Wednesday, 2 November 2016

What's really happening with public opinion in the USA? Are the opinion polls reflecting reality?

 This Zero Hedge  post from last week was fascinating and I apologise for not posting it until now.

Earlier this morning we wrote about the obvious sampling bias in the latest ABC / Washington Post poll that showed a 12-point national advantage for Hillary.  Like many of the recent polls from Reuters, ABC and The Washington Post, this latest poll included a 9-point sampling bias toward registered democrats
"METHODOLOGY – This ABC News poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Oct. 20-22, 2016, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 874 likely voters. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 36-27-31 percent, Democrats - Republicans - Independents."


Now, for all of you out there who still aren't convinced that the polls are "adjusted", we present to you the following Podesta email, leaked earlier today, that conveniently spells out, in detail, exactly how to "manufacture" the desired data. The email starts out with a request for recommendations on "oversamples for polling" in order to "maximize what we get out of our media polling."
I also want to get your Atlas folks to recommend oversamples for our polling before we start in February. By market, regions, etc. I want to get this all compiled into one set of recommendations so we can maximize what we get out of our media polling.
The email even includes a handy, 37-page guide with the following poll-rigging recommendations.  In Arizona, over sampling of Hispanics and Native Americans is highly recommended:
Research, microtargeting & polling projects
Over-sample Hispanics
-  Use Spanish language interviewing. (Monolingual Spanish-speaking voters are among the lowest turnout Democratic targets)
Over-sample the Native American population
For Florida, the report recommends "consistently monitoring" samples to makes sure they're "not too old" and "has enough African American and Hispanic voters."  Meanwhile, "independent" voters in Tampa and Orlando are apparently more dem friendly so the report suggests filling up independent quotas in those cities first.
Consistently monitor the sample to ensure it is not too old, and that it has enough African American and Hispanic voters to reflect the state.
-  On Independents: Tampa and Orlando are better persuasion targets than north or south Florida (check your polls before concluding this). If there are budget questions or oversamples, make sure that Tampa and Orlando are included first.
Meanwhile, it's suggested that national polls over sample "key districts / regions" and "ethnic" groups "as needed."

-  General election benchmark, 800 sample, with potential over samples in key districts/regions
-  Benchmark polling in targeted races, with ethnic over samples as needed
-  Targeting tracking polls in key races, with ethnic over samples as needed

And that's how you manufacture a 12-point lead for your chosen candidate and effectively chill the vote of your opposition.   '

Do read the whole of that Zero Hedge piece.

This morning Paul Joseph Watson interviewed Bill Mitchell about the US Presidential Election opinion polls and he comes to some interesting conclusions about polling sampling bias.

You can watch that video here

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