Don’t Believe the Polls

 

Year after year, election after election, we study the election polls with bated breath, hoping to glean optimism and reassurance from the results, even months ahead of time. And this year, with critical midterms in our sights, we hope that the Republicans will not only take the House but win a majority in the Senate.

The problem is that almost all of the pollsters are bought out by the Leftist media to support its agenda, so that we are not only discouraged by their results before the elections, but are brainwashed into believing that the future is dismal.

But there is good news of a sort: the pollsters are lying to us. And the more they are called out on their treachery, the better off Republicans will be.

I found this article helpful in trying to figure out how it was possible that pollsters in the mainstream media could practice such deceit:

Why would almost every American pollster whore out their credibility by deliberately rigging polls while knowing they will be exposed as cheats on Election Day?

To normal people, this makes no sense. Our credibility means something to us. The very idea of releasing a fake poll that will be proven fake as soon as the votes are counted is so outside our value system, it creates a blind spot. We simply cannot conceive of anyone doing such a thing because we cannot conceive of ourselves doing such a thing.

The article listed several motivations for misrepresenting poll results. First, if Democrats appear to be leading the polls, their donors will contribute enthusiastically. In contrast, if Republicans are trailing, donors are more likely to be stingy. Next, nobody wants to be an outcast among his fellow pollsters:

Nobody wants to be an outlier. Nobody wants to be standing naked and alone. What’s more, nobody wants to be attacked by a corporate media that shames and ridicules pollsters who report their results accurately.

If you are a pollster, you have two choices… You can report your results honestly, in which case — in an effort to teach you a lesson and make an example of you, the media will either ignore or ridicule you, or you can rig your polls to the media’s liking and enjoy the feeling of acceptance, along with the financial and publicity benefits.

As a result of distorted polls, Republican voters can be discouraged about turning out at the polls, especially if the gap between the parties is large. Conversely, Democrats will plan to vote since they can increase their chance of victory by doing so.

Do these results tell us that no pollster can be trusted? Although he’s a little rough around the edges, Richard Baris, the People’s Pundit, is not afraid to speak out against the illegitimate pollsters and has been banished by that community. I encourage you to listen to at least the first five minutes of this video from a Hillsdale College presentation:

Baris also speaks highly of Trafalgar, who has consistently been accurate in its poll results.

The pollsters have become so fearless that they admit they aren’t using legitimate techniques:

The big difference between today and two years ago is that pollsters will now admit that their results are systemically biased against conservatives.  For example, in an article published in Vox, pollster David Shor said:

For three cycles in a row, there’s been this consistent pattern of pollsters overestimating Democratic support in some states and underestimating support in other states.  It happened in 2018.  It happened in 2020.  And the reason that’s happening is because the way that [pollsters] are doing polling right now just doesn’t work.

*     *     *     *

In spite of the temptation to try to predict the future, we all have to ask ourselves whether we should follow the polls or not. If we study them, can we take them with a grain of salt, understanding that until a week or two before an election they are unreliable? This is the reality we face:

Most major pollsters are associated with one or more media outlets. Partisan news organizations are selling prophesy, not forecasts. Propaganda is probably the polite description of much that passes for political news in the last decade.

If we are honest, however, we must admit that the American left has hit a trifecta in the 2020 propaganda wars. Liberals dominate a single, if not monolithic, narrative pushed by the press, broadcast networks, and social platforms across the internet.

Can enough ordinary voters see through the hype, smog, and distortions to make a pragmatic choice that preserves what’s left of the best of America?

Can we insist on the truth for ourselves?

 

Published in Elections
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 33 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Rush always said that political polls are designed to mold public opinion, not to reflect it.  He also noted that most political polls skew Left, so that biases the results.  Maybe that’s because so few conservatives actually respond to polls.

    See my post on responding to poll-takers.

    • #1
  2. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    There’s a lot more money in the democrat-biased poll business than in the accurate poll business.

    And with multiple democrat-biased poll operations, there’s plausible deniability.  “Hey, the other guy got it wrong too.  So nobody could have predicted this outcome.”

     

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    namlliT noD (View Comment):
    “Hey, the other guy got it wrong too.  So nobody could have predicted this outcome.”

    That begs the question of why do them at all! Although there are those big bucks involved . . . 

