Line of the Day, “Unskewed” Edition

"I’ve been hearing from people inside the Tea Party movement and Republican movement calling to say that they support what I’m doing.  It’s given them a boost of confidence. They’re glad to see that someone’s questioning the credibility of national polls."—Dean Chambers of unskewedpolls.com.

Chambers is recalculating polls at his site based on what he thinks is a more accurate partisan distribution in the samples.  This so-called “unskewing” makes the numbers more favorable to Romney.  As such, that this is resulting in partisan attaboys is hardly shocking. 

The phrase “epistemic closure” comes to mind.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. 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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The phrase “epistemic closure” comes to mind.

    “Bury one’s head in the ground” comes to mine.

  2. DC Loser says:

    The right continues their drift into an alternate reality.

  3. Barry says:

    It is sweeeeeeeeeeeet to watch.

  4. mattb says:

    It would be great if he goes so far as to “unskew” the election results if Obama wins.

  5. Alex Knapp says:

    “And if ever, by some unlucky chance, anything unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there’s always soma to give you a holiday from the facts.”

  6. Fiona says:

    @mattb:

    It would be great if he goes so far as to “unskew” the election results if Obama wins.

    I actually think that’s part of the plan behind this whole “unskewed” nonsense. If, as likely, Obama wins, they can use it to expand the conservative meme that the so-called liberal media successfully skewed the polls to depress voter turnout among conservatives. Combine depressed voter turnout with whatever “evidence” they find of widespread voter fraud, and they can argue that Obama somehow stole the election. The myth of conservative victim hood can thus be reinforced.

    It’s not so much that these guys aren’t aware of reality as it is they want to shape a certain narrative.

  7. PJ says:

    The Soviet Union called, it wants its made up reality back.

  8. DC Loser says:

    KENT, Ohio — As I was leaving an Obama campaign rally here — roaring, enthusiastic, packed with gleeful liberals and bright-eyed college kids — a red pickup truck festooned with “NOBAMA” signs was circling the perimeter, the man at the wheel yelling unintelligible slogans. He passed by a heavyset woman in a fuzzy pink sweater who was sitting on the rain-dampened sidewalk, smoking a cigarette. “Your friend’s losing, dude!” she called out.

    Despite his protestations to the contrary, Mitt Romney currently appears to be losing the presidential election, and his problems are especially acute in Ohio, the state no Republican has ever won the presidency without. A new New York Times poll Wednesday put Romney a shocking 10 points behind Obama; even the most optimistic Democrats have a hard time believing the president, who won Ohio by less than 5 points in 2008, could win the state by 10 this time around. The most optimistic Republicans, for their part, do not believe any polls at all these days, since, in a highly suspicious coincidence, they are nearly unanimous in showing Romney behind.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/09/romney-is-flailing-in-ohio/262925/

  9. bookdragon01 says:

    @Fiona: I’m more that concerned that’s part of a narrative to counter accusations of voter disenfranchisement if somehow Obama loses.

    “See? It wasn’t because we kept over half a million people from voting in PA, or purged minority voters in FLA, OH and a dozen other states. It was because the polls were all wrong because they were skewed to favor Obama.”

  10. Fiona says:

    @bookdragon01:

    I agree. I don’t think the two motives are incompatible.

  11. Just Me says:

    I have no doubt that the polls are weighted too heavily towards democrats, but I am equally convinced that Obama would still be leading in most states he needs to win the election if the polls were less skewed.

    I think Romney is losing, and is likely to lose, but I suspect the actual resuts on election day will show a much closer race than the polls. I am not sure Romney has the ability to make up the ground he needs to make up in order to beat Obama.

  12. mantis says:

    I have no doubt that the polls are weighted too heavily towards democrats

    No doubt? Ok, then how is this happening, exactly? Are fewer Republicans agreeing to do polls? Are the polling firms weighting by party ID? If you have no doubt then you must have an explanation for how this is happening.

  13. PJ says:

    From TPM:

    Fox & Friends: The Polls Are Rigged!

    As TPM points out, Fox News own polling gives Obama a 5+ point lead in Ohio, Virginia and Florida…

  14. LCaution says:

    Is he for real? I went to the site. No statistical justification as far as I can see. Could it be a hoax? Joke? Satire?

