Be Skeptical of the Polls

Is the media lying to boost Hillary?

By William M Briggs Published on October 29, 2016

On October 27 — this was all before the Huma Weiner email business, an important point — another State media poll came out which had Hillary +9. Nine full points ahead of Trump. Nine.

State media? The media that colludes with the elites of both parties to maintain the status quo. The folks who cycle in and out of and cozy up to government. All the usual suspects.

Anyway, after the unbelievable nine-point-lead poll, there was a poll immediately after, which put Honest Hillary Clinton at +12. Twelve points up! Twelve! (I am writing this next number standing on my desk, shouting … TWELVE!)

These were my actual thoughts, in order, when I first heard that number:

  1. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
  2. Only graduates of Yale or Wesleyan are going to believe it.
  3. What is it going to do to the souls of those who know better but feel they have to defend it?
  4. State media has slit its own throat.

Now in these once United States, anything north of four or so is called a “landslide.” An idiotic name, but one which encapsulates the truth that it is difficult in the extreme to win presidential elections by large numbers. Consider that the Olympian himself, the Self-Anointed One, the Big O, beloved and adored far and wide, and genuinely popular in 2008, finished the race with 53% to McCain’s 46%, a huge 7-point lead (I’m rounding all numbers for ease of presentation).

A race that bettered this was Reagan trouncing Mondale 59% to 41%, an 18-point whopper of a margin. And then there was monumental year of 1972, which saw Nixon doing to McGovern what Germany did to Poland, crushing him 61% to 38%, a 23-point earthquake. A real landslide.

Since Nixon, victories average about 4 points. Yet in the +12 poll, we were asked to believe Hillary is so popular, so beloved of the nation, so exciting a candidate, that she could win by a rare and stunning twelve points. We were asked to believe Hillary was more popular than Obama was in his first run, when the State media was wetting itself over Barry’s pants crease. We were asked to believe the impossible.

When asked to believe the impossible, don’t believe it. Why? Because it’s impossible.

The 12+ poll in question was from ABC and the Washington Post, ensconced members of the State media, on October 25th. It mirrored a October 26 AP poll which had Clinton at +14, but which was less reported.

Three days after the +12 poll on 28 October, the same ABC/WP tracking poll dropped to a +4 lead. Even readers struggling with math will realize this a drop of 8 points. And we now know 8 points is an enormous quantity in presidential elections.

Remember, this plummet was before Anthony Weiner’s computer reentered the news. Nothing much of interest happened during the days before the October 25th  poll (the time the polls were taken) or the days before the October 28th poll.

So what accounts for the switcheroo? Many suspect cheating.

Why cheat? To demoralize. A cheater figures a poll showing Hillary with an insurmountable lead, which surely 12 or 14 or even 9 points is, will deflate the enthusiasm of Trump supporters so that some of them stay home on election day. The poll becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

How to cheat? Easy! Over-sample Democrats or other groups the pollster suspects are going to vote Hillary even if she’s pictured emerging from an orphanage with a bloody knife. You could have a cheating poll with no over-sampling of Democrats if you can find enough Hillary true believers, or those who are going to pull the lever for D no matter what.

Other bamboozling methods are possible, including downright fraud; say, by tossing results which aren’t consonant with the message the pollster wants to deliver. Any excuse can be found to negate “bad data.” It doesn’t have to be much, only a handful of samples have to go missing.

Am I saying this cheating happened with CNBC (responsible for the +9 poll), ABC/WP, or AP? Of course not. There is no definite proof. But the numbers and timing are suspicious. And so is the true level of belief in these silly numbers.

When the +9 poll was issued, I took to Twitter asking to bet with anybody who believed CNBC. If anybody really believed, here was a chance to make some easy money off me! Not one person responded.

And then there’s that eye-popping 8-point three-day drop. Could it be that ABC/WP is looking forward and realizing that people will be holding them accountable after the election? Imagine if they issued the same 12-point-lead poll on election day and Hillary won by the usual 4 points. Or, worse for them, Trump wins by the same 4 points. Egg on the face wouldn’t be the half of it.

Whatever else happens in this race, it has been a pleasure watching the media destroy what little credibility they had left. Thank God for alternate sources, like the one you’re reading now.

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