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I WAS RIGHT: POLLING DATA UNRELIABLE

Oct 6, 2015 by

Removing word with pencil's eraser, Erasing data

“I Was Right: Polling Data Unreliable”

By Donna Garner

10.5.15

 

It turns out that I was right about the unreliability of polling. This is occurring all over the world as a Bloomberg 9.29.15 report indicates (more later on this report). 

 

Several weeks ago on 9.14.15, I published an article entitled “Poll Results Skewed by Liberal Left” –

http://www.educationviews.org/poll-results-skewed-liberal-left/  ).  I based my conclusions upon common sense and what I have experienced by living my life as a middle-class American citizen. Here are excerpts from my conclusions about polling:

 

First, the respondents (surveyed on the telephone) are not chosen from a pool of documented registered voters (pool not taken from states’ voter registration rolls). The respondents were simply asked whether they consider themselves to be “a Democrat, a Republican, an Independent or what?”

 

Respondents were not asked whether they voted in the last Presidential election. This means that many of these respondents may never even go to the polls to vote. Since they are not necessarily registered voters, then there is no way to know what percentage of the respondents are in fact Republicans, Democrats, or Independent voters.  Typically such polls are nearly always skewed toward the Democrats.

 

Second, I have to ask in all honesty, “How many hard-working conservatives would take the time or would trust someone who calls on the phone to take a poll?”  Most of us hang up immediately because so many of these phone polls are only campaign gimmicks.

 

Unfortunately, the type of people who are apt to participate in a telephone poll are people who are lonely, unemployed, house-bound, and/or welcome the chance to talk to just anybody.  Common sense would tell us that many of these people are living on welfare and are more apt to be poorly educated. This alone could skew the poll results considerably because these respondents would tend to be supportive of all types of social services and Big Government.  

 

I firmly believe the best way to find out how a Presidential candidate is really doing with the voters is to find out how many common, everyday people have given money to his campaign.  These people are no doubt registered voters, are engaged in the process, and are committed enough to give their hard-earned money to support that candidate.    

 

Ted Cruz has raised more money from individual donors (called “hard” money) than any other Republican candidate has raised.

 

IN THE FIRST 100 HOURS AFTER FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE:

  • Raised $1,092,157
  • Received over 10,000 contributions
  • Online contributions averaged $54.77

 

IN THE FIRST 48 HOURS AFTER THE SECOND PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE:

  • Dollars Raised: $1,015,973.98
  • Donations: Over 15,000
  • Average online donation: $49.54

Therefore, when we read the poll numbers publicized by the media, we need to realize that certain powerful sectors in our country are trying to use the “bandwagon” propaganda technique to drive us away from Ted Cruz and toward their chosen candidates.  

 

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Now please read a report from Bloomberg.com released on 9.29.15 that explains why polls all over the world are becoming unreliable:  “Flaws in Polling Data Exposed As U. S. Campaign Season Heats Up” — By Steven Yaccino, Robert Hutton, Marget Talev – Bloomberg.com

(   http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-09-29/flaws-in-polling-data-exposed-as-u-s-campaign-season-heats-up ). 

 

Are the polls correct? While that is hardly a new question, doubts are intensifying after a series of high-profile misfires around the world in the past year, notably in Greece, Israel and the UK. As politics and business lean increasingly on surveys and data, technological and social shifts are combining to challenge polls’ reliability in an entirely new way. Polling professionals have no solution; investors are wary.

“There isn’t a pollster out there who thinks about this seriously who isn’t a little bit uneasy,” said Kirby Goidel, editor of the book “Political Polling in the Digital Age.” Interviews with more than a dozen pollsters in the U.S. and around the world revealed similar anxiety.

Brad Schruder, a director of foreign exchange at Bank of Montreal, said what many in the investment world have been thinking: “It makes you wonder, how much weight should we attach to these polls?”

Telephone Avoidance

The problem stems from a number of causes but begins with a fundamental shift in the public’s relationship with the telephone. For decades, the vast majority of people had landlines that they answered faithfully and, when asked to take part in surveys, mostly did so. Today, home landlines are dying and, when asked over mobile phones to answer questions, a big majority declines.

“Telemarketing, from a pollster’s point of view, poisoned the well,” said Charles Franklin, director of Marquette University’s survey operation. “Then came answering machines and caller ID. Most of the time, you never get a human to pick up now.”

Global Failures

“It seems that a part of the society thinks that opinion surveys are tools of the establishment and refuses to participate.”

Polling in the U.K. in May suggested that Prime Minister David Cameron faced a serious risk of being ousted. His decisive victory led the British Polling Council to launch an inquiry. And in March, polls made it seem that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was at risk of losing his job. He won handily.

Plunging participation rates in polling are everywhere. In Britain, ICM Ltd.’s Martin Boon says that when he started the company in 1995, it took 3,000 to 4,000 calls to produce 2,000 interviews. This year, it took 30,000. The cost of polling is therefore soaring.

A single voter

With sample sizes often small, fluctuations in polling numbers can be caused by less than a handful of people. A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal national survey of the Republican race out this week, for instance, represents the preferences of only 230 likely GOP voters. Analysis of certain subgroups, like evangelicals, could be shaped by the response of a single voter.

The panel is noting that the British election saw different pollsters trying different methods with different weightings — and all were wrong in the same direction.

Robocalls

To save money, more polling is done using robocalls, Internet-based surveys, and other non-standard methods. Such alternatives may prove useful but they come with real risks. Robocalls, for example, are forbidden by law from dialing mobile phones. Online polling may oversample young people or Democratic Party voters

The young, who increasingly communicate via text, are not only less willing to speak over the phone about political preferences; they are less interested in talking by phone about anything at all

 

 

Donna Garner

Wgarner1@hot.rr.com

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