The Liberal Media & the Polls

Has it ever crossed your mind — as you wade through Pravda-on-the-Hudson or Pravda-on-the-Potomac,  listen to National Pink Radio, or watch one of the networks that collectively constitute Pravda-on-the-Boob Tube — that the polls that they commission might be fixed and designed to manipulate the electorate?

No, you say. They wouldn’t do that, and the pollsters would not go along. Well, I am a suspicious fellow, and I regularly wonder whether the man who pays the pollster does not frequently determine the result. We know that these days the mainstream media “manages” the news in such a way as to manipulate the public. We know that they suppress news unfavorable to the party they favor and hype news unfavorable to the party they dislike. One need only mention the word Benghazi and the point is made.

Suppose, just suppose, that an outlet of the mainstream media hired a pollster who got results that the editors did not like one bit. Would they, could they demand that the numbers be rejiggered? Well, as John Podhoretz points out, this is precisely what the liberal Salt Lake Tribune recently did, and the Mason-Dixon pollsters responded by rolling over. Read his piece. It is a real eye-opener.

This may help explain why so many of the polls this year have been radically skewed towards the Democrats — with a partisan breakdown that, in many cases, makes 2008 look like a Republican year.

  1. BrentB67

    I have definitely considered that, but always disregarded the notion because it would harm the firm doing the survey. Would they sell their reputation in exchange for a few bucks to skew a poll? I don’t know, but who would use them again in the next election cycle?

  2. Paul A. Rahe
    C
    BrentB67: I have definitely considered that, but always disregarded the notion because it would harm the firm doing the survey. Would they sell their reputation in exchange for a few bucks to skew a poll? I don’t know, but who would use them again in the next election cycle? · 4 minutes ago

    Someone in search of a pliable firm.

  3. The Mugwump

    The fact that the polls are badly in error will be manifest in about six hours.  Establishing why will take a little longer.  It’s important for the health of the republic that the MSN is finally discredited, and exposed for propaganda artists they are.  It’s also important that we clean up the election process to eliminate fraud.    

  4. ctruppi

    After this election cycle and the final, complete capitulation of the MSM to the Democrat party, I believe that they are capable of anything to keep their guy in power.  Obama, besides being a Dem, is a sacred idea to these people and the thought of him being voted out as a failure is just not acceptable in the way a Kerry or Gore loss was to them.  

    If Dr Rahe is correct in his prediction of a Romney landslide, watching these people come unhinged will be a spectacle to behold!

  5. Douglas
    ctruppi: After this election cycle and the final, complete capitulation of the MSM to the Democrat party, I believe that they are capable of anything to keep their guy in power.  Obama, besides being a Dem, is a sacred idea to these people and the thought of him being voted out as a failure is just not acceptable in the way a Kerry or Gore loss was to them.  

    If Dr Rahe is correct in his prediction of a Romney landslide, watching these people come unhinged will be a spectacle to behold! · 3 minutes ago

    Howard Dean has already said that the Democrats have won, and the only thing that can change that is GOP cheating. Last night David Letterman said that the Supreme Court would steal it for Romney.

  6. chris2010

    Here in deep-blue Silicon Valley/San Jose, the dearth of Obama bumper-stickers, lawn signs and other jetsam is striking compared to 4 years ago.   Yes, I did see a Romney bumper-sticker on a Prius [likely the same one reported to Instapundit a week or so ago] but most of us are running silent, running deep.   As others have said from other reliable blue areas, it is hard to deduce there is some kind of presidential election going on.   Obama enthusiasm quotient is pretty low in these environs [see Peter Robinson] though unfortunately CA is a Democrat lock these days…

  7. Crow
    Paul A. Rahe

    BrentB67: I have definitely considered that, but always disregarded the notion because it would harm the firm doing the survey. Would they sell their reputation in exchange for a few bucks to skew a poll? I don’t know, but who would use them again in the next election cycle? · 4 minutes ago

    Someone in search of a pliable firm. · 16 minutes ago

    Ah, what a magnificent (accidental?) and telling juxtaposition: the pliable firm.

    We shall see soon enough.

  8. Fricosis Guy

    Prof. Rahe nails it… polling firms are just another species of consultancy.  One of the core competencies of consulting firms is to provide rationalizations for an already-made decision.

    Paul A. Rahe

    BrentB67: I have definitely considered that, but always disregarded the notion because it would harm the firm doing the survey. Would they sell their reputation in exchange for a few bucks to skew a poll? I don’t know, but who would use them again in the next election cycle? · 4 minutes ago

    Someone in search of a pliable firm. · 31 minutes ago

  9. Paul A. Rahe
    C
    Fricosis Guy: Prof. Rahe nails it… polling firms are just another species of consultancy.  One of the core competencies of consulting firms is to provide rationalizations for an already-made decision.

