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Polling Illiteracy

polling-stick-figures-1

During the last presidential election cycle much was made about how the polls were skewed towards Obama and that they had to be “unskewed.”  Thankfully, there has been less of that kind of nonsense (at least the I have noticed) this time around.  However, I did noticed today a piece at Zero Hedge that purports to have found evidence of poll rigging in the Podesta e-mails:  New Podesta Email Exposes Playbook For Rigging Polls Through “Oversamples”.

First, the post asserts (a la the unskewed route) that the mix of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents is wrong.  Second, there is much dismay over requests in the e-mail for “oversampling” (emphasis in the original):

Now, for all of you out there who still aren’t convinced that the polls are “adjusted”, we present to you the following Podesta email, leaked earlier today, that conveniently spells out, in detail, exactly how to “manufacture” the desired data. The email starts out with a request for recommendations on “oversamples for polling” in order to “maximize what we get out of our media polling.”

The author of the Zero Hedge post (which was shared by Drudge) clearly thinks that “oversampling” means over-representing certain groups in the poll to artificially inflate their importance in the results.  However, that isn’t what oversampling is.

Quick, Robin, to Pew Research!

For some surveys, it is important to ensure that there are enough members of a certain subgroup in the population so that more reliable estimates can be reported for that group. To do this, we oversample members of the subgroup by selecting more people from this group than would typically be done if everyone in the sample had an equal chance of being selected. Because the margin of sampling error is related to the size of the sample, increasing the sample size for a particular subgroup through the use of oversampling allows for estimates to be made with a smaller margin of error. A survey that includes an oversample weights the results so that members in the oversampled group are weighted to their actual proportion in the population; this allows for the overall survey results to represent both the national population and the oversampled subgroup.

For example, African Americans make up 13.6% of the total U.S. population, according to the U.S. Census. A survey with a sample size of 1,000 would only include approximately 136 African Americans. The margin of sampling error for African Americans then would be around 10.5 percentage points, resulting in estimates that could fall within a 21-point range, which is often too imprecise for many detailed analyses surveyors want to perform. In contrast, oversampling African Americans so that there are roughly 500 interviews completed with people in this group reduces the margin of sampling error to about 5.5 percentage points and improves the reliability of estimates that can be made.

So, oversampling is about having enough reliable data about sub-groups.  It is not about biasing the sample in favor of those groups.

Philip Bump at WaPo goes into even more detail about the Zero Hedge piece: Very bad analysis of a 2008 email is Donald Trump’s new excuse for why he’s losing

They recommend an oversample from Native Americans and Democrat-leaning independents and moderate Republican women. Those are all groups that are fairly small parts of the electorate, so to get statistically accurate data, you’d need to make sure you include more of those voters in your poll sample. This increases the cost of the polling substantially, but if you’re spending hundreds of thousands on TV ads, it’s worth spending an extra $20,000 up front to make sure that you’re targeting the ads right.

[…]

In short, then: This is an eight-year-old email talking about a common polling technique for ensuring accuracy among demographic subgroups from a guy who was not working for or representative of a media outlet.

It is not, in other words, an explanation of why Trump is losing.

Of course, this hasn’t stopped Trump and his allies from claiming otherwise–which should be frustrating to anyone who is interesting in honest discourse regardless of partisan preferences.

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Pch101 says:

    The conservative movement has become a religion for the innumerate.

    I’m not sure how search engines stay in business when so few people seem to use them in order to learn something useful. A minute of Googling would show that oversampling and undersampling are par for the course for turning surveys into useful data, as there is no way to gather samples that adequately represent the population that they are supposed to represent without also making adjustments.

    Zero Hedge deserves some sort of Dunning-Kruger award for making idiots feel smart. Anyone who cites the content without laughing at it or tearing it apart may as well wear a “kick me” sign and a dunce cap.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 1

  2. gVOR08 says:

    @Pch101: If we’re gonna hand out Dunning-Kruger trophies, we gotta start at the top. With Trump. Even though, in the nature of D-K, he’d probably take it as an honor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  3. Mikey says:

    (Obligatory “Zerohedge is basically Russian agitprop.”)

