Well, Scratch Gallup off the List, I Guess

As best I can tell, the poll denialists have been clinging to Rasmussen and Gallup as the polls that show the race the closest.  I guess that Gallup has to be taken off the list now that it shows Obama at 50% with a 6-point lead on Romney nationally:  click.

Don’t fret, however:  the unskewed dude has Romney at  +7.4 on average.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
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. michael reynolds says:

    Fox News’ polling has also joined the conspiracy.

  2. The best explanation I have read of why all the polls don’t matter is this one.

  3. michael reynolds says:

    @Donald Sensing:
    Thanks for that. I now know just how little to respect your opinion.

  4. Modulo Myself says:

    @Donald Sensing:

    Did the worst explanation you’ve read lack both consonants and vowels?

  5. Modulo Myself says:

    Note that in the unskewed version of the Obama-controlled polls the only outlet who shows Obama winning is Fox.

    I can’t imagine what this means, but I’m sure it has to do with how great conservatives are in the face of overwhelming liberal malevolence.

  6. al-Ameda says:

    It is truly pathetic the amount of media attention that has been giving to the latest conservative complaint that polling is biased against conservative voters. Conservatives these days do not accept the results of any poll that does not conform to the results desired in their reality.

  7. Modulo Myself says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Actually, I think it’s pretty great. Either the polls are truly screwed or an enormous number of people are going to look incredibly stupid. If it’s the latter, then they will have to admit to being this stupid and gullible or they will dig deeper and go with the idea that millions of votes in every swing state were fraudulent.

  8. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Polls are a masturbatory exercise for people who are afraid of independent thought and need the comfort of groupthink. They let people who need the comfort of feeling like they are part of a crowd — especially a big crowd — think like they do. They need to be told that they are in the majority, and therefore implicitly correct.

    It’s groupthink. If you’re in the majority, then you have to be correct. And the more people who agree with you, then the more correct you are supposed to be.

    Here’s a fun point. Pretty much every poll says that a very large majority of Americans believe in God in some form, and only a small minority are atheists. What does that say about the proud, militant atheists here?

  9. Ed in NJ says:

    @Modulo Myself: @Modulo Myself:

    Actually, conservatism can never fail, it can only be failed in these people’s minds. Therefore, if Obama wins by the margins reflected in the polls, it does not mean the polls were right, it means the polls were deliberately manipulated to depress the Republican vote, leading to a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    This is not snark, this is what is going to be the next conspiracy theory. Move over birthers, here come the poll skewers.

  10. anjin-san says:

    What does that say about the proud, militant atheists here?

    That they are independent thinkers who don’t need groupthink? People who have no need to feel that they are in the majority? You know, exactly what you think you are, but are not.

    Can we get some smarter dummies in here? Please?

  11. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Here’s a fun point. Pretty much every poll says that a very large majority of Americans believe in God in some form, and only a small minority are atheists. What does that say about the proud, militant atheists here?

    It shows, empirically, that atheists are in the distinct minority. But, then again, that’s what polls do, especially with relatively simply questions (e.g., “do you believe in god or not?” or “for whom will you vote in November?”): provide us with empirical measures of public opinion.

    BTW, as is often the case, your argumentation skills are self-negating. If you think that “Polls are a masturbatory exercise for people who are afraid of independent thought and need the comfort of groupthink.” then what are you asserting about all those people in “Pretty much every poll [which say] that a very large majority of Americans believe in God in some form, and only a small minority are atheists”?

  12. Bennett says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: So when Republicans lead in a poll they should also be considered sheeple? Or am I missing a separate point? Atheists think they are a majority? People are front runners? You don’t know how to get your view across cogently?

  13. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Polls are a masturbatory exercise for people who are afraid of independent thought and need the comfort of groupthink.

    I wonder why the Romney campaign is spending millions on polling.

  14. Bennett says:

    @michael reynolds: They are gluttons for punishment?

  15. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    If you’re in the majority, then you have to be correct.

    How much straw did that take to build?

  16. jukeboxgrad says:

    donald:

    The best explanation I have read of why all the polls don’t matter

    Poll only matter if you want to know who’s going to win.

    The best proof I’ve seen that polls tell you who’s going to win is here. In the first table on that page, Silver summarizes polling going back to 1936:

    … the polling by this time in the cycle has been reasonably good, especially when it comes to calling the winners and losers in the race. Of the 19 candidates who led in the polls at this stage since 1936, 18 won the popular vote (Thomas E. Dewey in 1948 is the exception), and 17 won the Electoral College (Al Gore lost it in 2000, along with Mr. Dewey).

    So you have to go all the way back to 1948 to find an instance where the late-September polls did not correctly predict who was going to win the popular vote. That’s a pretty solid record.

  17. michael reynolds says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    My God! The conspiracy goes back that far?

