Posts Tagged ‘Polls’

Debunking Stupid Ideas in Mainstream Media

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Bloviating Zone

Seldom is there a shortage of stupid, insipid, vapid ideas in the mainstream media, but lately, it’s coming from every direction.  I was watching the idiot at 8pm(Eastern) on the diminishing network that is Fox News, when he promoted an upcoming segment featuring Michele Bachmann(R-MN.)  The segment has not yet played, and I’m not really interested in anything this perpetual TV dipstick has to say, so I was not surprised at the vacuous formulation of his segment, based on a recent McClatchy-Marist poll: “Why are the American people still more dis-satisfied with Republicans than Democrats?”  Let me suggest an answer that refuses to evade the obvious, irrespective of what Bachmann may or may not say in response, and howsoever the bloviating 8pm-er may otherwise characterize it.  It’s really a simple math problem, and it’s time we ask goof-balls like O’Reilly to understand mathematics. There is one reason Republicans are doing more poorly in Congressional approval polls, and it is not because they’re not moderate enough.  In fact, it’s just the opposite.

Various surveys tell us that roughly 20-25 percent of the populace considers itself liberal.  As much as 42 percent consider themselves conservative.  The rest  consider themselves mushy moderates and independents.  Let me suggest that we break this up into a simpler math question: If 33 percent of respondents approve of Democrats in Congress, that is roughly equivalent to the number of avowed liberals and a portion of the “moderates” who are simply embarrassed liberals hoping to maintain some semblance of non-partisan cover.  The rest of the country hates the Democrats, including some actual moderates.  Meanwhile, the same 33 percent can be counted on to hate the Republicans. One might then think that since 40-45 percent of the populace considers themselves conservative, Republicans would gain the benefit.  Actually, it’s not like this at all.  You see, since Republicans register around 25 percent approval, let us then admit that the group most likely to be adding to disapproval of Republicans isn’t the moderates, but instead, the conservatives.  42 percent plus 33 percent equals 75 percent.  While I am confident there will be some instances in which this isn’t precisely true, the obvious answer is that the Democrats are disapproved less because their own core constituents support them relentlessly.  In contrast, conservatives who constitute the core of the Republican constituency are as unhappy with Republicans as liberals are. Only squishy moderates like O’Reilly support Republicans.

This is not difficult math, so simple in fact, that even a mindless dolt like O’Reilly should be able to figure it out. The problem is, however, that it’s only easy to see if one is willing to see it.  O’Reilly isn’t willing to see anything that contradicts the DC orthodoxy. When O’Reilly implies that it’s all because Republicans are too immoderate, he’s evading the truth, because it’s not a truth he wants to purvey.  If the Republicans in Congress were interested in getting a better approval rating, they wouldn’t push ridiculous “bi-partisan” budget deals like the one now being offered by Paul Ryan(R-WI) and his Senate counterpart, the estimable Patty Murray(D-WA.) Conservatives are rightly disgusted with this and other deals, and the explicit unwillingness of Congressional Republicans to fight. 42 percent plus 33 percent equals 75 percent. Mathematical wizardry is not required.  All one needs is a commitment to the simple truth, and that’s something Bill O’Reilly plainly lacks.

(Editor’s Note: Apparently, the math escaped Bachmann too, because her explanation turned out to be that the media is against Republicans, which while true, doesn’t answer the heart of the question.)

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A Note on Bogus Polling

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Which Polls To Trust?

I’ve heard from a few people really concerned about the polling in Florida, showing Gingrich down, and Romney up, which seems at least in part to be contradicted by the sense of things on the ground. I am going to show you how a poll can be twisted, and how you can’t trust them, and if you allow them to form your opinion, you can actually be manipulated.  Let’s start with a very popular poll, the PPP(Public Policy Polling) outfit that currenty shows Romney leading 40% to 32%.  

In this poll, when you read to the bottom of the page and examine the data, you discover the following:

“The PPP poll surveyed 387 likely Florida Republican primary voters on January 28th with a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.”(emphasis mine)

Ladies and gentlemen, when you see ANY poll with such a small sample size, it’s GARBAGE.  When you see any poll with a margin of error of more than 3%, it’s likely garbage, particularly if it has a small sample size.  For a state as large and diverse as Florida, any poll that doesn’t survey at least 1500 people, with a margin of error well below 4% is a poll intended to generate a headline and drive you.

Now, here’s their insurance: With a margin of error of 5%, if you add that to Gingrich, and subtract it from Romney, this poll may actually tell you nothing, because Gingrich could in fact be leading.  This kind of poll is GARBAGE as any serious analyst will tell you, and worse, when you see so-called analysts on television referencing such polls, you know they are LYING to you because as trained professionals, THEY ABSOLUTELY KNOW BETTER.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to “shout” at you, but I am disgusted with the media manipulation, as they try to create some false momentum in Romney’s direction. You should let others know this too.  387 people? Really? A margin of error of 5%??? That’s a potential 10-point swing in either direction, which gives them cover if their pushing doesn’t work out, but also helps them create a theme.

Don’t believe such polls. They are intended to mislead you. I have rejected four such polls from publication on this site in the last month because they were this egregious.

Romney’s Lead Collapsing Nationwide

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Slipping?

NewsMax is reporting the results of a Gallup poll that shows Mitt Romney’s lead nationally is collapsing.  It’s clear that Romney’s last two debate performances have hurt him, and Thursday night’s answer about whether he would follow his father’s example on the release of his tax returns is seen as a large part of his troubles.  He answered “maybe,” and this made him look as though he was hiding something.

