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Skewed Polls And Their Use To Sway The Election

Throughout this election cycle, I have often wondered how it could be as close as it seems to be. Looking at the record of President Obama, which he can not run on, I have often marveled that he wouldPolls even attempt to run for reelection, given at the dismal failure he has been. But, of course, he doesn’t seem himself as a dismal failure and tells us he needs more time to make the changes he wants to make to America. And why wouldn’t he run, given that he has the media in his back pocket. They consistently run interference for him, as is shown by the way they report on every little word spoken by Mitt Romney, but Obama’s own failures go unspoken.

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For weeks, the polls being taken across the country have shown the race to be a very close one. President Obama and Mitt Romney are hanging tough with each other and neither one has been able to pull ahead and get out of the margin of error. For the most part, I believe the polls, in that it is clearly going to be a close race. Even though Mitt Romney should be winning in a landslide, I don’t expect that to happen. If he wins, it is going to be a close win, unless something happens between now and November 6 to boost his standings. A series of good debates would do the trick, so there is hope.

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As I was driving to work this morning, I turned on NPR to listen to the news at the bottom of the hour and I was somewhat discouraged to hear their top story. According to a new poll published by Pew, President Obama now has a commanding 8 point lead over Mitt Romney, 51% to 43%. It also shows Obama leading Romney in Wisconsin by 14 points. With NPR being a liberal media outlet, I wasn’t surprised to hear them reporting on this story. Of course, they want to make sure their listeners know Obama is pulling ahead in the race. The best thing they could hope for is to discourage conservatives from turning out in droves to vote for Mitt Romney. After all, what’s the use, if President Obama is leading by a good margin?

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As I am with any poll, I was skeptical of the results. Polls are easily skewed and can be made to show the results desired by the pollster. Therefore, I went looking for some research and background on the Pew poll and sure enough, I found evidence that the poll is more than a little off the mark.

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(Examiner)The new Pew Research poll of the presidential race released today shows Mitt Romney down eight points to President Obama. The poll reports Obama at 51 percent and Romney at 43 percent, if the officially reported results are to be believed. The poll surveyed 2424 registered voters, of which 2192 were likely voters. The poll, which was conducted between September 12-16, has a margin of error of 2.4 percent. With the data from this poll unskewed, Mitt Romney has a 49 percent to 46 percent lead.

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Among the sample of 2424 registered voters, the Pew Research poll surveyed 717 Republicans, 869 Democrats and 757 independent voters. This means the sample included about 30.6 percent Republicans, 37.1 percent Democrats and 32.3 percent independents. So the sample itself included 6.5 percent more Democrats than independents, in stark contrast to the Rasmussen measurement of the partisan make up of the electorate that establishes Republicans having 4.3 percent more voters than Democrats. That is a 10.8 percent swing or skew in this polling sample, which is what results in the 8 percent lead for Obama.

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This isn’t the first time we have seen polls that were skewed in favor of President Obama. The media has been full of them this election cycle, which is one of the reasons why I distrust both the media and the pollsters so much. If there is a pollster I do trust, it would be Scott Rasmussen. Here is what the Pew poll looks like, if you remove the skewed data.

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When the data from the Pew Research poll is unskewed by weighting their reported percentages between Romney and Obama to the partisan affiliations showed by Rasmussen’s extensive data results on that issue, the overall picture of the race is different. With Republicans weighted 37.6 percent, Democrats at 33.3 percent and Independents at 29.2 percent, the results calculate to Romney leading Obama by a 49 percent to 46 percent with about seven percent undecided. A large majority of the undecided voters, who usually break for the challenger in a presidential race involving the incumbent president, can be expected to swing toward Romney and lead to a likely Romney majority on election day according to this polling data.

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I’ll not be so bold as to predict the outcome of the November election. I hope Mitt Romney wins, for the sake of our country, but there is not guarantee he will. I do know I am not ready to throw in the towel and say he can’t win, especially on the strength of the polls we are seeing. The people who conduct these polls are clearly trying to persuade with their results, not give us the truth. If you want to see what an unbiased poll looks like, check this out.

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(Rasmussen) The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows Mitt Romney attracting support from 47% of voters nationwide, while President Obama earns 46% of the vote. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and four percent (4%) are undecided. See daily tracking history.

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When “leaners” are included, the race is tied with both Obama and Romney at 48%. Leaners are those who are initially uncommitted to the two leading candidates but lean towards one of them when asked a follow-up question.

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I still believe Mitt Romney has a good chance of defeating President Obama. It may not happen, but I contend this race is far from over. We should treat it as such and keep hammering on Obama’s record and the real and stark differences between the two candidates. We should also remember the only poll that really counts will be held on November 6.