    • #3
  4. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    The most blatant example, I think, is Nate Silver’s Five Thirty Eight:

    • They  grew out of The Daily Kos, a socialist web site.
    • They claim to use a “model”, to suggest that their mechanism was built unbiased guys in white lab coats.
    • They report their results to three digits of precision, to create an illusion of accuracy, when the first digit is wrong.  
    • The extra bogus digits change more often, so they can hype up changes to score more eyeball clicks on their site.

     

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    The most blatant example, I think, is Nate Silver’s Five Thirty Eight:

    • They grew out of The Daily Kos, a socialist web site.
    • They claim to use a “model”, to suggest that their mechanism was built unbiased guys in white lab coats.
    • They report their results to three digits of precision, to create an illusion of accuracy, when the first digit is wrong.
    • The extra bogus digits change more often, so they can hype up changes to score more eyeball clicks on their site.

     

    There was a delightful Baris rant against Silver and his “model”; it was something to behold. Essentially Silver has no model, according to Baris; he puts together information from other places.

    • #5
  6. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    That begs the question of why do them at all! Although there are those big bucks involved . . .

    Big, big bucks.  Enormous bucks.

    And biased polls are far more effective than political ads.

    (At the very least because they don’t have the “Paid for by…” tagline.)

    (Even though they should.)

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Rush always said that political polls are designed to mold public opinion, not to reflect it. He also noted that most political polls skew Left, so that biases the results. Maybe that’s because so few conservatives actually respond to polls.

    See my post on responding to poll-takers.

    I missed your OP earlier, RB, and now I’ve read it.. But I’m not convinced that answering polls are helpful, based on my research for this post; the polls I suspect are only slightly affected by whether or not Republicans respond. I’m not inclined to answer my phone unless I know who’s calling; I get several spam calls each day for everything under the sun, including polls.

    • #7
  8. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    One alternative view. A crooked poll would predict a crooked election. 

    Meaning if there is conspiracy to steal an election and the crooked pollsters are privy to that fact. Over weighting polls for the Dems would help cover those tracks. 

    Spit balling  just how corrupt the left really is. 

    • #8
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    One alternative view. A crooked poll would predict a crooked election.

    Meaning if there is conspiracy to steal an election and the crooked pollsters are privy to that fact. Over weighting polls for the Dems would help cover those tracks.

    Spit balling just how corrupt the left really is.

    Interesting speculation, Kevin. No need to convince us how corrupt they are, though!

    • #9
  10. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    One alternative view. A crooked poll would predict a crooked election.

    I thought about this with regard to the 2020 election. There was a very concerted effort by the media, in advance of the election, to promote the idea that while Trump would appear to be winning the vote, once the absentee and mail-in ballots were counted, Biden would come out ahead. And damned if that isn’t exactly what happened.

    I mean, how did the same media that get almost everything wrong call that exactly right months in advance?

    Almost as if that was the plan, and they just needed to prepare the field for it.

    • #10
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):
    Almost as if that was the plan, and they just needed to prepare the field for it.

    It’s impossible to keep up with their machinations. Our best strategy is just to ignore them.

    • #11
  12. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    One alternative view. A crooked poll would predict a crooked election.

    I thought about this with regard to the 2020 election. There was a very concerted effort by the media, in advance of the election, to promote the idea that while Trump would appear to be winning the vote, once the absentee and mail-in ballots were counted, Biden would come out ahead. And damned if that isn’t exactly what happened.

    I mean, who did the same media that get almost everything wrong call that exactly in advance?

    Almost as if that was the plan, and they just needed to prepare the field for it.

    Specifically…

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    namlliT noD (View Comment):
    Specifically…

    Good grief . . . 

    • #13
  14. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    BTW, Rich Barris has a channel on Locals.com and you can become a member for $5/month or $50/year. He conducts monthly polling. Half your monthly fee goes towards the monthly polling, half goes towards equipment and fees for broadcasting. His cost of monthly polling is about $6,000. He has 2 or 3 podcasts per week on polling results (both his own and others) and a weekly podcast on Sundays of a book review. By book review I mean reading through the text and discussion of what is being read as it is being read. He is currently working on Jack Snyder’s ‘Myths of Empire.’

