William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Media Lying With Polls? Is The Pope…Er…Ah, Never Mind

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Today’s post is at The Stream: Be Skeptical of the Polls: Is the media lying to boost Hillary?

Note: I’m putting the Summary Against Modern Thought Sunday series on hiatus until after the election, on 13 November.

The other day on 27 October—this was all before the DickiLeaks 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.

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.

Go there and read the details!

25 Comments

  1. Since Nixon, victories average about 4 points. Yet in the +12 poll, we were asked to believe Hillary is so popular …

    I say go Team Hillary! Convincing people not to bother voting is a real winning strategy. Uh-yup. But OTOH maybe they’re trying to convince the opposition that it’s hopeless.

    FBI reopening the case might rally Hillary opposition enough. Certainly cheered up Trump. too late for me, though. I’ve already voted. It was fun. Too bad I’m not a Democrat. Their slogan is Vote Often. But, hey, at least I got a sticker and a paperclip.

  2. As Peter Hitchens declares Polls are used to influence the vote not to represent the voters intentions.

    The media are doing the same as they did here forethe last three elections and it was counterproductive in each case. Still they don’t learn. Since MSM is a worldwide monster it’s no surprise that the US media is doing the same things and making the same errors.

    If people feel strongly enough they will go out and vote to prevent Hillary. Those who are complacent on Hillary’s side will not bother knowing their vote isn’t so vitally needed.

    I blame all those republican Americans who said they cared about issue of mortal importance and they know what those are, who haven’t the insight, imagination or guts to vote the other way for a man who they pretentiously call all sorts of names which have more to do with superficial matters and material concerns than those which they always pretend to care about.

    Some republicans need their heads examined and if Trump doesn’t win it will be their fault.

  3. Joy: If Trump doesn’t win, and no one cheats by changing votes or hacking electronic vote machines, it will be because more people voted for Hillary in the high-number electoral college states. In the US, popular vote does not elect a President. The electoral college does. Since liberals tend to congregate in big cities and certain states, they hold an advantage over conservatives, who tend to live in the less populated states. It is entirely possible to win the popular vote and lose the election. It’s also possible to lose the electoral votes in over 30 states and still win if you get the big states.
    As for people being duped by the media or the RINOs or whatever, that’s entirely their choice. If people don’t care enough to learn the truth, there’s nothing anyone can do. People volunteer to be sheep.

  4. To say that if someone wins it will be because they got more votes is to say something trivially obvious.

    As if electioneering doesn’t affect how people vote. You are showing a naiveté amidst your usual attempts to be above such a stupid thing as democracy.
    You’ve been reading Briggs too long. It’s SOOOO OLD to wine about democracy and it’s pitfalls. To throw your toys out as Briggs does and claim he doesn’t give a dam and for you to say that you’ll be ‘sitting back with the popcorn’ or whatever it was, is reason for me to think that your thoughts on this election are on the flakier side of reliable.

    As for the cynicism and constant references to sheep, I think it’s time you thought of another metaphor. That one’s got whiskers on.
    If you believe in the bible you will know that ‘followers’ of the christian faith are considered to be part of a flock. vicars refer to congregations in this way and it has more to do with the shepherd metaphor than the ruminating animal.

    Doomsaying and unrelenting negativity is the language of a losing team and the attitude of a grumpy old man.
    If you predict enough doom you’ll be right at least some of the time. However if you have an opportunity to change the pattern of doom and you don’t take it there’s something wrong at the C naught level.

    The doomsaying is schadenfreude.

  5. Very good. Zero Hedge has the numbers to show how the cheating was accomplished.

    Wonderful Democracy we have: rigged polls, rigged and cheating voting, false advertising by candidates, corrupt media in bed with the Democrats, incompetent government administration, highly questionable and corrupt candidates, Wall Street controlled Federal Reserve, etc. So who is surprised by the fix the country is in?

    Who is at fault? Just follow the money and find out who is getting rich from all this.

  6. The irony of all this is that if Hillary is elected we will all suffer
    but the people who will suffer the most are her dispossessed
    base of liberal deplorable s. Clearly a free bus ride to the polls
    won’t do it they’ll have to throw in a hot meal or at the least
    a box lunch.

  7. Importing voters is what EU and our country’s labour government even admitted to doing. Tony Blair with Jack Straw as home secretary owned up to a wrongheaded deliberate immigration policy that would affect the demographic.

    So needy voters will of course vote for the party they think will reward them the most. It is a pyramid scheme.

    Illegal and legal immigration are a problem. Stable democracy relies on stable demographics.

