The Delusions Of The Poll Denialists
Steven Taylor asked this morning where the poll denialists had gone now that the polls were showing Mitt Romney surging in the wake of last Wednesday’s debate. In that regard, Buzzfeed’s Ruby Cramer talked yesterday with Dean Chambers, the guy who originated the whole “skewed polls” meme just about two weeks ago:
Mitt Romney’s rise in the polls has produced conservative elation and, in some quarters, rather exotic explanations of the sources of Romney’s rise.
Indeed, when the Pew Research Center said Tuesday that Romney was leading President Obama by 4 percentage points among likely voters, conservatives were quick to embrace the new numbers. The national polling unit that would have been branded last month as “skewed,” was evidence this morning of a strong Romney rally, and some in the movement noted the change of mood with amusement.
“What are out formerly disgusting and now beloved polls telling us this morning?”tweeted the author David Limbaugh, Rush’s brother, Wednesday morning.
But Dean Chambers, the founder of the movement to unskew, says this isn’t just conservatives reversing the new numbers. The pollsters are actually becoming less skewed and more honest, he says — and the blogger is taking much of the credit.
“I exposed the polls for being very inaccurate,” Chambers told BuzzFeed. “I showed Romney leading in August and September when everyone thought Obama was ahead. Now pollsters are skewing less.”
On his website, unskewedpolls.com, Chambers did not alter, or re-weight, the new Pew poll at all. The poll is listed in his tracking table as having “0 Skew” — a first for the website.
Chambers attributes Romney’s rise in the polls to less unskewing — to taking a larger Republican sample size — and also to Romney’s solid debate performance. Pew says that it adjusted its Republican sample size because more voters are now identifying as Republicans, but Chambers dismisses that claim.
“I’m not buying that,” he said. “I think they polled a more balanced sample for the sake of being accurate. We’re getting closer to the election, and they’re all gonna claim their reputaiton based on their numbers in October.”
So, you see, they haven’t gone away they just think that they’ve scared the pollsters into creating less “skewed” polls than they have been to date. There’s no real evidence, of course, that there has been any significant change in the D/R/I balances of the major polls in the last week, but Chambers has decided to take an uptick in Romney’s numbers that is clearly tied to the results of last week’s debate and claim that it happened because he scared the pollsters. If it turns out that the polls start moving back in Obama’s favor, you can bet your bottom dollar that these people will be back in full force.