Those 'Fishy' Polls

If you’ve been watching only the network newscasts and CNN and MSNBC as well as reading only the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Boston Globe you would think that the U.S. presidency was all but a done deal for Senator Barack Obama to win the White House.  Poll after poll shows Senator Obama with 10, 11, and 12 point leads over Senator John McCain.  With traditional red states like Virginian and North Carolina showing Senator Obama with leads of up to eight (8) points McCain supporters should be worried.

I’m not.  And I’m voting for the McCain/Palin ticket.

When I see Senator Obama with an almost nine point lead over Senator McCain in Virginia, something begins to smell.  So I’ve been reading and rereading how many of these polls are conducted and I’ve come away unimpressed with their analysis.

We’ve all heard that because of the first American with an African heritage is running for the presidency on a major party ticket.  Add to that that the first Republican woman is running for the vice presidency on the other major party ticket then what we are looking at is a transformational election race.  The very word, tranformational that many political pundits and stars, most recently former Secretary of State Colin Powell used, says changes the dynamics of the race.  These changes include how polling data is collected.

Because of the new variables in this race there is a ‘paradigm shift’ in the electorate.  Senator Obama has inspired the young to vote and many that have never voted to vote for the first time.  Because of Senator Obama’s transformational candidacy, and upsurge of Americans of African heritage are coming out in record numbers to register to vote.

We’ve heard all this before.  And I’m calling out Baloney on all of this.  Remember the Internet boom of the late 1990’s?  When people were declaring the business model had undergone a transformational and paradigm shift?  Well seems like the mainstream media has fallen hard for Senator Obama hook, line, and sinker and wants you to believe it as well by conveying this message through polls.

Most of the polls that show Senator Obama with five (5) or more point leads change their polling demographic group day to day.  Since Senator Obama’s candidacy has ushered in a new dawn in American politics the pundits and pollsters insist that how they collect this polling data must also change.  This would explain the wide variances between and among polls.

You see the polling outfits can’t figure out the correct demographic polling group and they insist that they are allowed to change until they figure out the right mix.  To me it seems the only mix that matters is that of an Obama lead of ten points or more.  This is unprofessional and undercuts the polling firms reputation.  So the polls themselves tend to pick as their polling data more Democrats than Republicans and more favorable demographic groups towards Senator Obama.

The other reason why I’m optimistic of a McCain/Palin victory is that many liberals and moderates that voted for Hillary are politely telling their circle of friends and the polls that they’re voting for Senator Obama.  Though they either remain bitter over Senator Obama’s campaign tactics or haven’t been convinced to vote for him, they actually are leaning towards Senator McCain but not telling anyone since they’ll be branded a ‘racist’.  You could say this is the reversal of the Bradley Effect.

What is this ‘reversal’?  If you’re surrounded by neighbors that are emotionally attached to Senator Obama you know you need to keep your secret leanings for the McCain/Palin ticket under wraps.  I call these folks crypto-Cain’s.  They show visible signs of being liberal, yet they themselves will vote for McCain but only they know the truth.  These Obama supporters will key your car if you have a McCain bumper sticker or tear down your McCain lawn sign in the middle of the night.  Nobody wants those kinds of hassles at least most people don’t.  And when you live in tossup states you really need to watch out.  No good liberal who is voting for McCain will put up a lawn sign for him without running the risk of being ostracized.  So why bother telling pollsters the truth as well as your neighbor?

I’m not at all wild about Senator John McCain and his politics, but he is certainly a much better candidate for president than Senator Obama, especially when it comes to life issues.  With that said I’m rather lukewarm myself this election so when I see the mainstream media go wild-eye for Senator Obama and as well as reading the polling data, I’m a bit emotionally detached and can see right through the hubris.

McCain’s going to win.  With everything going against him I’m amazed the alleged unbiased polls show him only behind 8-12 points.  Remember Senator Obama’s lead over Senator Clinton in California and West Virginia?  Well you ain’t seen nothing yet.

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Tito Edwards

Living a Catholic Life


  1. This analysis seems like wishing thinking through and through.

    If not, perhaps you should inform Gallup of their errors.

  2. In Texas, less African Americans voted in the 2008 Democratic Primary than they did in 2004. Though most people in my family (African Americans) overwhelming support him, most of them also don’t vote.

    People who contribute to polls, also don’t always vote. Gore was up in double digits in October. People were shocked that Kerry lost in 2004.

    This race is tight. Barack Obama was scheduled to win the Texas primary according to the polls. I think Hillary Clinton won (with my help, I might add ). Obama was supposed to win Indiana, I think Clinton carried that state too.

    It seems to me that the Obama-favoring-media do in fact distort polls to give people the idea that Obama is up. I think this race is in dead heat. If he was really the “Change We Need,” he’d be up 20 points after George Bush. He isn’t.

    I’m voting tomorrow morning. I am proud that he has inspired many young people, particularly African American youth and dare them to dream of what they can be. But due to our ethical differences, I pray to God he loses every state.