    That it is racist and or heartless to say so is the biggest lie fed to the world since Germany was defeated the last time.
    Few here really care any more about the racist accusation. You’re nobody these days if you’re not at least a racist if not a rapist.

    The real rape that is being carried out as a matter of policy in Europe is coming to America. Actual rape.

  8. Joy: Are supposed to be making sense? I can’t tell.

    Bottom line, people make their choices. No one makes them for them. Can we affect that choice—sure, to some degree. But if you argue that it’s someone’s fault the election turned out the way it did, then it follows that if someone commits murder, it can be and probably was caused by society. You are arguing personal responsibility does not exist. I cannot and will not endorse such nonsense and societally damaging talk. You can get your blanket and binky and run to your safe space if need be, but people are responsible for their choices 100%. The only exception is mental illness. Now if you want to argue that most of America is mentally ill, feel free to do so. I really don’t care.

    Sheep is the perfect metaphor. When the Bible uses the sheep metaphor, it is in reference to having God as a shepherd. People without God do exactly what sheep do—pile up in a corner of the pasture in a snow storm, refuse to back up or move out and die there, as a flock. The Biblilcal sheep metafor refers to God, not human beings being led by other humans. Substituting others for God as a shepherd was not allowed. The use of the term “sheep” for people who refuse to think for themselves is completely accurate in referring to the “it’s not my fault” mentality of people today. When the wolf eats them or the blizzard kills them, that’s how reality works. Reality has consequences and God put them there. You want to deny this or complain, take it up with God. I had nothing to do with it.

    I predicted nothing. I don’t have any idea when you get this ridiculous nonsense from but it is very annoying. Stop making things up. I won’t respond to made up things from you. That would make me guilty of an insane belief that answering someone making up dialogue actually might be useful. Stick to reality if you want any more responses. The use of made-up statements will be your indication you do not want a response.

  9. 12 points is possible, I suppose, but it would have little to do with Clinton herself, and much to do with Trump, the man who puts both the “wild” and the “card” in Wild Card. I am not putting any stock in any predictions this time around. We will see come election day.

    JMJ

  10. What are you putting through you Sheri? Whether or not you respond won’t alter the truth or the facts. You have the option.
    Which particular part are you claiming is made UP? Not every question requires a response either. Some are rhetorical.

    It’s unclear where you get your own picture of the imaginary person with the blanket and the safe space. You’ve been reading Briggss’ Twit feed.

    As for false claims about the bible and christianity with a small C:
    Vicars DO and SHOULD refer to their congregations as a flock. It is not a pejorative. You have made use of the lines from the atheist side and unfortunately have been using them in all sorts of discussions if and when it suits.

    The usual putting the straw man argument forward about responsibility. The subject is the general election in America. How people vote is of course affected by the electioneering and shinanigans we’ve been discussing ad nauseam for weeks or months on here.
    If it didn’t and your queer idealism were true we wouldn’t be bothering. Actually, nobody would ever dare go out of the house!

    Personal responsibility is quite another discussion…the one about the young females with their blankets and safe spaces? That’s for another day.

    If Trump loses I will consider that an element of the Republican party which is made of people, are responsible for shooting their own flag ship when it was on the last tack to victory.

    My hope is that the media as predicted are as wrong as they were over here, in France and Germany recently and that the victory will go to the little guy, the honest Republican and the reasonable democrat who votes for him too. That’s my hopeful prediction and if it happens it will be IN SPITE of the other republicans. Lose the pride.

    Hail King Trump.

  11. I remember in 2012 when polls were much closer and how they were skewed in Obama’s favor.

    For a statistician you did really bad prediction that year and the poll actually were closer than the vote.

    Yet you go back to the same bogus claim of partisan polling.

    And yes everyone should go vote on November 13, or November 28 like Trump asked.

  12. Joy: I was not whining about democracy and pitfall, Doomsaying and negativity were not part of my answer. You made those up.

    I do not read Twitter.

    You ignored my entire point on sheep and went with your own rewriting of what I said.

    Electioneering affects outcomes because people CHOOSE to let it. It’s not piped into their heads, though listening to you, I’d swear it is.

    “Queer idealistm”? What the heck does that even mean?

    Kings are England.

  13. I think you mean England is King and we haven’t let you go yet so mind your P’s and Q’s.

    Queer idealism?
    Queer as in odd.
    Idealism is clear enough.
    As for piping thought that’s silly.

    “Electioneering affects outcomes because people CHOOSE to let it.”
    This is idealism. Everyone doesn’t think the way that you do. Not everybody knows what left or right wing (such as they are) means.