  15. mantis says:

    @LCaution:

    Could it be a hoax? Joke? Satire?

    I’m afraid not. The right wing has lived inside its own self-constructed bubble for so long now that they truly believe that all information that does not fit into their view is fraudulent. They hate Obama and know for a fact that he is a Kenyan/Muslim/Socialist/Fascist who hates America and they firmly believe the majority agrees with them. They also believe that “the media” are corrupt and out to get them, so if polls show Obama leading, those polls must be fraudulent. If Obama wins, they will blame voter fraud.

    It’s not just politics, but a variety of issues their bubble universe distorts. I truly believe that pretty soon you’ll see rightwingers going outside in winter coats on warm days, claiming that the temperature is just an invention of the global warming conspiracy.

  16. Smooth Jazz says:

    “The phrase “epistemic closure” comes to mind.”

    Yeah right, What can be considered epistemic crappola is a poll that suggests Libs will outvote Reps by 10% (ie Dems 35, Reps 25, Ind 40 or something) in 2012, when Obama’s approval ratings hoving in the Mid to late 40% range.Tjhe country is not all that impressed wiht Obama, even if 99% of the Wash DC/NY/Echo Chamber cocktail circuit is. If you really think Dems are going to vote more than Reps by 10% in OH or FLA this year, I have a great bridge I can sell Liberals like you at a terrific price. BTw, It should trouble you that Romney is beating Obama among INDs in all these polls. That cannot be rigged unfortunately.

  17. mantis says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    Moron,

    What can be considered epistemic crappola is a poll that suggests Libs will outvote Reps by 10% (ie Dems 35, Reps 25, Ind 40 or something) in 2012

    Polls aren’t suggesting that at all. First of all, most of the election polls do not ask “Are you a Liberal or a Republican” as you seem to think. Second, people answer the questions presented by the polls. Polls ask what party they identify with. A lot fewer people are identifying themselves as Republicans right now, probably due to the fact that you idiots have nominated a lying vampire robot to run for president.

    In any case, I still haven’t been seeing a ten point spread trend in the polls. Do you just grab one outlier and rage against that as if it were the average?

    in 2012, when Obama’s approval ratings hoving in the Mid to late 40% range.

    According to what? Gallup has Obama’s job approval at 50%. His favorability is at 53%, compared to 48% for Romney. RCP favorability averages have Obama at 50.7%, with Romney at 44.1%.

    Tjhe country is not all that impressed wiht Obama, even if 99% of the Wash DC/NY/Echo Chamber cocktail circuit is.

    “The country” is not something living in your head, Kenny G. It’s a real thing and you don’t get to decide what we all think.

    If you really think Dems are going to vote more than Reps by 10% in OH or FLA this year, I have a great bridge I can sell Liberals like you at a terrific price.

    Who exactly says that will happen? Anyone?

    BTw, It should trouble you that Romney is beating Obama among INDs in all these polls. That cannot be rigged unfortunately.

    It should trouble you that you get all your facts wrong, all the time, including this one. However, it doesn’t seem to trouble you at all. You must love it in your bubble.

  18. Smooth Jazz says:

    “Polls aren’t suggesting that at all. First of all, most of the election polls do not ask “Are you a Liberal or a Republican” as you seem to think. Second, people answer the questions presented by the polls. Polls ask what party they identify with. A lot fewer people are identifying themselves as Republicans right now, probably due to the fact that you idiots have nominated a lying vampire robot to run for president. ”

    Hey BOZO, Check the internals on the NBC or CBS or ABC or whatever juiced poll that comes along next. A DEM 10% TURNOUT ADVANTAGE IS EXACTLY WHAT THESE POLLS ARE SUGGESTING. Your “lot fewer people identifying themselves as Reps” is a canard you just pulled out of your arse. Given that the national trackers show a close to a tie based on more reasonable turnout models they are seeing (Dem = Rep, Dem 2+ versus Repub), these rigged polls based on Dem turnout advantages that never occured before in history make no sense.

    IF A LOT MORE PEOPLE HAVE SUDDENLY FALLEN IN LOVE WITH THE DEM PARTY AND OBAMA, WHY IS THE HUGE TRACKERS SUCH AS GALLUP NOT SEEING IT?? What makes more sense is the Lib polls by NY Times, CBS, CNN, CBS that are in the tank for Obama are screening more Libs than is typical. Otherwise, the huge National Trackers would be showing the same thing. Remember, Rasmussen was the most accurate pollster for the 2004 & 2008 Presidential elections. Ayuh!!!!