    This election season has been rife with Trump supporters misinterpreting information because they don’t have the expertise to properly evaluate it. Another example was the Clinton campaign wanting to make sure they had all the proper documentation from some organizations. One of those documents was termed a “pay for play letter.” This was seized upon by the Trumpists as proof the campaign was engaging in “pay for play.” In reality, the letters in question were required to ensure the organizations understood what “pay for play” is and how they were pledging NOT to engage in it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0

  4. Facebones says:

    This is the same script that’s been in use since the 90’s.

    1) Accuse Clintons of doing something evil in the headline.

    2) Adjust facts to fit accordingly.

    3) By the time your accusations fall apart like a house of cards, hope that enough people have read the initial story and shared it before the corrections get posted.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 0

  5. al-Ameda says:

    However, I did noticed today a piece at Zero Hedge that purports to have found evidence of poll rigging in the Podesta e-mails: New Podesta Email Exposes Playbook For Rigging Polls Through “Oversamples”.

    in 2012 conservatives were certain that ‘mainstream’ polling was completely wrong about the November results-to-be, that Romney was going win out by 5% and prove to all that “mainstream” polling, like “mainstream” media, was biased to a Liberal outcome.

    Well, here we are again, and no lessons were learned by the Right. Their Playbook is to create a narrative apart from facts, and run with it.

    Trump has taken all of this to another level by preemptively claiming, in the absence of any evidence, that the whole game – polling, media coverage – is rigged and he’s lost because of this.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  6. bookdragon says:

    …which should be frustrating to anyone who is interesting in honest discourse regardless of partisan preferences

    So, in other words, anyone unlikely to support Trump.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  7. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    Which brings me to where are you finding these people who are interested ” in honest discourse regardless of partisan preferences?” They certainly don’t seem to be very many places on the internet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  8. @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: They exist, believe it or not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  9. Mikey says:

    @al-Ameda:

    in 2012 conservatives were certain that ‘mainstream’ polling was completely wrong about the November results-to-be, that Romney was going win out by 5% and prove to all that “mainstream” polling, like “mainstream” media, was biased to a Liberal outcome.

    And even when the real polls in 2012 predicted the actual outcome with 99% accuracy, here we are four years later with them making basically the same argument, just with a slightly different type of bad reasoning.

    I had a conversation with a conservative during which I brought up some indisputable–and I mean really, truly indisputable–fact. His response was, essentially, “I still believe what I believe.” (Like Mythbusters: “I reject your reality and substitute my own.”)

    How do you even deal with someone like that? I suppose “you don’t” is the right answer, but still…such people vote.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

  10. Franklin says:

    I also assume that Podesta’s e-mail is in regards to the campaign’s internal polling, so that they have the best information possible. This isn’t Podesta trying to change the results of the public polls like Gallup or Rasmussen.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  11. Franklin says:

    @Mikey:

    How do you even deal with someone like that? I suppose “you don’t” is the right answer, but still…such people vote.

    You were dealing with a problem well known to psychologists, and you dealt with it correctly. Basically, you state your disagreement and then move on with your life.

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  12. @Franklin:

    I also assume that Podesta’s e-mail is in regards to the campaign’s internal polling, so that they have the best information possible. This isn’t Podesta trying to change the results of the public polls like Gallup or Rasmussen.

    Exactly.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  13. DrDaveT says:

    So ZeroHedgers love stratified sampling, but hate oversampling? Sheesh. File that in the same bucket as people who approve of the Affordable Care Act but hate Obamacare…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 0

  14. JohnMcC says:

    Ed Kilgore writing now-a-days in the New York Magazine covered this story today and makes the point that at least the WikiLeaks people and the Drudge people must have known that the ‘over-sampling’ was normal polling business. He points out the amazing cynicism of the “news” outlets that supply the conservative side of the internet with it’s “information”.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  15. Gromitt Gunn says:

    My mother is convinced that the local CBS affiliate (in one of the reddest counties in Texas…) is biased against Trump because they dare to cite polling which indicates that Clinton is ahead in the overall race. And report on Trump’s actual words. So, yeah.

