I Agree With Limbaugh On This
By: Mark W Adams

I haven't listened to The Bloviating One in quite some time, rarely
once I could just barely tune in Detroit's Air America affiliate, WDTW,
1310AM -- not at all in over a year. However, in a world where broken
clocks are correct a couple of times a year Rush is absolutely right
about something he used to observe all the time about polling.

on polls is perhaps the laziest type of "journalism" the "drive-by
media" engages in, according to Limbaugh anyway, and the proof is CNN's
latest survey they did with Opinion Research.

In a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll out Sunday night, 47
percent of those questioned are backing Obama with an equal amount
supporting the Arizona senator.

“This looks like a step backward
for Obama, who had a 51 to 44 percent advantage last month,” says CNN
Polling Director Keating Holland.

“Even last week, just before
his choice of Joe Biden as his running mate became known, most polls
tended to show Obama with a single-digit advantage over McCain,” adds
So what’s the difference now?

It may be supporters of Hillary Clinton, who still would prefer the
Senator from New York as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.

Sixty-six percent of Clinton supporters, registered Democrats who want
Clinton as the nominee, are now backing Obama. That’s down from 75
percent in the end of June. Twenty-seven percent of them now say
they’ll support McCain, up from 16 percent in late June.

“The number of Clinton Democrats who say they would vote for McCain has
gone up 11 points since June, enough to account for most although not
all of the support McCain has gained in that time,” says Holland.

Yadda, Yadda. Lame even by Cable News standards.

see, news organizations are supposed to be in the business of reporting
the latest current events, however what they really engage in is
infotainment with a hefty dose of cultural/social/political
engineering. If you want to know what the "news" is, explore that
newfangled InterTubez thingy, use Teh Google and all that. Television
"News" is simply "E!" and "Entertainment Tonight" set in Washington
D.C. and New York instead of Hollywood and Caans.

Slow news
week, but a production team still has to justify their existence? Put
out a poll, get the results, shape the numbers by your "reporting" and
so-called "analysis" to fit within the story-line you want to tell, and
call that "news." It's reality TV with the Grandest of prizes.

I'm always highly suspect when a poll is put
in the field by a network or media outlet and reported on as some kind
of "exclusive." They're making the news, not reporting on events.
What's the difference between FOX paying for a poll and the National
Enquirer paying a source for a story? Which is worse? For my money,
I've got more respect for the integrity of the tabloids paying someone
to spill the beans than an ABC/Washington Post poll that is literally
creating a story our of whole cloth.

That's not to say that
there isn't a certain value to polling data, some utility for the
public at large to hear what their fellow citizens believe. They're
interesting and often irresistible, especially to a political junkie
like me, and Limbaugh. While Rush and I have gone our separate ways, we
both get ticked when we see a poll colored in a way that doesn't
support our preconceived notions and conducted and/or presented in a
sloppy and transparently bias way by a supposedly objective media

I'll leave tearing apart polls that I like to Rush,
since he enjoys that so much and has so much air-time to fill between
trips to the bank. But I doubt he'd be as interested in telling his
listeners what a farce CNN made of it's latest poll as I am interested
in letting my readers spot a blatantly disingenuous piece of jornamalism as you are likely to see.

Nate at FiveThirtyEight.com deconstructs CNN polling analysis with a professional flair.

is a little bit of sleight-of-hand here. The analysis begins by
comparing Obama's performance in this new poll to CNN's
next-most-recent one, which had been conducted in late July. However,
CNN then switches to discussing a different poll, one
which was conducted in late June, and pulls several pieces of
information about the preferences of Hillary Clinton supporters from
that June version of its survey.

A lot has
happened, a lot of "news" occurred since July, let alone June, other
than Senator Biden being picked as VP. I hardly think his influence on
the campaign can even be measured yet since certainly there are a lot
of folks who were polled that didn't even know who was selected or even
who Joe Biden was, but that didn't stop "Teh! Most Trusted Name In
Nooze" from suggesting it was the PUMAs affection for the new heroine
of the conservative world (unbelievably) Hillary Clinton.

In fact, as Nate points out, "The best way to test that [Obama's numbers are down because Hillary's people are upset with the VP pick] would
be to compare a poll conducted immediately before the VP pick to one
conducted immediately after, before other events had a chance to
" There's so much that we don't know about this poll,
like were Clinton backers even distinguished in July since they only
tell us about their June opinions.

It's what this poll doesn't
say that is the problem, especially when the pollsters don't even tell
us everything they know about the poll.

CNN has not
released any additional detail on at least its last three polls: no
complete set of topline results, and certainly no detailed
cross-tabular information. The only information we get is the
information that their analysts decide to make available to us.

every other reputable polling organization . . . routinely makes this
kind of information available. A handful of others are less consistent
about it, however, they tend to strike a far less editorial tone in the
presentation of their results than does CNN.

very curious how many of the PUMAs now pledging our future to John
McCain's hands voted for Kerry or Gore instead of Bush. That statistic
alone could blow CNN's take on this story out of the water. I know
anecdotal evidence is meaningless when it comes to statistical
analysis, but I can name three ladies who are Clinton supporters, that
voted for Bill and Hillary, yet voted for Bush twice. It's about
personalities for them, not "women's issues" whatsoever.

many are pro-life but voting for a woman trumped their ideological
bent? How many will admit that they are registered Republicans, or were
until this year? How many voted for McCain in 2000?

I always
said my biggest problem with Hillary was her ability to be so divisive,
even when not trying to be. Now it's the media's new favorite meme, but
scrambled by wingnut talking heads and concern trolls in Right Wing
Blogistan using the subtleness of a jujitsu master. Chalk up another
"historical" aspect of this election. Never before has such attention
and influence been bestowed upon a loser in the primaries who didn't
lash out against their opponent or start a third party run after the
nomination was secured.

By all accounts Hillary was gracious as
any mortal could be after such a hard fought contest, and I never saw
or heard anything resembling disrespect to her from Obama. Sure, some
of his supporters can be obnoxious, but Hillary's PUMAs are just as bad
and no doubt a good number of her spiteful/victimized/traumatized
die-hard supporters would never vote for any other Democratic candidate

I think that it speaks volumes about Obama's grasp of
the dynamics of presidential politics and policy implementation that he
did not even consider Hillary as VP. For all the talk of Bill being a
loose cannon running around Washington unsupervised and without
portfolio or defined mission, had Obama won this November with her at
his side, her PUMAs -- vocal as they are -- could have kept the
administration beholden to their exaggerated influence and hostage to
their agenda.

Would that outcome be preferred to four more years
of ineffectual GOP rule and a McCain White House installed as a lame
duck from day one, of course it would. But Hillary insists that a
president should never be encumbered by a small cadre of people
determined to tighten his or her prerogatives. I think POTUS should be
reigned in more than the current Resident would permit, but Hillary
doesn't. After all, allowing Bush to have as much freedom of action as
he could has always been her excuse for voting to authorize using force
in Iraq.

She didn't want Congress to micromanage policy, why
would she support unelected, self-appointed busy-buddies to meddle in
affairs of state. If Obama has given in to this sort of blackmail, if
he had spoiled these children and given in to them just to make them
get in line and STFU, it very well could have turned out that the next
President would have been owned by his losing opponent in the
primaries. That's just absurd.

In other words. . .

Sour grapes make people whine.

1 Comment:

themom said...

Polls...I give very little credence, because in numbers, most poll groups are under 2000 people. Even with the +/- factors, the poll groups are never varied and large enough. It's like bookkeeping - figures are only as good as the pen used.