As we enter another major electoral cycle, we begin to hear more from political polling organizations, most of which I do not trust. They were dead wrong in the 2016 presidential election. So much so, their credibility has yet to recover. I think it comes down to the methodology they use to conduct a poll. Some use general registered voters, some do not, some are strictly aimed at a particular political party, and others will take whoever has a pulse, be it a citizen or not.
All of the polls are aligned somehow with the news media and a political party. As such, they are there to make money to support their operations. They do not make money for predictable results, but rather by the unexpected, just like the sensational press. Consequently, they exist to create intrigue and controversy. This is helpful for their cause, but unfortunately it confuses voters who begin to question their favorite candidate’s viability as a contender. This is precisely what they want. In other words, it is not in the polling institution’s best interests to make accurate predictions, but to create voter anxiety in an attempt to create an addictive dependency on their service. This is why I no longer take political polling seriously as I have witnessed this drill so many times over the years.
Let’s be clear, like the main stream media, most support the Democrat agenda. However, even the Republican leaning polls are trying to cast doubt among the voters in order to improve ratings. It is all about money.
Even ardent Republicans have doubts about the president’s chances for re-election. It is one of those situations where if you tell people something enough times, they will eventually believe it (see “Political Branding”). Cooler heads know the president will easily win.
Over the years, I have studied the polls closely and reported on the progress of candidates. Personally, I rarely found the polls of the main stream media to be accurate. This includes those of: ABC/Washington Post, CBS, CNN, FOX, New York Times, Politico, and the Wall Street Journal/NBC. I cannot remember the last time a Fox poll ever got it right, nor NBC, CBS, ABC, etc. In 2016, night after night the news media quoted the polls to tell the public Donald Trump didn’t have a chance to win the nomination or the election. Remarkably, he won in spite of their predictions.
The remaining polls tend to be more independent but most still have some form of political connection. For example:
Founded in 1935 and headquartered in Washington, DC and Omaha, NE, Gallup is one of the oldest and most trusted polls. The CEO is Jim Clifton who is thought to lean Republican. Since its founder, George Gallup, passed away in 1984, the company was sold to Selection Research, Incorporated (SRI). Clifton may be a Republican (in name only), but his writings suggests he leans to the left.
Founded in 2004 and also headquartered in Washington, DC, Pew is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization and a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder. The company was founded by the Times Mirror Company which was acquired by the Tribune Company in 2000. The Tribune Company owns the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Orlando Sentinel, (Central Florida) Sun-Sentinel, The Baltimore Sun, (Allentown, Pennsylvania) The Morning Call, Hartford Courant, and the San Diego Union-Tribune, as well as many radio and TV stations, including superstation WGN. The President is Michael Dimock whose roots are from academia.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Raleigh, NC, PPP’s CEO is Dean Debnam, an admitted Democrat.
Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Asbury Park, NJ, the company was founded by Scott Rasmussen who is believed to lean Republican. However, he left the company in 2013 to pursue other interests. The company is now owned by Noson Lawen Partners (the majority investor), and there is no sign of the political inclinations of the company.
The three universities commonly quoted in polling are:
Their polling division was established in 2005, and is located in West Long Branch, NJ. The Director is Patrick Murray.
Their polling division was established in 1988, and located in Hamden, CT. The Director is Douglas Schwartz, PhD.
Their polling division was established in 2002, and is located in Boston, MA. The Director is David Paleologos.
Interestingly, all of the directors are careful about not disclosing their political inclinations. Aside from residing in the New England area, which tends to lean to the Democrats, there appears to be nothing in writing suggesting their political bias.
Other polls worth noting are:
* Investors Business Daily/TIPP – has been very accurate in their predictions.
* ISideWith.com – I have found this little known site to be very accurate in the primaries. Although it is intended to be a political matchmaking site that gives insight into how voters think, it is updated daily and provides surprisingly accurate data.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
The “Big Kahuna” of political polling is RealClearPolitics, the source most quoted by the news media. Surprisingly, most people are unaware of how it works and naively accept their findings as gospel. Basically, the company doesn’t conduct polls itself, but analyzes the polling data of others. It lists any poll and calculates an average.
Here is the rub though; what if the polls are biased, such as those mentioned earlier by the main stream media? Mixing tainted data with legitimate polls is mixing apples with oranges and will inevitably produce erroneous results, something you definitely do not want to bet the ranch on.
So, is the system rigged? If the main stream media is either quoting their own poll, or the averages from RealClearPolitics, then Yes, their credibility is highly questionable. However, knowing the news media’s agenda, they will keep quoting these polling results over and over again until the public buys it.
Something to remember from the 2016 election; going into voting day, the polls said Mrs. Clinton had already clinched the election. Her supporters become too confident and failed to show up on election day, and we know the rest of the story. A similar phenomenon will likely occur again in the 2020 race where the polls and news media will claim a victory for the Democrats. What they fail to mention is how the Republicans distrust the media. Also, the impeachment hoax has energized the president’s base and will encourage more people to vote. In all likelihood, the 2020 election will be the largest voter turnout in our history, and I didn’t need a poll to figure this out.
So, is the system rigged? You betcha!
Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is an author, freelance writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]
For Tim’s columns, see: timbryce.com
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