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  16. dxq says:

    The conservative movement has become a religion for the innumerate.

    I’m now seeing conservatives on FB rejecting anything from Snopes out-of-hand as Liberal Propaganda. They’re literally trained to reject evidence.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 0

  17. James Pearce says:

    @dxq:

    They’re literally trained to reject evidence.

    Pretty much. Snopes became Snopes because in the pre-Facebook, pre-Twitter era, everyone’s Right Wing uncle spread this nonsense via FWD’d e-mails. They’ve been rejecting Snopes since their liberal nieces and nephews started replying all with Snopes links.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  18. dxq says:

    What is the GOP going to do with its voters?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  19. Andrew says:

    It would be a more apt term to call conservatives: Regressatives.
    A brand new word to a group of people who use juvenile and immature methods for adult situations.
    Mostly everything everyone has listed over polls, the media, us vs them mentality, the government.

    When we are dealing with people who do not want to deal with facts any more. It is more or less making up rules on the playground when we were all children.

    Regressatives.™

    /sniff

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  20. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Oh, I believe it; I just don’t actually KNOW many people like that myself. Then again, I have an abysmally small circle of friends and acquaintances.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  21. ptfe says:

    @dxq: Eh, we all suffer from category rejection. The problem is that even sources like the National Enquirer — which most of us would consider…er…shaky at best — are right sometimes.

    Where conservative media consumers fail is in evaluating case-by-case. They generally reject anything from particular sources out-of-hand as opposed to using the source to inform some sort of confidence level in the information. There’s a strong tendency towards binary evaluations, and they don’t update their models of trustworthiness in a rational way.

    As @Mikey notes above, it’s the Mythbusters idea of, “I reject your reality and substitute my own.” The only problem is that conservative media subverts the quote’s original intent. It was initially said in jest by Adam when he incorrectly predicted an experimental outcome, then post hoc changed that “prediction” and was busted on the shift. The quote is an insistence on always having had the right model, rather than an insistence on a false reality that belies the evidence.

    Instead we get furious belief in the false, back-filled with rumor and innuendo designed to make that artifice feel “correct”. If you believe otherwise, you don’t understand the truth of the artifice and are therefore even more wrong, even if whatever evidence you have is plain for everyone to see. My magic wings surely make me fly — your blindness to that just shows you can’t be trusted.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  22. Davebo says:

    Classic first stage Kübler-Ross here. We’ll never get to acceptance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  23. gVOR08 says:

    @Mikey:

    His response was, essentially, “I still believe what I believe.”

    Another demonstration that conservatism is, for all practical purposes, a religion They believe what their tribe’s shaman’s told them to believe. “True” means true to the faith.

    Michael Reynolds believes that conservatism flows from a lack of imagination. That’s part of it, but they seem able to be hugely imaginative when it comes to rationalizing the cognitive dissonance. I don’t think they’re incapable of imagination, it’s just not one of the first tools they take out of the kit. My theory is that their default is to look at everything in terms of morality, a morality I find strange, in which causing the deaths of a hundred thousand plus Iraqi’s is a lesser sin than, say, burning a flag.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  24. al-Ameda says:

    @Mikey:

    And even when the real polls in 2012 predicted the actual outcome with 99% accuracy, here we are four years later with them making basically the same argument, just with a slightly different type of bad reasoning.

    I had a conversation with a conservative during which I brought up some indisputable–and I mean really, truly indisputable–fact. His response was, essentially, “I still believe what I believe.” (Like Mythbusters: “I reject your reality and substitute my own.”)

    That perfectly describes 6 of my 8 brothers and sisters, and add my father to that mix. All of them were shocked that Romney lost, they bought the Conservative Media Complex’s bill of goods that ‘mainstream’ polling was very, very wrong, that Romney would win easily.