  19. mantis says:

    Hey BOZO, Check the internals on the NBC or CBS or ABC or whatever juiced poll that comes along next. A DEM 10% TURNOUT ADVANTAGE IS EXACTLY WHAT THESE POLLS ARE SUGGESTING.

    Which poll, exactly? Did you see how I linked to three polls? That is because I don’t just make up numbers. Provide a link to a poll that claims that the Dems will hold a 10% turnout advantage. Hell, link to any poll that claims to know what the turnout will be weeks before the election.

    Your “lot fewer people identifying themselves as Reps” is a canard you just pulled out of your arse.

    No, I have polling data to back it up. What do you have but an all caps button and a small brain?

    Given that the national trackers show a close to a tie based on more reasonable turnout models they are seeing (Dem = Rep, Dem 2+ versus Repub)

    The only poll out there that weights by party ID based on turnout models is Rasmussen. You’re an idiot.

    these rigged polls based on Dem turnout advantages that never occured before in history make no sense.

    Again, you are incapable of identifying any particular poll that shows this. Why is that?

    IF A LOT MORE PEOPLE HAVE SUDDENLY FALLEN IN LOVE WITH THE DEM PARTY AND OBAMA, WHY IS THE HUGE TRACKERS SUCH AS GALLUP NOT SEEING IT??

    Calm down, Kenny. Nobody said anyone is falling in love with anything. Pollsters ask what party people affiliate with. Love is not implied, and people’s answers change frequently. For instance, even in Rasmussen’s party ID poll you see a 5.2% increase in those identifying as Republican between July and November 2010. The GOP went from trailing the Dems by a couple of points to leading them in a very short time. What happened? A campaign happened, and the Republicans won a lot of seats.

    If you don’t believe those numbers can move quickly, then you don’t believe the very poll that you and your fellow rightwingers are using as a bible for polling now.

    What makes more sense is the Lib polls by NY Times, CBS, CNN, CBS that are in the tank for Obama are screening more Libs than is typical.

    For what purpose? How does failing to get accurate numbers help Obama?

    Otherwise, the huge National Trackers would be showing the same thing.

    National Polls are not worth very much when the election is decided by the electoral college. Romney will take the white southern vote by huge margins, and that is keeping him competitive on popular vote, but you can’t win the presidency that way.

    Remember, Rasmussen was the most accurate pollster for the 2004 & 2008 Presidential elections.

    Remember, Rasmussen was the least accurate pollster, with a large Republican bias, in 2010!

  20. Smooth Jazz says:

    “Remember, Rasmussen was the least accurate pollster, with a large Republican bias, in 2010!”

    NaNaNaNa. Blah Blah Blah. You say Fe. I say Fi. RASMUSSEN MOST ACCURATE POLLSTER IN 2004 & 2008 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenkrogue/2012/09/24/romney-obama-tied-in-rasmussen-poll-most-accurate-in-2008-2004/

    Quiinnipiac may have been credible in the past, but now that they’ve thrown their in with NY Times & CBS, organs openly hostile to Romney and in the tank for Obama, I would not put it past them to juice a poll with more lIbs to appease their sponsors. REgarding the Dem 105+ samples, just GOOG the latest NY Times/Quuinipiac polls for OH, FL & PA. It’s all there. And please don’t come back with PPP, DailyKOS’ poster. Ayuh!!!

  21. PJ says:

    Smooth Jazz seems to be a bit unhinged.

  22. mantis says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    NaNaNaNa. Blah Blah Blah.

    Thank you for summarizing your argument so succinctly.

  23. PJ says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    IF A LOT MORE PEOPLE HAVE SUDDENLY FALLEN IN LOVE WITH THE DEM PARTY AND OBAMA, WHY IS THE HUGE TRACKERS SUCH AS GALLUP NOT SEEING IT??

    If you stopped shouting and instead actually visited Gallup, then you would see that Obama currently is leading Romney by 6 points, 50-44.

    Also, this is a seven day average. The difference between Obama and Romney in the averages for the last 10 days has been the following: 1, 1, 0, 0, 0, 2, 2, 3, 6, 6.