    He also has others hire him for polling and shares those results after he has shared them with his client. They are grist for his podcasts.

    https://peoplespundit.locals.com/

     

    • #14
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Hang On (View Comment):

    BTW, Rich Barris has a channel on Locals.com and you can become a member for $5/month or $50/year. He conducts monthly polling. Half your monthly fee goes towards the monthly polling, half goes towards equipment and fees for broadcasting. His cost of monthly polling is about $6,000. He has 2 or 3 podcasts per week on polling results (both his own and others) and a weekly podcast on Sundays of a book review. By book review I mean reading through the text and discussion of what is being read as it is being read. He is currently working on Jack Snyder’s ‘Myths of Empire.’

    He also has others hire him for polling and shares those results after he has shared them with his client. They are grist for his podcasts.

    Thanks so much, Hang On!! I had so much difficulty finding much of anything on him through DDG. He’s definitely fearless and a fighter, and we need more of him.

    • #15
  16. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    One alternative view. A crooked poll would predict a crooked election.

    Meaning if there is conspiracy to steal an election and the crooked pollsters are privy to that fact. Over weighting polls for the Dems would help cover those tracks.

    Spit balling just how corrupt the left really is.

    What exactly is the point of public polling?  Is it to tell you what people think?  Or to tell people what to think? 

    To predict a future result?  And to justify a future result.

    • #16
  17. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    When I (rarely) look at polls, I first try to find how the participants were selected and then look at how the questions were phrased. That give a pretty good idea of how slanted, and in what direction, the poll is likely to be.

    Much like examining data, you can learn as much by what is left out as by what is included.

    • #17
  18. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    One alternative view. A crooked poll would predict a crooked election.

    Meaning if there is conspiracy to steal an election and the crooked pollsters are privy to that fact. Over weighting polls for the Dems would help cover those tracks.

    Spit balling just how corrupt the left really is.

    What exactly is the point of public polling? Is it to tell you what people think? Or to tell people what to think?

    To predict a future result? And to justify a future result.

    To bet and win money.

    • #18
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Flicker (View Comment):

    What exactly is the point of public polling?  Is it to tell you what people think?  Or to tell people what to think?

    To predict a future result?  And to justify a future result.

    I suspect that it depends on who you ask. I think that Rick Baris is interested in knowing what people think along the way; I think Nate Silver wants to tell them what to think. I guess I believe that the Left is devious, but I’m not quite at the point where I think they can predict or justify a future result.

    Edit: Given the points I made in the OP and the current state of polling, I definitely believe that polling is meant to influence voters and donors to support the candidates who are ahead.

    • #19
  20. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Hang On (View Comment):
    To bet and win money.

    Have you ever won any? My hopes, dreams and illusions would surely get in the way!

    • #20
  21. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    One alternative view. A crooked poll would predict a crooked election.

    Meaning if there is conspiracy to steal an election and the crooked pollsters are privy to that fact. Over weighting polls for the Dems would help cover those tracks.

    Spit balling just how corrupt the left really is.

    What exactly is the point of public polling? Is it to tell you what people think?  

    When the results agree with the Prog agenda .

    Or to tell people what to think? 

     Always !!!!

     

    • #21
  22. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

     

    Have you ever won any? My hopes, dreams and illusions would surely get in the way!

    It’s my first time. I limited it to $100. Republicans win Senate, Blake Masters wins in Arizona, and Whitmer loses in Michigan. 

    • #22
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

     

    Have you ever won any? My hopes, dreams and illusions would surely get in the way!

    It’s my first time. I limited it to $100. Republicans win Senate, Blake Masters wins in Arizona, and Whitmer loses in Michigan.

    Woo-hoo! Works for me! 

    • #23
  24. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    One alternative view. A crooked poll would predict a crooked election.

    Meaning if there is conspiracy to steal an election and the crooked pollsters are privy to that fact. Over weighting polls for the Dems would help cover those tracks.

    Spit balling just how corrupt the left really is.

    What exactly is the point of public polling? Is it to tell you what people think? Or to tell people what to think?

    To predict a future result? And to justify a future result.

    To bet and win money.

    I thought odds-makers used a different and better proprietary formula unknown and inconceivable to pollsters.  Like bookies from all over the country reporting in what the sentiment was in their locality or on their block, or something brilliant like that. 