    You just can’t have an honest discussion when there are no facts that can be agreed upon. It goes like this:
    Me: “25 different polls show Obama winning by 4 to 5 points, so right now it seems very probable that Obama will win.”
    Them: “The polling is biased, I believe the poll that has Romney up by 6%.”:
    Me: “Which poll?”
    Them: “I can’t remember, but there is one that does …”
    Me: “Okay, but why do you believe that poll, and not the other 25?”
    Them: “{{{insert a comment about how you can’t believe polls because … ”
    (1) “I’ve never been polled.”
    (2) “a sample size of 800 polled predicts a race with 10s of millions of voters? No way!”
    (3) “Everybody I talk to hates Obama …”

    Me: “Except for me, the only people you talk to agree with you ….”
    Them: “What has Obama accomplished?”
    Me: “You mean besides saving the auto industry …. ?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  25. michael reynolds says:

    @gVOR08:

    I don’t quite say conservatism flows from lack of imagination, but that lack of imagination is typical of conservatives. Lack of imagination = lack of empathy which enables narrow self-interest in decision-making. But I don’t know where the chicken and egg are in this. I think probably lack of imagination is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the creation of conservatism.

    I don’t think morality is a prime motivator, either, I think that’s just the bullsh!t veneer they use to cover a very narrow, self-seeking, close-minded world view. They want us to think it’s about morality, but it took evangelicals what, ten seconds to decide that a candidate who grabs married women by the pussy is just hunky dory? Morality is a weapon to them, something to be used to beat on other people, not something that guides their own choices.

    Honestly, and I suspect you agree, it’s hard to think about conservatism since that word no longer means much of anything. ‘Conservatives’ have lately taken to demanding a single payer health care system, the destruction of elites, an end to trade, and a weird fantasy nostalgia. None of that is conservative, it’s just random emotional bleating without theme or internal logic. Conservatism now is nothing but the latest self-appointed victim group whining about unfairness.

    All the ‘c’ word means is, “I’m white and I’m mad.” Mad about gays and mad about Mexicans and mad about African-Americans and mad about women; mad because you live in Analwart, Arkansas and there are no ‘good jobs;’ mad because people won’t automatically defer to your preferred superstition; made because people see your gun collection and think you’re a nut; mad because women still have control over their own bodies; mad because the four decade economic free ride we took in the aftermath of WW2 and the Cold War is over. Mad, mad, mad, and lashing out. Old, rural white people are upset that the world is changing, and they lack the will to adapt.

    Which does bring us back to imagination, because imagination is the mental tool that enables adaptation to rapidly-changing circumstances. Imagination = future.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  26. michael reynolds says:

    @dxq:

    They don’t have voters, the voters have them. The GOP right now, this minute, means nothing quantifiable. It’s in a state of flux.

    About 1 in 5 Republicans still has some notion of the usual Reaganite pseudo-conservative mythology; but about 4 in 5 Republican voters just casually abandoned everything their party supposedly stands for (except making the rich richer) and has run off whoring after a carnival barker who manages to combine Benito Mussolini with Pennywise the Clown, and who literally doesn’t even know what he’s supposed to pretend to believe.

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  27. JR says:

    You know, I used to think that conservatives were just channeling fake outrage when it came to these conspiracies, but now I just wonder if these people are just stupid.

    It may sound arrogant and elitist. But seriously, what benefit does Podesta get for trying to rig public polls(which are far cheaper and more unreliable then internal polling)? There is no reason for any competent campaign to go that route.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  28. Kari Q says:

    If it was only polls that they fail to understand, we would be much better off nationally.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  29. Scott says:

    I can’t wait til Kellyanne Conway is on a news show. She’ll either skirmed uncomfortablely or put these innumerate deplorables in their place. I suspect she is looking to salvage some remnant of reputation and dignity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  30. MBunge says:

    honest discourse regardless of partisan preferences.

    You mean like an ABC poll showing Trump down by 12% leading to an explosion of “the race is over” chatter, even though that poll is as far outside the mainstream as the polls showing Trump tied or ahead in the race?

    By the way, do people remember that the Real Clear Politics polling average in 2012 had Obama leading by just 0.7% immediately before the election, which he actually won by 3.9%?