    So, the Gallup poll is currently seeing a huge gain by Obama. The average between 09/17-23/2012 and 09/19-25/2012 went up four points, and once more, let me remind you that this is a seven day average, small daily changes will not have a big effect on the average, only big ones will.

    I’m guessing you will, from now on, stop referring to the Gallup poll as one you can trust? It’s going to be another untrustworthy liberal polls?
    I mean, with Obama now at a 50% approval rate, didn’t you, about three weeks ago, argue that Obama was toast if he didn’t rise above the 43% approval rate he had at that time?

  24. @Smooth Jazz: my question is: if you are confident that the polls are all nonsense, why get so exercised over them?

  25. PJ says:

    More about the Gallup poll, Obama held a 6 or 7 point for 3 days back in April, back when it was a 5 day average. Obama also held a 6 or 7 point lead for 3 days earlier this month due to his Convention bounce. This is the third time Obama has had a lead bigger than 5 points, and now it’s a seven day average and not a five day average, a day with an outlier poll would influence the latter more, and it’s not because of a Convention bounce.

  26. Smooth Jazz says:

    “I’m guessing you will, from now on, stop referring to the Gallup poll as one you can trust? It’s going to be another untrustworthy liberal polls?”

    I have absolutely no problem trusting Gallup. Unlike Quinnipiac, Marist & other polling entities sponsored by Obama sychophants NY Times, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, etc, Gallup has no vested interest in juicing their polls or screening more Libs to push a Liberal agenda their paying sponsors broadcast to the world. And YES, when Gallup had Obama JA at 43% I said that was trouble, and if he got near 50% he would be in great shape like all incumbents in our history running for reelection.

    If Rasmussen starts showing the same trend as Gallup, as both entities did after the Dem convention, then YES I would concede Romney is solidly behind, especially if the turnout models show a reasonable Dem 2%+ versus Repubs give or take. These are the only regular national polls I trust as their turnout models tend to be more representative. All I’m saying is that Dems voting by 9% – 10% more than Repubs this year, when in 2008 it was Dems 7%, is not credible. As boring as Romney is, there are still a lot of Repubs psyched about throwing out Obama that Rep turnout should carry over some momentum from their heavy turnout barely 2 years ago. Reps are going to turn out in masse this year because they hate Obama, not because they like Romney. Quinnipiac polling for NY Times and finding 9% – 10% Dem turnout margins in generally even starts like OH & FLA is not credibe.

    I would trust Quinnipiac and Marist more if they weren’t polling for NBC, CBS, NY Times,etc.

  27. mantis says:

    Here are some polls:

    Obama tops Romney by seven percentage points among likely voters in both Ohio (49-42 percent) and Virginia (50-43 percent). In Florida, the president holds a five-point edge (49-44 percent).

    As for party ID, the Ohio poll has the Dems at +8, and they’re at +5 in Florida and Virginia. Stupid liberal media. Oh wait…

  28. mantis says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    Unlike Quinnipiac, Marist & other polling entities sponsored by Obama sychophants NY Times, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, etc, Gallup has no vested interest in juicing their polls or screening more Libs to push a Liberal agenda their paying sponsors broadcast to the world

    How does inaccurate polling help sell ads, exactly?

  29. PJ says:

    @Smooth Jazz:
    How many polls are there with a 9 or 10 point (please don’t use %), D advantage?
    And why is anything more than a 2 point D advantage not reasonable?
    You do understand that there’s a third choice, Independent?
    Do you think Independents are splitting 50-50?
    Or do you think that there’s a lot of people who used to self identify themselves as Republicans who now identify themselves as Independent but vote for the Republican?

    2010 was a midterm election, you can’t compare midterm election turnouts with presidential election turnouts.
    Furthermore, the 2010 turnout wasn’t about heavy Republican turnout, it was about Democrats staying home.

    Also, I appreciate that you have stopped shouting. It’s more civil.

  30. jukeboxgrad says:

    smooth:

    Rasmussen was the most accurate pollster for the 2004 & 2008 Presidential elections.

    Rasmussen has Obama leading in OH, VA, FL, NV and WI. When you put that on a map, the result is 313-225. This is why Intrade has Obama at 77, an increase of 30% in less than 3 weeks.

    Keep hope alive.