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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Analysis: Polls are Stacked Against Republicans

Ronald Kessler has an interesting piece at Newsmax which illustrates how the polls have been skewed against Republicans.

And we're not just talking about asking questions in a snide manner in order to nudge the respondent, or slanted questions to shove the respondent toward the answer you want.

Sampling, of course, plays a big part. If you're sampling 40% Democrats and 25% Republicans (which is NOT the breakdown--not by a longshot), it would be very surprising if you didn't come out with the Dem on top.

But it's been a longstanding trend that, if you listen to the "mainstream" media, the Republican presidential candidate (usually any Republican candidate) is going to lose.

Looking back at polls over the years, “The errors in media polling rarely benefit a Republican,” Conway notes. “It wasn’t like anybody said, ‘Oh, Ronald Reagan will have a landslide in 1980.’ In fact you look back at the Dukakis numbers, the Perot numbers, there was always this presumption that the Republican was going to lose. Not just that the Democrat would win, but that the Republican was going to lose. There was a news report that concluded polls showed Kerry leading Bush 53 percent to 43 percent in 15 swing states.”

Exit polls also tend to favor Democrats unfairly, Conway says.

“Remember the exit polls in the last election all favored John Kerry,” Conway says. “And I had to shoot off a quick memo to people saying that exit polls are more illustrative and anecdotal, more qualitative than quantitative and scientific in nature, because it’s a self-selected population of people who actually reveal to a total stranger how they just voted.”

That herd instinct that I've often mentioned also makes an appearance:
“There’s a herd instinct,” Conway says. “For all the people in this country who say I want change, I love change, I want to join a revolution, they still go to McDonald’s every night in the minivan and order Number 3. America has a love affair with change that they don’t necessarily demonstrate.”

As examples, Conway cites the fact that most people want to get out of debt, get out of a bad relationship, find a job they love, and lose those last 12 pounds, but most of them never do.

I've long said that people know "the right answer" when asked--especially from a liberal elite. Many average people want to look smart and give the "intelligent" answer...which, since the elites are liberal, will be the liberal answer. Political correctness frequently skews polling results.

We certainly wouldn't want to assume a McCain-Palin win based simply on the fact that liberals have tried to rig the elections with the "depress the vote" effort in the past. After all, Sarah Palin's efforts aside, John McCain has run the most pathetic campaign I've seen since Bob Dole in 1996.

All the same, with the poll numbers running as close as they have been, I have said for some time that it's entirely possible McCain may win this thing--especially with Palin out there working her heart out for the campaign.

Go read Kessler's entire piece. It's a good education in some of the dynamics of polling. If you're a conservative, it'll help you overcome some of the "vote depression" propaganda the "mainstream" media is always sending your way.


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