Poll: 2004 Election Was Stolen

Rob Kall describes a survey his Op-Ed News conducted along with Zogby Polling* that found that Americans who watched any network other than Fox News overwhelmingly thought the 2004 presidential election was stolen.

Stolen Election Survey

Given that a majority of voters voted for George W. Bush in 2004–a fact that nobody disputes–the results initially struck me as initially implausible. This is even true given that the overwhelming number of Republicans that watch network news choose Fox and Democrats tend to watch CNN or one of the old line network shows.

Upon looking at the sampling methodology, I understood:

Zogby International conducted interviews of 707 likely voters online. Panelists who have agreed to participate in Zogby polls online were invited to participate in the survey. The online poll ran from 5/9/06 through 5/10/06. The margin of error is +/- 3.8 percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups. Slight weights were added to party, age, race, religion, and gender to more accurately reflect the population.

So, this was a self-selected online survey. Not exactly a random sample.

*Disclaimer: My wife is a VP at Public Opinion Strategies, a polling company that employs random sampling with useful results.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Christopher says:

    Looks like only smart, reasonable people watch FOX.

  2. legion says:

    Wow. The security issues with Diebold and general sleaziness in Ohio politics always made me think it a possibility, but I don’t think I’ve even heard my most granola-crunching friends say flat-out that 2004 was ripped.

  3. The thinking that 2004 was stolen is not unknown on the left. Part of this is Zogby’s prediction.

    As far as Zogby’s online polls, I have participated in a couple. He invites anyone to join his pool online. He then invites a subset of those to take a poll. He is selecting them (based on their demographics, answers to previous polls, randomly, I don’t know how he does it) to take which poll. S it is not the respondent who picks the poll.

    Zogby certainly hit one poll in 1996, but I haven’t been much impresses with him since. He seems to have a bias towards the democrats and that shows up in his predictions. A good example is his call for Kerry right before the election. So it may well be that people who respond to his offer to be in his online poll pool are more likely to be from the left than the right. But even so, these numbers should be an embarrassment to the MSM (except Fox).

    See also


    And finally, here is an article that explains the reasoning behind the 2004 was stolen theory. Note Zogby’s prediction as part of the ‘proof’.


  4. Roger says:

    The disparity between exit poll results and actual results in Dem districts in Ohio while the exit polls and results in Repub Ohio districts matched must give one pause. Throw in no-paper-trail Diebold machines insisted upon and controlled by Repubsand and the lawsuits that revealed how easily manipulable they are, and it is not too surprising people might have their doubts. That’s not even to mention 2000.

    Basically, this is another instance where we’re asked by Repubs, “just trust us.” Not surprisingly, many do not find this too reassuring.