Obama is Toast, Pollsters all Liars

Is Barack Obama toast?

Is Barack Obama toast?

Sean Malstrom, an analyst with a background in both politics and electronic games of whom I’d never heard until today, is getting quite a bit of linkage to a post debunking the entire political analysis game and explaining why Obama is Toast.

The essay in question is voluminous, taking many twists and turns that defy excerpting.  A small taste:

With polling, the collective delusion is the belief that the product of polling is the data. Remember, polls are a product that is sold like any other product. That stupid little chart that appears in the corner of every USA Today was not made for the purpose of ‘research’ and ‘data’. It was made just to show a stupid little graph on the paper because USA Today knows that little graphs and charts ’sell’ the paper more. Just because information is displayed in a chart or a graph does not make it ’scientific’ or a real ‘analysis’. But the product was to make the reader FEEL like it was and to sell more papers. The product of polls can and often are the readers. This became much more popular ever since polls became ‘news items’ themselves (before, polls were only supplements to news stories).

Let’s just say Malstrom is either a visionary genius or a leading candidate for craziest sumbitch on these here Internets.  I’ve got a strong hunch on that score but since it’s based mostly on polling data and actual acquaintances with pollsters and political analysts — and thus circular enough to make your head spin — I’ll join Moe Lane in withholding final judgment until the election returns come in.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Oh I see a few posts to fray liberal nerves even more: http://is.gd/6m8r and http://is.gd/6m8A

  2. Hoodlumman says:

    Your first link = broked

  3. James Joyner says:

    Fixed! Thanks.

  4. rodney dill says:

    While this would make me laugh maniacally, I don’t believe it will be the final outcome.

  5. RSR says:

    He’s far from the only one questioning the validity of the polls. Pollsters are oversampling Democrats to an extent that has no real historical basis. Essentially the pollsters are betting on a seismic shift in Democratic ID this election and if they’re wrong the polls will turn out to be very wrong.

  6. Triumph says:

    Let’s just say Malstrom is either a visionary genius or a leading candidate for craziest sumbitch on these here Internets.

    He sounds more like a Marxist. This bit is like Commodity Fetishism 101:

    Just because information is displayed in a chart or a graph does not make it ’scientific’ or a real ‘analysis’. But the product was to make the reader FEEL like it was and to sell more papers.

    This guy must be one of Hussein Obama’s disciples!

  7. Cerys Pundet says:

    Mmmmh, Toast!

  8. Jim Henley says:

    The product of polls can and often are the readers.

    I have never read a finer, truer sentence outside of a L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poem.

  9. Steve Plunk says:

    Having read his analysis I would categorize him as exceptionally smart.

    It would be nice to hear from anyone who would like to rebut all or any portion of what he had to say. The worth of any idea is how well it can withstand criticism.