  18. anjin-san says:

    The MSM was totally in the tank for libs in ’36…

  19. MM says:

    What none of the people who are convinced that the polls are so in the tank for Obama can explain is why they would do this. Yes, pollsters get a lot of business during election years, but its not like they go dormant in odd numbered years.

    These companies will be fighting for business in 2013, and being wildly inaccurate because liberals is really not going to be good for business.

    There’s just no benefit to a pollster to cook the books.

  20. jukeboxgrad says:

    My God! The conspiracy goes back that far?

    Yup. It was first arranged by Alinsky and ACORN, when they were both quite young. Don’t tell anyone I told you, because we could both in end up in a FEMA camp.

  21. Smooth Jazz says:

    “Well, Scratch Gallup off the List, I Guess…As best I can tell, the poll denialists have been clinging to Rasmussen and Gallup as the polls that show the race the closest. I guess that Gallup has to be taken off the list now that it shows Obama at 50% with a 6-point lead on Romney nationally:”

    LOL, HarHarHar. You Liberals are so funny & snarky. I almost needed BenGay after almost cracking a rib laughing at that one. What is going on here at OTB?? Is this forum all Liberal, all the time now??? James Joyner used to have a moderately balanced platform. Now 98% of the posts are left wing or Liberal snark jobs, and 99% of the commenters are Liberals. Good grief; I guess Mr JJ believes the country is now decidedly left wing after being moderate for most of recent history.

    At any rate: You better hope that minorities, hispanics, etc turn out in numbers similar to 2008 or better. Remember, many people are voting against Obama because they want him out, and would vote for Darth Vader to get rid of Obama. Many of these anti Obama voters don’t particularly like Romney. All your juiced polls are assuming 2008 turnout models and better for blacks, hispanics, etc. If these groups don’t turn out as much as 2008, I don’t think you’ll be joking or hiving up these snarky posts. I think you’ll need pepto bismol and more.

  22. @Smooth Jazz: My problem with what I call “poll denial” is based in the fact that I find it rather problematic to utterly deny reality because it does not fit one’s partisan preferences.

    I will be writing copious amounts, I expect, about how bad the polling was if all of these organizations turn out to have been wildly incorrect. If the Unskewed Dude ends up being right, that is going to have a very profound effect on a discipline that has methodologies rooted in almost three quarters of a century of work. That would be a very big deal. The thing is: there is no evidence to suggest that this will be the case.

    Your “arguments” about the current state of polling are based solely in the fact that you do not like the results and an assumption that if the NYT sponsors a poll, for example, that it must be biased. This is partisanship pure and simple. It is not reasoned dissent.

    Further, by your own logic polls from Fox ought to have a pro-Romney bias (after all, news organizations pay for the numbers that want, right?) and yet their polling is in lines with all the supposedly skewed stuff.

    The NBC/WSJ poll has Obama up by 5 among likely voters and 6 among registers voters: link. That poll is run by Bill McInturff, a pollster who could be classified as “Republican.” Also, in your analysis, which media organization is getting what they want from those polls, NBC or the WSJ?

    The snark in this post is the result of frustration with people who are refusing to be reasonable about reality.

  23. Scott says:

    What is going on here at OTB?? Is this forum all Liberal, all the time now??? James Joyner used to have a moderately balanced platform.

    Actually, I see OTB as neither conservative, moderate, or liberal but rather rationalist. The snark is for people who are disdainful of facts and logic.

  24. Tony W says:

    You better hope that minorities, hispanics, etc turn out in numbers similar to 2008 or better

    And here we finally have the obligatory racist rant. I suppose your next comment will decry how the president is dividing the nation?

    Remember, many people are voting against Obama because they want him out, and would vote for Darth Vader to get rid of Obama.

    Do you realize Darth Vader is ‘black’ too?

  25. Kylopod says:

    >The thing is: there is no evidence to suggest that this will be the case.

    And didn’t we have this very same argument four years ago?

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/can_the_polls_be_trusted/
    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/polls_wrong_obama_losing/

    Obviously, the doubters were proven correct. Ask President McCain.

  26. jukeboxgrad says:

    steven:

    I guess that Gallup has to be taken off the list now

    Another approach is to cite Gallup while falsifying their numbers. Here’s Pete du Pont in WSJ, about 9 hours ago:

    … the polls seem to show a good bit of volatility. … Gallup was plus-one for Mr. Romney in mid-August, plus-seven for Mr. Obama in early September, and plus-three for Mr. Obama in mid-September. In short, each candidate is holding 45% to 47% of the votes with roughly 6% to 10% undecided.

    He conveniently refrains from mentioning Gallup is +6 for Obama since 9/25, two days before he posted his article. Notice how he references “mid-September,” and then in his next sentence says “is,” as if the “mid-September” number is still current. But it’s not, and Gallup currently has Obama at 50%, not “47% of the votes.”

    And that 50% number is significant, because the last time Gallup had Mitt above 47% was April. Meanwhile, Obama has been at 47% or higher for the last month.