About LD Jackson

LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

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  • Larry, in my post today, i cover this same subject. I quote from another examiner article that reports on an organization called UnSkewedPolls.Com. They claim that the major polling companies are getting skewed results because they are using the 2008 breakdown of voters as Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. They say that when they unskew these polls using cuttent voter breakdowns that the average of all the recent polls is Romney ahead by 7..8%. If UnSkewedPolls is right, Romney will win by a landslide.

    • I looked at that web site and the problem with it is that they’re weighting the race at R+4. That just isn’t reality because the 2010 GOP landslide was a 35/35/30 election. Meaning there were equal numbers of R’s and D’s voting. This election is likely going to be D+2 or D+3, which means is off by 6-7 points. Take those points off and the result is Romney by 1-2, which is more or less what Rasmussen has shown for the last week (until today, which I suspect includes an outlier evening of polling last night).

    • I’ll drop over to your blog and check it out. We all should spread the word about this and how the polls are not correct.

  • The 2008 election, a dem landslide, was 36/29/35 (D/R/I). In 2010 it was 35/35/30. Any poll that suggests that Democrats will be over a +7 is wrong. Any poll that has the GOP at a + is also wrong. This election is likely to be D+2 or D+3.

    • I’m not clear what you mean by D+2 or D+3. Are you saying that many more Democrats will probably vote, or that Obama will win by that much?

      • I’m saying the turnout will be D+ 2 or D+3. In 2008 the turnout was D+7, 36% of voters were Dems, 29% Republicans and the rest independents. In 2010 it was even. I don’t think this is going to be a landslide election, which is why I predict turnout will be D+2 or D+3.

        With that in mind, the website cited by Jim ( weights all of the polls at R+4 in order to achieve the results which show Romney up 8 points. But that’s as skewed as the media polls which are weighted at D+9. `In a landslide GOP win in 2010 the turnout between D’s and R’s was even, there’s no way R’s will pull 4 points more to the polls than the D’s. R+4 is as much a fantasy as D+9.

        • Okay, that’s what I thought. Just wanted to make sure we were on the same page.

          These polls all give me a headache. I mean, if these people could figure out who was going to win, why do we even bother holding the elections? 😉

          • I wrote a post on this after I noted you. I’ve had people sending me emails about this unskewed poll site and I decided to address it.

  • The press is worried and circling the wagons around their false idol. It’s going to be very close.

    • The more worried they are, the more they seem to want to protect Obama. They aren’t going to give this up without a fight.

  • Steve Dennis

    I like what Jim said above, I hope he is right. There is no doubt in my mind that the polls are skewed because they are trying to dissuade Romney voters from going to the polls. This tells me that Romney probably is actually leading or else they wouldn’t be skewing the polls. At least that’s my theory.

    • They are doing everything in their power to do just that. If they can convince conservatives there is no chance of Romney winning, that may suppress the voter turn out enough to throw the election in Obama’s favor.

      I would really like to see some of the internal polling data from both campaigns. That would be interesting to dissect.

      • So would I Larry, with Romney playing it so conservative and with him being unwilling to really attack Obama I wonder if his internal polling shows him with a significant lead.

  • Dragonconservative

    All Romney needs to do to win is ram the liberal entitlement state down the Democrats’ throat and he’s got it in the bag. However, I would caution anyone against looking at the polls right now. I’m waiting until the debates start to predict who I think will win.

    • While you may be correct, Romney will still have to contend with the media. No matter what Romney says or does, it is going to be used against him. If they can convince voters he is out of touch with the “real” America, they could convince them to vote for Obama.

      • Dragonconservative

        Absolutely, but if he does well during the debates, which I think the voters will certainly watch, Obama’s media advantage will be severely diminished. If that happens, anything the media does to skew Romney’s words will be seen for what it is: an attempt to simply keep Obama in power to sate an ideology.

  • Lets see what the Dems have in mind for Romney in October. One can bet there will be a late October surprise. That is my worry. This is how Obama won his first State election. Springing lies at the last moment.

    • There really is no telling what will be coming in October. I expect it will be something big.

  • Laurie

    In so many ways, I have to agree that polls may not be the best indicator of anything right now. Up, down, all around- for both.

    But I do have to question: Is Fox News part of the “skewed poll” group? If not, Romney supporters might be a bit worried with the latest.

    • I haven’t seen the background data on the Fox News poll, so I can’t say if it is skewed or not. It is worth nothing that it is a state poll and many of us have been concerned about how Romney is doing in those polls. We believe those are more important than the national poll, at least at this time in the race.

      • Laurie

        State polls were the only reason I drew your attention to that.

        On a complete side note, how is Mary Fallin faring for the state? I have to say, she was on my short list of VP prospects for Romney. I would bet you’ve done posts that I haven’t seen- feel free to direct me.

  • I always wonder whether this disinformation hurts Republicans (they get crapped out) or helps them (more decide to show and vote)?

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