    • #24
  25. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

     

    Have you ever won any? My hopes, dreams and illusions would surely get in the way!

    It’s my first time. I limited it to $100. Republicans win Senate, Blake Masters wins in Arizona, and Whitmer loses in Michigan.

    We shall see.  Blake Masters is not doing well in Arizona.

    • #25
  26. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    What exactly is the point of public polling? Is it to tell you what people think? Or to tell people what to think?

    To predict a future result? And to justify a future result.

    I suspect that it depends on who you ask. I think that Rick Baris is interested in knowing what people think along the way; I think Nate Silver wants to tell them what to think. I guess I believe that the Left is devious, but I’m not quite at the point where I think they can predict or justify a future result.

    Edit: Given the points I made in the OP and the current state of polling, I definitely believe that polling is meant to influence voters and donors to support the candidates who are ahead.

    So if this is true (and I don’t dispute it) then the purpose of polls is not to know something (the public’s intentions or preferences) but to sell something — telling people what to think, and how to donate.

    • #26
  27. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Edit: Given the points I made in the OP and the current state of polling, I definitely believe that polling is meant to influence voters and donors to support the candidates who are ahead.

    So if this is true (and I don’t dispute it) then the purpose of polls is not to know something (the public’s intentions or preferences) but to sell something — telling people what to think, and how to donate.

    In all likelihood, the polling companies originally reported on the public’s intentions and preferences, and over time the economic incentives changed their business model.

    This happens all the time in business.

    And you can game it; if a polling company has a good reputation for impartiality, then they can charge that much more to sway their results, but not sway the results too far as to dent their reputation, and then someone makes a mistake and they unintentionally go all in.

    There’s a parallel in the dictionary biz.  Note how Merriam Webster has been tweaking the definitions of words lately.  

    And sometimes it gets crazed.  Remember during the Supreme Court hearings, Mazie Hirono was questioning Amy Coney Barrett on same gay topic, and then scolded her for using the term  “sexual preference”, claiming it was considered offensive.  And 15 minutes later the Merriam Webster online dictionary updated the definition of the word “preference”.

    So Merriam Webster is no longer in the definitive reference material biz.

    • #27
  28. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    namlliT noD (View Comment):
    So Merriam Webster is no longer in the definitive reference material biz.

    We are being attacked in every possible way, in every possible sphere.

    • #28
  29. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Edit: Given the points I made in the OP and the current state of polling, I definitely believe that polling is meant to influence voters and donors to support the candidates who are ahead.

    So if this is true (and I don’t dispute it) then the purpose of polls is not to know something (the public’s intentions or preferences) but to sell something — telling people what to think, and how to donate.

    In all likelihood, the polling companies originally reported on the public’s intentions and preferences, and over time the economic incentives changed their business model.

    This happens all the time in business.

    And you can game it; if a polling company has a good reputation for impartiality, then they can charge that much more to sway their results, but not sway the results too far as to dent their reputation, and then someone makes a mistake and they unintentionally go all in.

    There’s a parallel in the dictionary biz. Note how Merriam Webster has been tweaking the definitions of words lately.

    And sometimes it gets crazed. Remember during the Supreme Court hearings, Mazie Hirono was questioning Amy Coney Barrett on same gay topic, and then scolded her for using the term “sexual preference”, claiming it was considered offensive. And 15 minutes later the Merriam Webster online dictionary updated the definition of the word “preference”.

    So Merriam Webster is no longer in the definitive reference material biz.

    Yeah, I love words.  (They have meaning to me.)  I recently went to my 1971-1979  OED to look up vaccine, vaccinate, and vaccination, and because the definitions I found were based on “inoculate” and “inoculation” I looked them up too.  And, yes, the definitions for vaccination and inoculation were changed from providing “immunity” to protection: from prevent infection and disease to protect — what? life and limb? psychological well being?; changed to a much more ambiguous word, and with significant difference.

    • #29
  30. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Ignore the polls.  Ignore that your vote really doesn’t matter ( who counts the votes matters ).   Vote for the lesser evil just so you know you did one thing that you could do.   If there is more that you can do than voting, do it.

    • #30
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.