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/us/general_election_romney_vs_obama-1171.html

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

  31. Slugger says:

    Following the last election it occurred to me to wonder whether some political consultants were flimflaming their clients. I don’t think that Mitt Romney is that capable of dissimulation, and yet he seemed quite sure about being ahead and ultimate victory. Was he being fed a rosy outlook to continue the cash flow? He certainly would not be the only leader who was surrounded by courtiers and yesmen who were pumping his treasury dry. I mean when Karl Rove was pinning his hopes for victory in Ohio on Cuyahoga county it struck me that there might be some bs in that assessment.
    Trump is vulnerable to flattery. Would he listen to a consultant who told him that he was behind in the polls and needs to adjust his positions, or would he favor someone who told him all is good and just keep on keeping on?
    Perhaps, the denial of polling data at the top reflects sucking up for profit. Each candidate last time spent a billion or more. That much money must attract some unscrupulous folks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  32. @MBunge:

    You mean like an ABC poll showing Trump down by 12% leading to an explosion of “the race is over” chatter, even though that poll is as far outside the mainstream as the polls showing Trump tied or ahead in the race?

    Anyone who thinks one poll is sufficient to make an argument is likely engaging in motivating and/or sloppy thinking.

    By the way, do people remember that the Real Clear Politics polling average in 2012 had Obama leading by just 0.7% immediately before the election, which he actually won by 3.9%?

    I am not sure what point you are trying to make here. Polls aren’t perfect. Indeed, they come with this thing called “the margin of error.” Such a fact is a far cry different from what I am describing in this post.

    You appear to be flailing about here.

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  33. CSK says:

    @Scott:

    Conway acknowledged yesterday on Meet the Press that Trump is “behind.”

    As for where the Trumpkins get their information about polling, you have to understand that they’ve abandoned the traditional conservative media–Fox, the Washington Times, the National Review, The Weekly Standard, The American Spectator, etc.–as hopelessly left-wing and totally in the tank for Hillary Clinton.

    Go over to Lucianne.com some time. The only legitimate news sources for the Trumpkins are: Taki’s Magazine, The Conservative Treehouse, Breitbart, The Gateway Pundit, and God help us, Inforwars. If they were allowed to post articles from Amren and The Stormer they would.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  34. @MBunge: If want to make a more sophisticated comparison, I would suggest looking back at the 528 model right before the election in 2012: click.

    If your point is that polling is not accurate, I would suggest that 538, to date at least, has demonstrated a great deal of intellectual integrity and impressive analysis via their analysis of polls.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  35. Same deal in 2008.

    For those models to work, good polling is needed as the raw material.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  36. CSK says:

    @Slugger:

    Trump is more than vulnerable to flattery, which is why I wonder how long Kellyanne Conway, who told Chuck Todd that Trump is losing, will remain on board.

    But then again, I do believe Trump knows he’s losing, and has for some time, which is why he’s been ranting about a rigged election since August.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  37. @CSK: Of the various things concerning me, this is one of them (and is why I am starting to buy into the notion that post-election there will be some sort of “Trump TV”).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  38. NW-Steve says:

    @gVOR08:

    My theory is that their default is to look at everything in terms of morality, a morality I find strange, in which causing the deaths of a hundred thousand plus Iraqi’s is a lesser sin than, say, burning a flag.

    My belief that it isn’t an allegiance to morality, but rather to a “natural order of things”. It isn’t a question of what is right, but rather how things should be partly because they have always been that way. That may seem like a distinction without a difference, but I believe that it is a real difference in this context.

    The Natural Order involves certain fixed visions of the hierarchical relationships of both people and ideas, which are deemed intrinsic rather than situational. In this context, a burning a flag is offensive to the way things should be. Causing the death of a hundred thousand plus Iraqis is not, even if many (but not all) would admit that it is regrettable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  39. dxq says:

    Fact-free conservative media is a symptom of GOP troubles, not a cause

    “Trump lies and lies and lies and lies and lies and he does not even respect his supporters enough to lie well. You would think he would get in trouble for this, but Republican elites have spent so many years intentionally discrediting the media and policy experts and others who would dare to tell the truth about the public policy that his lies are, in fact, convincing enough for the conservative base.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  40. Mikey says:

    @dxq:

    Republican elites have spent so many years intentionally discrediting the media and policy experts and others who would dare to tell the truth about the public policy that his lies are, in fact, convincing enough for the conservative base.

