P.T. Barnum said there’s a sucker born every minute and the polls doled out by a biased media are certainly proof that P.T. Barnum had the right stuff to have been an MSNBC News Analyst. This has been one of the worst elections in my lifetime, for any number of reasons, but the media’s use of “polls” tops the list as a scam that must be ended. The media has so abused the rights of a free press as to invite regulation and legislation defining who make take and report on polls. I believe that government intervention is always a last resort but the liberal media is so toxic to our country that we need someone to police them since they won’t do it themselves.
Many traditional news outlets, with their left leaning staffs, are going down the tubes from plummeting circulation numbers and falling ratings so the market is working to police the industry but we need to accelerate the process. The Media is predicting an Obama blow out as they predicted wins for Kerry and Gore and if the election is close we need an investigation to make sure the media reports the news and doesn’t manipulate it for its own craven purposes. Polls are my number one beef with the media and how they use phony polls to suppress the Republican vote by consistently overstating the popularity of democrats. Consider the following from an appearance by Carl Rove on Fox News On the Record show last Thursday:
Well, first of all, remember, we’re in a much different year this year. There have been, through yesterday, through Wednesday, 728 national surveys. By the end of Thursday, by the end of today, there will be in excess of 735 national polls that match the candidates head to head. By comparison, in all of 2004, there were 239, and there were just about half that number in 2000 — in fact, less than half that number in 2000.
So we’ve seen a veritable explosion of the polls — of the polling. This month alone, there have been 222. As of Wednesday, there were 215. As of Thursday, 222 national polls. There were only 239 national polls in all of 2004. So our races in ’00 and ’04 were a little bit different because there was some public data, but we were looking at our own data and then occasionally seeing other public polls that we could use to triangulate.
But look, you can make yourself crazy. I mean, think about this. On Monday, we had, I think, like, 9 or 10 polls. One showed the race as close as 3, and one poll showed the race as close — as far away as 10 points difference between the two candidates. On Tuesday, the margin went from 2 points to 15 points. On Wednesday, it was 3 to 7. Now, we are seeing a tightening over those days among most polls, but nonetheless, there’s a wide variation among these polls.
We shouldn’t endow them. We give them such scientific precision that they simply do not have. We’ve got the law of probability, the quality of the pollster, the quality of the sample size, any adjustments that they make internally to it, their methodology. All these things come into play in making these things less precise and less reliable than we like to think they are.
Carl Rove This is a rush transcript from “On the Record ,” October 30, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,445537,00.html
America is over polled. 80% of people hang up and the left over 20% is supposed to be a representative sample. On Sunday November 2nd I had 4 calls to my home: 3 were “robot calls that wanted to inform me of some aspect of the election and the 4th was from the Republican Party reminding me to vote on Tuesday! If I never get a call from a pollster or a political party again it will be too soon! No wonder the people of Pennsylvania are half crazy from being a battleground state for so long that the endless onslaught of politicians and spin has left Pennsylvanians demented, angry, and cynical and, did I mention angry? After my experience of 4 political calls yesterday I can’t help but wonder, given the polling fatigue on the last weekend before the election, how representative their sample could be? Everyone in this state who makes a pretence of being sane; would rather kiss a dead moose’s backside rather than speak to another poll worker or be queried by a soulless computer! WE CAN’T STAND THE POLLING ANY MORE AND WE WANT THE MEDIA TO REPORT THE FACTS OF THE ELLECTION WHEN THEY HAVE FACTS AND ENOUGH WITH THE POLLS ALREADY! ENOUGH!
Wouldn’t it be nice if the media just told us who wins after they are 100% sure, based on actual election results, and if they made it a point NEVER to make a false projection of a winner ever again? What would it be like to have peace from pollsters and a media with integrity! In the last presidential election the media thought Kerry had won. The time before that they thought that Gore had defeated George W. Bush! The media is so enamored of the use of polling to drive stories that don’t really exist, toward false, predetermined conclusions, that reporters are the most shocked among us as the Presidential Polling is shown, every four years, to be wrong. In the Bush Kerry race Chris Mathews went from smug to apoplectic as the Medias addenda, and all the polls they “reported”, were found false.
This year the media gets its candidate no matter who wins. The media made Barak Obama and resurrected John McCain but if all the polls are wrong and an Obama blowout is not in the offing then once again the media will have screwed up. It would be a shock if the election were close and if McCain should win then all the polls showing a lead of 7% or more should be censured from polling in national elections.
Journalists, and pollsters, should not be “advocates” and routine reporting of poor polling data should prompt a criminal investigation just like any other form of election fraud. I guarantee you that the polling would become more accurate and less intrusive overnight if there were consequences for publicly reporting badly skewed polling data.
In these days where the ends justifies the means and the so called “free press” jams its opinions down our throat, for our own good, we need to remember the words of Saint Agustin:
“The consequences of a thing will be what they will be: why then, should we wish to be deceived?”
The misuse of polls as a means of “advocacy” for a left wing press must be ended and polls that are publicly reported that are widely skewed to favor a given party must be investigated and prosecuted. Integrity in polling and reporting needs to be restored lest our system lose all pretence of legitimacy. No democratic Republic such as ours can function if the facts are not available to the voters and the misreporting of those facts, such as the consistent pattern of biased polls is just another form of voter fraud. It’s a privilege to report the news to a free people. If the current media won’t do it lets find some reporters who will. Ultimately the duty to ensure the integrity of our elections falls to the voters and it’s time to clean house with the misuse of polls and the electioneering of the media.