  3. Mark,

    History has proven otherwise so that’s why I wrote this post. I’m not saying all the polling data is comprimised, I’m just saying that there are enough errors to discount those ‘anomolies’ and made me start reading the fine print in these polls.

    Thanks for commenting.

  4. If not, perhaps you should inform Gallup of their errors.

    Gallup’s traditional likely voter poll is currently showing a three point lead for Obama, 49 to 46, so it would seem that they already have sided against the network polls that show double digit leads.

    I’d say that the momentum is pretty much with Obama right now, and I’d rate the probability of an Obama victory at around 60%, but I don’t think it’s nearly the done deal that many in the MSM and left wing blogsphere (two groups that seem to increasingly converge lately) think it is.

  5. I think the momentum is with McCain judging from the Real Clear Politics average falling from a 7.3 advantage Obama last week to a 4.8 advantage Obama thus far today.


    If as I suspect the polls are oversampling Dems, I think Obama has a real advantage of about plus two. Recent state polls are beginning to show McCain taking the lead again in red states like Ohio and Virginia, and state polls generally lag behind national numbers/

    As a special treat to all my fellow political junkies out there who just can’t get enough poll analysis, here is an excellent site:


  6. Tito,

    Perhaps you should live in the swing states I do–PA and OH.


  7. Don’t worry..I’d be purged off the voter rolls in OH either way.

    That state has a history of stealing presidential elections, you know.

  8. A very fishy smell coming out of most polls these last few weeks. Don’t know what strategery they use to figure out how many numbers for Obama and how many for McCain. But thought I’d throw in the Rizzo Effect. As in Frank Rizzo, late mayor of my City With All Its Works/Pomps. Invariably, inevitably, Mr. Rizzo received bigger numbers on any Election Day than pre-elex polls indicated. The Dollar Store Messiah is still trying to clean off the mess left by the Joe The Plumber kerfuffle. He still hasn’t come clean on the relationship with William Ayers. Many investigative lights now being shown on ACORN, which will limit the mischief they can churn up, even in states like Ohio. The ol’ Jet Jockey has been sharp and tough on the podium this past week. As for Our Sarah- still drawing loads o’ folks throughout the republic. It’s not over yet. Not even close. Even Gen. Powell’s endorsement of the Dollar Store Messiah will sway, oh, about seven votes. Stay cool. Stay patient.

  9. I wouldn’t say they ‘stole’ the election, but rather were a critical asset to the party that won the state. ‘Stolen’ presupposes that Kerry was the deserved candidate of that election year and he was entitled to win.

  10. PRINCETON, NJ — Gallup Poll Daily tracking from Friday through Sunday gives Barack Obama an 11 percentage point lead over John McCain in the presidential vote preferences of all registered voters, 52% to 41%.

  11. I haven’t read much about it since the election itself, but I seem to recall that the case the election was “stolen” in Ohio in 2004 was most charitably described as “very thin”. Exit polls to not constitute a guarantee of success.

    Nor does one alleged instance count as much of a “history”.

    Still always good to have specifics.

    And it underlines the extent to which questioned elections lead to the degredation of democracy. I would be surprised if any presidential election in the next thirty years in which the Democrats lose is not questioned as having been “stolen”, no matter how clear the case. I only hope that Republicans do not begin their own tradition in that regard if they lose this year — despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of fraudulent votes will undoubtedly be cast, mostly for Obama. It’s not worth the loss of connection to reality to go down the “stolen election” grievence trail.

  12. Registered voter numbers are almost always more unreliable than likely voters ones.

    The traditional likely voter calculation released a few hours ago gives a 50/45 spread, and uptick for Obama. I’d advise taking that as your number and not pushing the bounds of reality.

  13. The 52-43 number is based on their experimental “expanded” likely voter calculation which basically assumes that this election will be unlike any previous modern election in regards to who turns out.

    I can see why you’d be a true believer in that methodology, but I’m not.

  14. Rasmussen has it as a four point race down from a six point advantage for Obama yesterday.

    Rasmussen and Gallup have been amusing me all year as their polls have tended to go in opposite directions.

    Ras is a good pollster, but he has too much of a Dem advantage in partisan ID currently. He gives the Dems a 6.7 advantage. I believe the Dem advantage is probably closer to 3.5-4.

  15. ‘These Obama supporters will key your car if you have a McCain bumper sticker or tear down your McCain lawn sign in the middle of the night. Nobody wants those kinds of hassles at least most people don’t. And when you live in tossup states you really need to watch out. No good liberal who is voting for McCain will put up a lawn sign for him without running the risk of being ostracized. So why bother telling pollsters the truth as well as your neighbor?”


    FWIW, I would have respected your analysis much more if your description of these “Brothers of Cain” were not at its heart.


    Regardless of polls, I think the race is and will be VERY CLOSE, due to a plethora of factors.

  16. “Regardless of polls, I think the race is and will be VERY CLOSE, due to a plethora of factors.”

    On that Mr. DeFrancisis, at least as the race stands now, you and I are in complete agreement. Polls are at their best in placid years like 1984 or 1996. They are at their worst in non-placid years like 1948 or 1980. This year, unfortunately for all of us, is a far from placid year.

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