    I think this counts as lying, by a former governor, writing in WSJ. No wonder so many Republicans are so ignorant and misinformed.

  27. Nikki says:

    @Tony W: I know, right? Smooth Jazz seems to spout an awful lot of racist drivel for someone claiming to be black.

  28. goethean says:

    @Modulo Myself: I’m going to go way out on a limb and predict the latter.

  29. mattb says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    The snark in this post is the result of frustration with people who are refusing to be reasonable about reality.

    This!

    Or the other expression of frustration is the rather noticeable disappearance of populist conservative commentors from threads recently. People who used to post comments a few times a day — if not multiple times a week — have been strangely silent on most subjects. When they do appear they’ve mainly raised off topic issues or sarcastic, empty responses.

    Where as at this point in 2008 these folks were hopefully still predicting a McCain win, this time around it’s just nihilist snark.

  30. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    My God! The conspiracy goes back that far?

    Yup. It was first arranged by Alinsky and ACORN, when they were both quite young. Don’t tell anyone I told you, because we could both in end up in a FEMA camp.

    I have to kill you both now.

    (sarcasm, for the uninitiated)

  31. @jukeboxgrad:

    . It was first arranged by Alinsky and ACORN, when they were both quite young.

    Don’t forget the pivotal role played by the Black Panthers.

  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    The snark in this post is the result of frustration with people who are refusing to be reasonable about reality.

    Republicans? Unreasonable? About reality? Say it ain’t so!

  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: That goes for you too Steven. The conspiracy can not fail.

  34. @michael reynolds:
    And I have known for a very long time never to respect yours.

  35. anjin-san says:

    Smooth Jazz seems to spout an awful lot of racist drivel for someone claiming to be black.

    His self-professed love for Kenny G casts quite a bit of doubt on that claim.

  36. Davebo says:

    For some reason I’m picturing Jenos giving Donald Sensing a quick hand job. Toss in a Kenny G reference and that’s a mental picture I can live without.

    The Donald is a prolific internet poster. And it doesn’t bode well for sentience.

  37. Smooth Jazz says:

    “And here we finally have the obligatory racist rant. I suppose your next comment will decry how the president is dividing the nation?”

    “@Tony W: I know, right? Smooth Jazz seems to spout an awful lot of racist drivel for someone claiming to be black.”

    LOL, Yeah that’s the ticket: The obligatory “If you don’t like Obama” then you are racist canard. And my favorite: “If you are black and you don’t like Obama, something is wrong with you” I grew up in Bed Stuy & Brownsville, Brooklyn, NY. Love me some Najee, Norman Brown, Braxton Brothers & Gerald Albright Smooth Jazz. Love the 1960s, 1970s & 1980s R&B. And I am proud to call myself Black. That doesn’t mean I have to like Obama.

    Pointing out that certain constituencies like Blacks & Hispanics prefer Obama in large numbers and he needs those groups to turn out greater that historical norms is not racist; It’s a fact. Good Lord, you Libs should accept the fact that EVERY black person is not going to like Obama.

  38. mantis says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    you Libs should accept the fact that EVERY black person is not going to like Obama.

    Every black person is not going to like Obama? Every one? I don’t think that’s true.

    Learn to write.

  39. Smooth Jazz says:

    “Every black person is not going to like Obama? Every one? I don’t think that’s true.

    Learn to write.”

    I am proud to be African American and believe Obama is the worst President EVAH!!! Is that plain enough for you.LOL.

  40. mantis says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    I am proud to be African American and believe Obama is the worst President EVAH!!! Is that plain enough for you.LOL.

    It is grammatically correct. Stupid, but grammatically correct. Good job.

  41. An Interested Party says:

    The best explanation I have read of why all the polls don’t matter is this one.

    You’d be better off if you closed your eyes, clicked your heels together, and repeated over and over again some mantra about Romney winning the election…in either case, you aren’t going to get what you want…

    @Jenos Idanian #13: All that hot air (that was so ably destroyed by Steven) and your boy Mittens is still going to lose…you poor thing…

    I am proud to be African American and believe Obama is the worst President EVAH!!! Is that plain enough for you.LOL.

    Awwwwww…won’t you be so disappointed on November 6th…and all the LOLs in the world won’t make you feel any better…

  42. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Polls are a masturbatory exercise for people who are afraid of independent thought and need the comfort of groupthink.

    Well that explains why conservatives are obsessed with polls, and why I’ve invested in Dry Cleaning Futures.

  43. al-Ameda says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I wonder why the Romney campaign is spending millions on polling.

    Because it feels good?

  44. Buzz Buzz says:

    Davebo says:
    Friday, September 28, 2012 at 11:31

    For some reason I’m picturing Jenos giving Donald Sensing a quick hand job.

    This level of commentary seems pretty representative of the drones of the OTB hive.