    I think it goes even further than that. I think a lot of them are no longer able to discern truth from bullshit. Their ability to do so is like an unused muscle that has atrophied to the point of uselessness. They’ve spent years discrediting not only the experts, but the very tools those experts use. And now it’s impossible for them to figure out the difference because they no longer have the necessary intellectual capability.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  41. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Well, I’ve read that as far back as last July, Trump’s son-in-law was approaching potential backers about investing in a Trump Network of some sort. (By the way, someone cleverly bought up all the variations on Internet domain names for a Trump network, and Trump is, of course, threatening to sue.) Setting up a cable channel is an expensive proposition, and he might be able to get money from the Mercers and Sheldon Adelson, but I doubt if there would be many other big donors willing to subsidize it. For one thing, a lot of them find Trump not just personally repellent, but not a very good businessman.

    So I don’t know. I can see how becoming the alt-right competitor to Fox would appeal to Trump’s diseased ego, but is it a dream within reach for him? Are there that many viewers who find Fox too left-wing for their tastes?

    I can actually see Trump doing this, and failing wretchedly. After all, this is the guy who bought the Eastern Airlines shuttle for 10 million, destroyed it in three years, and lost 100 million the process.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  42. Pch101 says:

    @CSK:

    TrumpTV = Breitbart TV. There’s certainly an audience for it.

    Right-wing media is a great business. Their lack of faith in the mainstream leaves plenty of room for another outlet. The devotees read multiple sources, as they collectively provide a sense of validation.

    The more hyperbolic, the better. Crazy talk = Straight talk!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  43. CSK says:

    @Pch101:

    Speak of the devil. Trump appears to have launched an actual prototype of Trump TV: A video on his Facebook page, a new episode every night at 6:30–live from the campaign war room at Trump Tower!!! Tonight’s episode apparently featured interviews with Kellyanne Conway and Jason Miller.

    No word on whether the man himself will be making any appearances in future episodes.

    Stay tuned!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  44. Pch101 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    What Bunge seems to be doing is taking some random internet reactions to a particular poll, and then conflating them into one of his usual strawmen. Not worth the bother.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  45. @Pch101:

    TrumpTV = Breitbart TV. There’s certainly an audience for it.

    Exactly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  46. @Pch101: Occupational hazard–the belief that enough good information will push out the bad. The idea that learning is possible.

    Idealistic, I know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  47. Tyrell says:

    There are so many polls out there now. Who is keeping watch and monitoring ? I liked the good old days when the only poll was Gallup.
    And you have that guy on MSNBC who pores and obsesses and waves his arms over the electoral map; much like some sorcerer over a fire pit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  48. DrDaveT says:

    @ptfe:

    Where conservative media consumers fail is in evaluating case-by-case.

    In order to evaluate, you have to have a mechanism, an algorithm, a process for evaluating. And you have to have some facts to start with. When you’re part of the team that has both jettisoned science and invented new facts from whole cloth, how exactly are you supposed to get to truth? The terrifying success of the GOP is that it has rendered about half of America incapable of rational thought. What could possibly go wrong?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  49. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Oh, I don’t know; I still work from the belief that learning is possible, and I only do substitute (replacement) teaching, so I have a lot more excuse to be cynical.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  50. Pch101 says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    They do a great job of learning. Unfortunately, most of what they learn is crap.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  51. Tyrell says:

    @Pch101: too many school systems are being ran by politicians and administrators
    who have never worked in a classroom. The next time you see a politician, ask them how kids learn. I would love to hear their answer. Scary – that’s what it is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9

  52. Pch101 says:

    Speaking of innumeracy, this is what Trump booster Scottie Nell Hughes said yesterday on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360:

    Yeah, but let me talk about the frustration of the polls, what Jim Acosta is seeing out these rallies, why, I think, people are upset with media. Even our own CNN poll, granted it’s based off of a certain algorithm, has 37 percent Democrat, 33 percent of independent, 30 percent GOP. That is absolutely higher Democrats that are being polled than even Pew Research has done over the last 12 years of what the average should be. So when people hear that, they go, wait a minute, these polls are being skewed towards Hillary Clinton, towards the Democrats. And they get that frustration …

    I don’t know what’s worse: The fact that something that moronic could be said on a national television network by a spokesperson for a major political candidate, or that nobody else on the panel of supposed thought leaders could be bothered to correct her.

