Election 2012: ‘Survivor’ or ‘Clueless?’

Oct. 2, 2012

Katy Grimes: Voter fatigue is no longer an factor this election cycle because thoughtful voters appear instead to be tuning out entirely to media and polls, and instead tuning into reality television. There’s an irony.

“It’s getting much harder for pollsters to get people to respond to interviews,” wrote Michael Barone, in a National Review Online story today. “The Pew Research Center reports that only 9 percent of the people it contacts respond to its questions. That’s compared with 36 percent in 1997.”

Barone said that of that 9 percent of respondents, is is likely that the sample is not representative of the much larger voting public.

Duh… ya think?

He explained that everything from the decreasing number of landline phones, to implausible party identification, impacts poll numbers today.

“I don’t believe that any of the media pollsters have been tilting their results in order to demoralize Republicans, although I do look with suspicion on the work of some partisan pollsters,” Barone said.

Case in point: the abominable exit polls the night of the game-changing Wisconsin recall election. Media outlets claimed that the exit polls were so close, that everyone was in for a long night and a tied race between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Tom Barrett.

But less than an hour after the polls had closed, the race was called in favor of Walker. Apparently, the exit polls were grossly wrong, and the race, won by Walker, was not close at all. Walker even won the recall election by a greater margin than he had in the general election.

Many news outlets and reporters just glossed over the inaccurate exit polls as if no misconduct took place.

Many in the new media say that the same tactics are being used in this Presidential election. “Even after the election, many media outlets are using the exit poll numbers on Obama-Romney as if they have credibility, without even mentioning the inaccuracy of the same poll in the recall race,” Matthew Sheffield of NewsBusters wrote.

Sheffield said that liberal bias has some role “in why exit polls continue not to be given the skepticism they deserve, but there are other likely reasons that feed into it.”

“Money is also a factor. The nation’s largest media organizations have a lot invested in their exit polling machinery,” Sheffield wrote. “It’s so expensive, in fact, that they’ve all actually teamed up to split the costs through a service called the National Election Pool (NEP). ABC, Associated Press, CBS, CNN, Fox News, and NBC are the only members.”

Part of the problem, according to Barone, is that Democrats have traditionally been more willing to fill out an exit poll. The other issue is interviewer error, with many of the biggest discrepancies in exit polls and results in precincts where interviewers were female graduate students.

Like, OMG… really?

I know this to be true, first hand. Right after voting in the 2000 Presidential Election, a pollster asked my husband how he had voted. My husband answered that he was a Green Party member and said he had just voted for Ralph Nader. As if. The pollster, a young female, said “cool,” and checked a box on her clipboard.

“Whatever,” I said, as I rolled my eyes and elbowed my husband. We had a snicker.

6 comments

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  1. us citizen
    us citizen 2 October, 2012, 18:20

    I have no idea how the pollsters even got my phone number, but in 2008, I got so many freakin calls I was going crazy. So this time around………..I just dont answer the phone. If I dont recognize the number from caller ID………it can just ring. Im hoping they think I died, and will leave me alone after this election.

    Reply this comment
  2. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 2 October, 2012, 18:35

    They know were you are…they watch and listen…what are you doing…or have you done?

    Reply this comment
  3. Tom Tanton
    Tom Tanton 3 October, 2012, 07:30

    us citizen, if they think you died, they just put you down as having voted D.

    Reply this comment
  4. Hondo
    Hondo 3 October, 2012, 10:38

    Katy is trying to gloss over the weakest campaign for president I’ve ever seen. Romney is running on country club issues and ethics and is getting bitch slapped all over the country by a Chicago street pol.
    A replacement ref for the NFL could see that there was NO security in Lybia. Our ambassador was raped, killed and drug thru the streets, but Romney won’t talk about it. I guess it’s ‘impolite’.
    Obama sent a bunch of AK-47’s down to the drug cartels in Mexico and they used them to mow down a bunch of teens and Romney won’t talk about it. I guess it’s
    ‘impolite’ to hold someone accountable for aiding mass murder.
    Obama has a thousand times more issues he could be attacked on than Romney, but it has been Romney that has been on the defensive since day one.
    The polls are right. Romney is getting bitch slapped all over the country and his response is to put his hands in his pockets.
    Hondo………

    Reply this comment
  5. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 3 October, 2012, 13:35

    Dole and McCain are buds with Romney…..three amigos!

    Reply this comment
  6. Al Breeck
    Al Breeck 6 October, 2012, 06:50

    Just keep your heads in the sand. Electronic voting machines are 100% perfect. Electronic paper ballot counting machines are 100% perfect. They are kept in perfect security until early voting starts.

    Just ignore the reports of how easily the machines can be rigged.

    Why is Kathy Nickolaus in Waukesha County refusing to allow a simple verification hand count of paper ballots that reinstalled Scott Walker after $80 Million was needed to prop up a sitting Governor?

    This is her chance to prove the perfection of the ballot counting machines.

    Reply this comment

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