Watch the video here:

This couldn’t help Romney, who has been having difficulties gaining traction in South Carolina despite millions of dollars in media time purchased directly by his campaign, or by so-called SuperPACs acting on his behalf.  Romney may recover, but the problem is that he’s going to take positive steps to do so, and thus far, he’s maintained his lead by default.  Now that the race is tightening, that strategy may no longer work, and if the electorate senses he’s being evasive, it could cause him significant damage in excess of any his own negative campaign against Gingrich is now having.

CBS Poll: Majority of Republicans Want More Choices

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

In an interesting survey conducted by CBS News, 58% of Republicans want more choices for the GOP nomination.  While this isn’t exactly a stunning revelation to readers of this site, it does confirm what we’ve thought all along:  The GOP’s current crop of candidates is sub-par, and most Republicans would prefer to see somebody else altogether.  While the poll doesn’t identify any particular candidates, what it does suggest strongly is that Republicans are thoroughly dissatisfied with the current selections available.  We’ve known this for some time, but what it hints at is a serious problem for the GOP if the party should nominate another losing candidate in 2012.  The party is in deep trouble with its conservative base already, and one more Presidential defeat with a soft moderate is likely to cause a revolt.  According to the CBS poll, only 37% are satisfied with the current field of choices.

If a party cannot motivate its base of support to greater enthusiasm, it will inevitably lose any general election.  This has been the problem with this field all along:  They really don’t inspire the base, and they’re not apt to do so in any substantial fashion.  Much of that owes to the fact that none of them are seen as thorough conservatives, and none are really very dynamic speakers.  It’s clear that the GOP remains in serious trouble, and as others have pointed out, the so-called “inevitable nominee” is likely to lead the Republicans to defeat in November.  I can’t imagine how with this current crop of candidates, Republicans expect to win the White House in 2012, and it appears they don’t really expect it either.  There is a growing sense of exasperation with what is seen as ineffective leadership in the GOP, and that’s going to impose a mighty penalty in November.

As we’ve seen consistently over the last year, most Republicans seem to be looking for somebody else.  Many have settled on candidates who are clearly not a first or even a second choice, and that makes for a good deal of volatility.  As Granite-State voters go to the polls today, it’s clear Mitt Romney has a big lead in that state, but New Hampshire has never really been very representative of the Republican party in any case, so it’s not clear that this will offer us anything concrete about the direction of the nomination fight.  Most analysts expect Romney to capture 40% or more of the New Hampshire vote, although there has been a concerted tamping-down of expectations over the last few days in media.  If Romney were to capture less than 40% in New Hampshire, it would likely be a strong signal that he’s still not capturing the base of the party.  Capturing more than 40% would begin to indicate he might be on his way to locking up the nomination, but nobody is certain at this point.

The fact that we have passed into the election year of 2012 without a clear front-runner who is enthusiastically supported in the party isn’t a surprise, but the fact is that any number of people could still jump into this race and make a dramatic difference.  Whether any will is another matter, as for the moment, none seem to be so-inclined.  It is perhaps for this reason that so many Americans are looking pessimistically at the future, with Americans fearing an Obama re-election by 2-1.  That merely tells you something about how uninspiring the current crop of candidates are, and the fact that Gallup is also reporting that conservatives have begun to accept Romney as the probable nominee should tell you just how bad it has gotten. Not many are excited about it, to be sure.

Cain Rises Despite Allegations

Friday, November 4th, 2011

In Spite of the Controversy

ABC News is reporting polling data that shows despite the recent allegations, Cain is still rising. Some will wonder how this is possible, but the answer is simple:  Without any substantial evidence, this is just a take-down ploy, and Republican voters know it.  If you wonder why conservatives are reacting negatively to the allegations, you need only examine the story linked above.  ABC cautions that this could change if the nature of the story changes to something more serious.   This is a typical media poll, however, in that it seems to be written to push readers in a certain direction, and it’s not very informative.  From the article, there’s this paragraph:

Yet the controversy does pose risks for Cain. Just under four in 10 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in this ABC News/Washington Post poll do say the allegations are a serious matter. Half of them say it makes them less apt to support Cain, and Romney leads him for the nomination in this group by nearly 20 points. If views of the seriousness of the issue were to increase, Cain’s support could be at risk.

No!  Get OUT!  Do they mean to say that if actual evidence of wrong-doing on Cain’s part comes out, some people might change their minds?  Of course they would.  Notice this, however, when you debunk it. Of those who think these are serious charges as they stand, half say it makes them less likely to support Cain, but Romney leads in that group by nearly 20 points.  Do you understand what this is? This is merely a statement of the obvious.  I could easily say it this way, too: One in five Republicans supports Mitt Romney, and therefore consider any allegation against upstart Herman Cain good news.

Who is surprised at that?  People who think these are serious allegations are prone to support Romney. SHOCKER! That’s nearly as shocking as: “People who believe in socialism vote Democrat.”  There’s no surprise in this because moderate Republicans are anti-ideology.  They could care less about principle.   It’s the only way they could support the candidates they do.  More, I’m tired of these polls including any substantial number of “republican-leaning independents.”  Unless they’re in an open primary state, or registered as a republican and thus able to vote in the primaries as a republican, for the purposes of this polling, they’re irrelevant.  I also don’t want to know about “registered voters,” but insist that polling organizations be honest and poll among “likely voters.”  In this case, they merely specified “adults.”  Here is the data on this poll:

METHODOLOGY – This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2011, among a random national sample of 1,004 adults, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents, and 438 leaned Republicans. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points for the full sample and 5.5 points for leaned Republicans. The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y.