Blog Post

Don’t Believe Everything You Read in Polls

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Writer Not only is the media biased in favor of Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), but so are their polls. So says one of the country’s most respected pollsters and warns that supporters of the Democratic candidate are using inflated numbers to try to convince the public the race is over even before a single vote has been cast. “To me it’s a different kind of voter suppression, to constantly try to make people feel like the election is over before it’s even begun,” said GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway to Newsmax. “Before a single vote has been cast, they’re basically saying, about John McCain, he can’t win.” Rather than slant the questions, pollsters distort the results by weighting tallies with more responses from people who are likely to vote for Democrats than is warranted, explained Conway, president and founder of the Polling Company. For example, they wrongly assume that huge numbers of groups who favor Democrats will show up to vote.  To be sure, “Barack Obama has energized a critical mass of younger people and new voters to actually show up to the polls,” Conway says.   But in some cases, pollsters assume that those who cast votes will be as much as 40 percent Democrats, versus 25 percent Republicans. “The country’s just not configured that way,” Conway says. So what is the incentive of the major media to create these kinds of skewed polls? By creating the impression that McCain will lose, many media polls are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy, Conway says. Because of the attention their polls receive, they depress the turnout for McCain — not to mention cutting into his contributions, endorsements, and support. Right now, she says, “News organizations are trying to show that Obama is so far in the lead that it helps him raise money, helps him get more endorsements, and it demoralizes conservatives.” However, this is nothing new. “ . . . (L)ook back at the Dukakis numbers, the Perot numbers, there was always this presumption that the Republican was going to lose," she said. "Not just that the Democrat would win, but that the Republican was going to lose. There was a news report that concluded polls showed Kerry leading Bush 53 percent to 43 percent in 15 swing states.” Media polls aren’t the only problem either. Exit polls taken on election day are also notorious for favoring Democrats – and for being wrong. “Remember the exit polls in the last election all favored John Kerry,” Conway says. Conway is known for being eerily accurate when it comes to predicting winners. Nine days before the 2004 presidential election she predicted the precise outcome of the race – Bush with 51 percent and John Kerry with 48 percent – and this was in spite of polls  saying otherwise. On Sept. 22 of this year, she predicted John McCain would win the election – but that was before the stock market crash. Has she changed her mind? “McCain could still win, but he needs a different campaign right now,” Conway said and suggested he focus more on ACORN’s voter fraud and Rev. Jeremiah Wright than domestic terrorist, Bill Ayres. She also said that “Joe the plumber and Sarah Palin were unexpected, unpredictable moments for the Obama campaign. But what Joe the plumber and Sarah Palin have in common is, they have this intangible connection with most people that’s not easy to overcome. And they also represent the middle class that Obama says he represents, but that he hasn’t lived in in years.” This is why McCain is still very much in the race. “I believe this race is much closer than some in the media are willing to admit,” Conway says. In the end, she believes it will be white working men -  who tend to like Joe the plumber and Sarah Palin – who will decide the election. In the meantime, she’s advising Republicans to ignore the polls. “If conservatives are upset about the lack of fairness and objective news media coverage, why do they look at these polls?” Conway says. “Why do they allow these polls to dictate how they feel about the presidential election before a single vote is cast?”   © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly/Women of Grace.