    Is there not a single person on the hard right who successfully completed a statistics class? While I’m glad that some of them appear to possess some degree of literacy, their inability to understand the stuff that they do read is something to behold. They’re not only dumb, but they’re proud to be dumb.

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  53. CSK says:

    Trump maintained yesterday to a roundtable of farmers in Florida that the press is pushing phony polls in order to suppress voter turnout.

    The man is:
    1. Either too stupid to realize that by constantly talking about rigged elections he’s suppressing his own turnout.

    2. Or justifying his inevitable loss in two weeks by insisting that if it hadn’t been for voter fraud and phony polls, he’d have won in a landslide.

    I suspect it could be both.

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  54. Mu says:

    I think you’re all missing the point of the exercise:
    1) Claim polls are rigged
    2) Election follows poll predictions
    3) As you proved the polls were rigged, the election must have been rigged too.
    QED, you didn’t lose.

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  55. C. Clavin says:

    @MBunge:
    RCP includes partisan polling, like Rasmussen. I don’t even pay attention to them.

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  56. CSK says:

    @Mu:

    Well, of course. It’s the self-fulfilling prophecy.

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  57. C. Clavin says:

    The author of the Zero Hedge post (which was shared by Drudge) clearly thinks that “oversampling” means over-representing certain groups in the poll to artificially inflate their importance in the results.

    Zero Hedge is a joke. Go there if you want to read positive things about the Gold Standard and Climate Change Denial and all about rigged Voting Machines.
    They are the ones that Chicken Little Guarneri linked to, back in February, with this incredibly accurate (not) prediction…
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-02-25/we-are-heading-anarchy-official-says-eu-will-completely-break-down-10-days

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  58. C. Clavin says:

    Hey, how is all that “Build the Wall” talk working out for you Donnie?

    Hillary Clinton’s campaign is touting an “unprecedented” rate of early voting among Latino voters in Florida, citing a 99 percent increase from 2012 in the number of ballots cast so far.

    Remember that Romney lost FL in 2012.
    As for un-skewing that number…

    “There’s nothing about that number that’s not a big deal…Democratic consultant Steve Schale said…Florida does report exactly who votes every day, so those numbers are accurate.”

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  59. gVOR08 says:

    @NW-Steve:

    My belief that it isn’t an allegiance to morality, but rather to a “natural order of things”.

    I decided not to go there in order to keep my comment simple, but yes, their morality is based on a belief in a simple “natural order”. I chose my examples to reflect this. The deaths of a hundred thousand brown people is unfortunate, but destroying a symbol of my tribe is sacrilege,

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  60. CSK says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Silly fellow. Don’t you realize that:

    1. All those Latinos/Latinas are illegal aliens or felons. Or dead people.
    2. The voting machines are all rigged so that when you cast a vote for Trump, the machine automatically changes it to a vote for Clinton.
    3. The Enemedia and the Democratic Party are colluding to suppress Republican voter turnout.
    4. The press is lying about the results.

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  61. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: There is a political analogy to Gresham’s Law, i.e., bad information drives out good information. I recognize John Stuart Mill would disagree, but there’s a lot of evidence in favor of it.

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  62. Kylopod says:

    @Pch101: It brings to mind the exchange from A Fish Called Wanda:

    “You think you’re an intellectual, don’t you, ape?”

    “Apes don’t read philosophy.”

    “Yes they do, Otto, they just don’t understand it!”

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  63. Mikey says:

    @Kylopod: Man, if I had a dollar for every time that scene came to my mind this election cycle, I’d be able to pay cash for one of these.

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