    Paul A. Rahe

    BrentB67: I have definitely considered that, but always disregarded the notion because it would harm the firm doing the survey. Would they sell their reputation in exchange for a few bucks to skew a poll? I don’t know, but who would use them again in the next election cycle? · 4 minutes ago

    Someone in search of a pliable firm. · 31 minutes ago

    2 minutes ago

    That has been my experience.

  10. liberal jim

    Certainly as with almost all things a some polls are rigged, one would be a fool to think otherwise.  The primary problem however is with how journalist report the results of the credible polls like Gallop.  

    If Gallop reports R-48, O-47 as their headline number this is almost meaningless unless other data included in their results are also reported.  This is almost never done probably because most journalists are too lazy acquaint themselves, even to a moderate degree, with the science.

  11. Devereaux

    Frankly, Dr. Rahe, I wonder why anyone would believe anything different. This is politics, where even more is fair than in love and war.

    I have long felt that the polls are simply an extension of the political race. Note that one never sees/hears the internal polling of the candidates. Yet we are treated to a progression of poll results, with attendant pontificating by people who seem mostly to not know.

    Elections are generally won by the sense of the people. I often hear all the railing against the MSM, but in truth I see them as doing only what any partisan news outlet would. Certainly history would demonstrate that our nation was filled with such partisan outlets. It’s only that it was easier to start a paper in the old days than a TV network today. But the solution to many of our woes is to have the Koch Brothers, or some other conservatives or conglomerate of conservatives, buy out one of the networks – and make them conservative news. That, and Fox, would be a serious blow to those who would have you only hear one side.

  12. Paul A. Rahe
    C

    Devereaux, it strikes me that it would make good sense for an outfit to play it straight. It would not take long for folks to figure out that it could be relied on, and they would buy the paper or watch the station.

    I have been around for a while, and I can testify that at no time in my lifetime was the media as corrupt and partisan as it is now.

  13. KC Mulville
    Paul A. Rahe: 

    I have been around for a while, and I can testify that at no time in my lifetime was the media as corrupt and partisan as it is now. 

    Second that.

    And they’ve never been exposed so badly before. 

  14. ConservativeWanderer

    I’ve been saying that for months now.

    Each time, the defeatists have poo-poohed my suggestion.

    After the election results are in, perhaps they’ll listen.

  15. Roberto
    chris2010: Here in deep-blue Silicon Valley/San Jose, the dearth of Obama bumper-stickers, lawn signs and other jetsam is striking compared to 4 years ago. ·

    Throughout the state as well:

    The number of Californians who vote in today’s election is expected to drop by 1 million compared with four years ago, despite a record number of registered voters in the state…69.9 percent of registered California voters, or nearly 12.75 million people, are likely to turn out for this year’s general election, compared with 79.4 percent in the 2008 contest…

    Interesting quote from one 2008 voter:

    Dionnetrae Smith of Fresno exemplifies some of the shift. The 24-year-old said he was pumped up to vote four years ago because it was the first presidential election in which he could cast a ballot. But this time, Smith said, he’s not planning to vote because he feels like he doesn’t know enough about the candidates or the issues.”That’s one thing I learned from the first one – not to just do it because I have the right, but to do it because I have a view,”

  16. J. D. Fitzpatrick

    It’s probably an early attempt to control the narrative. Many liberals believe that Jack Welch put W in office by telling an NBC peon it was “time to do the right thing and call the election for Bush.” That’s their story at least.

  17. Chris Johnson

    Actually, Mason-Dixon is one of the firms that usually calls things pretty straight.  They did so in this case, then their customer asked them to adjust the outcome to a different basis and they did so, giving the customer the product it asked for, but not their best judgement, as a firm.

    Most of the other pollsters are trying to impact GOP enthusiasm, but also to lay the goundwork for the legal challenges and civil unrest to come.  That’s the only reason I can think of for this other group of firms to be careless of their reputations.

  18. Percival

    I once had my name removed from a white-paper because it was “modified” at customer request.  That might have cost me the job, but it didn’t cost me any integrity.  I could (and did) get another job.  I have no idea where to go to get integrity back.

  19. Nick Stuart

    The most insufferable part of this election cycle has been the almost continuous blather about polls, in which I include the “horserace” aspect of the campaigns, and speculation on what they might mean.

    That those reporters and opinionaires would have been more profitably deployed investigating Benghazi, fast and furious, &tc. seems not to have occurred to the dim bulbs of the mainstream media.

  20. ConservativeWanderer
    Percival: I once had my name removed from a white-paper because it was “modified” at customer request.  That might have cost me the job, but it didn’t cost me any integrity.  I could (and did) get another job.  I have no idea where to go to get integrity back. · 8 minutes ago

    Most lefties (there are exceptions) have no integrity. They believe the Alinsky concept that winning is more important than little things like the truth, or integrity, or honesty.

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