than Republicans. And the margin of error was over 7%! It stretches credulity to think that they didn't know how lopsided and lacking in credibility their poll was. Given that they featured it in their magazine and plastered it all over the news, the only plausible explanation is that they did it on purpose."

From Captain's Quarter blog:

Newsweek Practicing Early For Poll Follies

Newsweek publishes a breathless account of how George Bush's approval rating has dropped to 28%, and how leading Democrat contenders now outpoll the Republicans across the board for the 2008 presidential race. Coincidence, Newsweek asks? They should have asked that question of their pollsters:

It’s hard to say which is worse news for Republicans: that George W. Bush now has the worst approval rating of an American president in a generation, or that he seems to be dragging every ’08 Republican presidential candidate down with him. But According to the new NEWSWEEK Poll, the public’s approval of Bush has sunk to 28 percent, an all-time low for this president in our poll, and a point lower than Gallup recorded for his father at Bush Sr.’s nadir. The last president to be this unpopular was Jimmy Carter who also scored a 28 percent approval in 1979. This remarkably low rating seems to be casting a dark shadow over the GOP’s chances for victory in ’08. The NEWSWEEK Poll finds each of the leading Democratic contenders beating the Republican frontrunners in head-to-head matchups. ...
Like Obama, Edwards defeats the Republicans by larger margins than Clinton does: the former Democratic vice-presidential nominee outdistances Giuliani by six points, McCain by 10 and Romney by 37, the largest lead in any of the head-to-head matchups. Meanwhile, Sen. Clinton wins 49 percent to 46 percent against Giuliani, well within the poll’s margin of error; 50 to 44 against McCain; and 57 to 35 against Romney.

Yes, this would be a devastating poll, if one could rely on it. It contradicts nearly every other poll, which has consistently shown Giuliani beating Obama, Clinton, and Edwards. How could Newsweek get the results they have published?

Well, for one thing, it helps when you poll 50% more Democrats than Republicans. If one reads the actual poll results all the way to the end, the penultimate question shows that the sample has 24% Republicans to 36% Democrats. Compare that to the information given by Newsweek's NBC partners in February, which showed that party affiliation had shifted from a difference of less than a percentage point to a gap of 3.9 points -- 34.3% to 30.4%, with 33.9% independents.

Does it really surprise Newsweek that a sample where half again as many Democrats as Republicans were polled tend to prefer Democrats for President? Do they find it all that surprising that George Bush isn't terribly popular when surveys oversample Democrats? They knew that the poll had to have some problems; the margins of error for the poll were 7% for the Democrats and 8% for the Republicans, quite high for these kinds of polls.

Newsweek apparently doesn't employ people like editors and fact checkers before rushing their analyses to print. Thankfully, the blogosphere can take the time and effort to have these layers of correction so that we can provide the best possible information to our readership."

Thanks to Ken for this article.Yes, the blogosphere will be on full alert the next year and a half. But unless what is uncovered is printed or broadcast in the MSM, it is just more preaching to the choir. With the lefts willing accomplices at their beck and call, the Dhimmicrats seem to have it well in hand. I don't see any knight in shining armor coming in to rescue the floundering (and foundering) Republican party.

I don't know why polls are seen to be so important. I guess the nation is full of sheep who can't be bothered to find out details for themselves and so take whatever conventional wisdom they can glean from idiotic polls as God's truth. As ignorant as a lot of them are, thanks to government schools and teachers from government schools, they wouldn't know how to decipher the finer points of poll questions anyway.

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