    I consider myself a beginner with respect to knowledge of politics. I voted in I am ashamed to say every election from the age of eighteen. Nobody votes the way they do because they think it’s the wrong way to vote, obviously. Everyone acts on information they have to hand. Some people skim the surface of a thing and don’t give it any deeper thought and that’s also their right. Not everybody is informed. Yet the high handed attitude you take towards perhaps the type of person who can never be expected to offer much wisdom on any given matter let alone politics seems idealistic. The popcorn remark you did make yourself about the election and how the country was going to the wall. Really the intellectuals and the Republicans who should know better are the ones I hold to a higher standard of responsibility. When I hear a left wing argument I have my expectations low don’t you? When I hear a bad argument or an outrageous remark from someone who knows better that is more cause for response.

    That’s just what I think.

    For example, Sylvain (I’m not a rapist) Allard shocked and surprised me. Now I am unshockable, I hope. Keep one’s expectations on the ground. That’s my motto. Keep your powder dry too.

  14. Milton Hathaway

    October 30, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    “With a name like Fetid Monkey Pus, it has to be good.”

    My theory about why Romney lost the 2012 election is bias against Mormons.

    People need a motivation to make the effort to vote. Which is good, I think. I have decided that I am against early voting, get-out-the-vote efforts, motor-voter, mail-in voting, etc. I’m even toying with the idea that folks on welfare not be allowed to vote.

    In my State, it’s 100% mail-in voting. I suppose I should be happy that it’s at least not prepaid postage. (This year they are telling us the ballot is so loaded that we need to put two stamps on the envelope.)

    I know one couple where one spouse is not into politics at all, so the other spouse votes both ballots. If it weren’t for the mail-in ballot, there’s no way the disinterested spouse would bother voting. Is that good?

  15. bias against Mormons.

    Could be. I think nine Mormons have run for president and all have lost.

    I have decided that I am against early voting, get-out-the-vote efforts, motor-voter, mail-in voting, etc.

    I voted on the first day early voting was allowed here. Beat the rush — or so I thought. Had trouble finding a parking spot.

    I’m even toying with the idea that folks on welfare not be allowed to vote.

    Unfortunately, extending that thought to everybody with a special interest in the outcome would mean hardly anyone would be allowed to vote. Besides, what could a politician say if “Vote for me because I’ll do X for you” was pointless? Yes, these are mostly empty promises but do motivate votes. Isn’t that what you said is good?

  16. Simply, “when we do badly, I don’t believe the polls. When we we are doing well, I believe the polls.”

    JMJ, Clinton will win. 🙂

  17. Joy,

    “For example, Sylvain (I’m not a rapist) Allard shocked and surprised me. ”

    Aren’t you the who claims that rape does not exist?

  18. Well, there are other POSSIBLE outcomes. If the electoral college vote is divided evenly (more or less) between HRC and DT, and if Evan McMullin wins Utah and (more unlikely) Johnson wins New Mexico, the selection of the President goes to the House, with one vote for each state delegation. Since most of the delegations are Republicans, what would that yield? McMullin as President? Lets think of other alternate histories.

  19. Dav,

    “Their slogan is Vote Often. ”

    Yet is a republican that got caught for trying to vote twice. That must mean democrat are much smarter since they don’t get caught. Maybe it is because they simply don’t cheat.

    And unlike republican they don’t try to pass phoney law trying to suppress the vote.

  20. Joy,

    Trump represent nothing the true republican care about. Even Ronald Reagan’s son said that is father would be appalled by Trump.

    Trump said it himself the only thing that interest him is OPM (other people money.. While claiming to be paying is campaign with his own money, he keeps asking people for money. He keeps doing event in is own property who then charges the campaign over 100k for renting the venue for a few hours. You can rent NHL arenas for 20k a day.

  21. Interesting juxtaposing of words by Comey and the Anti-Trump.
    https://youtu.be/wbkS26PX4rc

    Not all Canadians are insane
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9-BLD754_8

  22. Sylvain,
    I have some experience in this.
    You don’t apparently know what you are talking about.

    There is a lot to say as is the case with many topics, and in polite and rather more discrete company than this here, at this point. When people are honest with themselves they are honest with others.

    “This above all: to thine own self be true
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Though canst not then be false to any man.
    Farewell, my blessing season this in thee. “

  23. Joy,

    I guess that my friends who are girls (and I have many) that confides in me about their rape and/or sexual harassment experience were all lying to me.

    And BTW, I had my own sexual harassment experience from a pervert in my teenage years and I can easily understand how a woman can feel when it happens.

    You really don’t seem to understand that it happens to so many women.

  24. Joy,

    Honesty with oneself is the key. Good point.

  25. Dav,

    “Not all Canadians are insane”

    And you point to the one exception that is insane.

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