Political Poll Not Looking Good? Just Make Up The Results

from the and-you-would-like-your-approval-rating-to-be-what-now? dept

Everyone knows that online polls tend to be totally worthless, as the sample is unlikely to be representative and it’s easy to game the system. However, people have generally been a lot more trustworthy of telephone polls, especially the political variety. Many people do recognize that those polls are likely to be biased as well, whether as a push poll or simply wording the poll questions in a way to get the desired response. Of course, that’s a little more difficult when you’re just looking at just a straight political approval or voting intention poll. So, one Connecticut polling firm decided to take poll skewing to the next level: it simply made up the numbers to make them look the way their clients wanted them to. This is a firm that’s done political polling for some of the countries biggest politicians… but when the results looked bad, staff was told to “talk to cats and dogs” and alter the data to make it look better. So, let’s just rewrite the general rule to read “polls are worthless.”

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Comments on “Political Poll Not Looking Good? Just Make Up The Results”

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Hi says:

I worked (on the phones, as a supervisor, then as a manager) in two different market research offices (one of which was global and i think they were the 5th biggest MR firm in the world…) I can tell you, not just “pools are worthless.” BUT ALL of market research is worthless!

First off the collected information is skewed, the respondents who actually talk to us make up 1/2 the stuff they say. Secondly the need a quick buck minimum wage high school interviewer is falsifying information left and right. After the interviewer gets done, the supervisors edit the responses, then the coders edit the responses into catigories which most the time don’t accurately represent what the respondent said in the first place.

I could go on for hours…

Pope Ratzo says:

Tell the truth.

If you do a little extra research, you find out that this outfit was working for the Republican, Joe Lieberman, in the Connecticut race, and that they were probably told exactly what results to come up with.

I don’t know why news organizations hate to actually put the most important bit of information into the story. Why won’t any of them come out and say that Republicans are liars?

Killer Conservative says:

Re: Tell the truth.

Ok, first of all, joe Lieberman is a Democrat to the core, he just not a flaming liberal communist like you or your Ned Lamont types. Secondly, Republicans don’t fcuk they’re interns in the White House then, uh whats that word again?, Oh yeah, lie! about it while under oath. You retarded ass liberals are the ones that skew and change polls, by only asking people in liberal areas like NYC, Washington, D.C., Los Angelos, San Francisco,etc. If the polls would goto the heartland of this country, like the south or midwest (red states) the polls would be totally different. So when you see a poll on tv don’t pay attention to it, it is skewed and inaccurate.

Aspire says:

Re: Tell the truth.

Are you trulty an idiot? I have yet to meet a hardened Demorcrat that does any independent research. I suppose you call watching Katie Curak, extra research. I can feel your hate and vehemence in your words. Can people ever look to the future and maybe give the rest of us our country back? the hate on the extreme left and right is paralyzing us. Nothing gets done. If you want to prosilitize you might want to hone your apparent lack of education and drive, by picking up a book once in a while. Or, push yourself away from the computer, go outside and actually talk to someone face to face. People like you are a politicians dream. Yes, we need change. But if we look at the real issues of day to day living, our real concerns are not what either party stands for. Yes, the war in Iraq has gone badly, but our initial reasons for going in were honorable. I’m not talking about weapons of mass destruction, I’m talking about the character of this country and our history. We were born out of oppression and our honor and values are historically seeded in helping the oppressed. If you deny that this is our nature then you deny what America is all about. Why do you think so many oppressed people want to come here? If you think that it’s to shop, you’re nuts. Just so you know, I spent over thirty years working with the Demorcratic party. I have been a registered Independent for the last five. And, I firmly beleive that we need a viable third party. The two choices we have now have one thing in common and that’s power. As long as they keep us at each others throats they remain the elite and powerful. Have any politicians invited you to dinner lately? Have you ever seen anyone accidently drown a pregnant young girl, walk away, go home and go to sleep and wake up as one of the most powerful Senior Senators in the country? To these people we are only a means to an end. Unless we wake up, we will never see the country that we envision! We need to elect people who want constructive dialogue who can debate without anger. Obama said recently that he was sadened when he realized that honest debate was no longer a part of the governing process. He also said that both parties were equally at fault. This interview never made it on the front page of the NY Times or ABC news. Why? The media loves the status quo. The motivativation is money not the education of the masses. I appologize for questioning your intelligence. The Blogs have become a vehicle to vent rage and not honest discourse. When I see concerned, intelligent Americans reduced to ranting hatred in support of a machine (either one, take your pick) that has no conscience I loose faith in all of us. We are bigger than all this, We just don’t know it! We have as much power to change this country. We have the ability to identify politicians who truly have our best interest at heart and provide them with a vehicle for change. A Third party is the fear of both parties. How many statesman would sing a different tune if they had a viable platform. The Republican and Demorcratic do not let anyone speak out side the party. Is this America? The television networks willl not let anyone into a debate if that don’t poll over 15%. Is this free speech? If we want to be angry then lets make real change. Let’s encourage the best of the best into a forum were they can act and speak freely for all of us.

Dan says:

Joe Lieberman

Pope Ratzo: Sad to see how vilified Joe Lieberman has become by his own party. The man is one of most liberal voters in the senate, yet because he has a mind of his own and doesn’t march in lock-step with his democratic colleagues on Iraq, he is being forced out of the party. But the democrats have become a single issue party, so I guess they can brook no desention in the ranks. Pathetic.

Anonymous Coward says:

Joe and the other right wing zealots...

Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11

Saddam Hussein had WMDs

There are no secret prisons

Mission accomplished

The list of lies put out by this adminstration grows longer and longer each day. And the dems are not any better. Just a bunch of ‘yes’ men. They should all burn in a fiery pit of crap.

Anonymous Coward says:


Nobody commissions a poll unless they have an agenda. Do you think if the RNC commissioned a poll to determine the level of support for Iraq it would come back against the war? What if the DNC commissioned it?

Everyone is being paid by someone, including the news outlets. In the absence of issues, you’ll find the number of polls conducted and result posted increased in order to create issues. They get paid for subscriptions, and nothing increases sales like controversy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Organized religion is for weak-minded individuals, and I’m inclined to say that applies to political parties as well. If you aren’t willing to think for yourself, then you will lose the right to think at all.

I avoid labels as much as possible, but please, can we stop using “liberal” as a four-letter word? Do you even know what the true, literal meaning of it is?

Why does every scam which may (or may not) have a republican interest at heart have to be something trumpeted from the rooftops? At least admit that it’s likely that a republican/libertarian/socialist/preferred party member has probably done the same and it’s all pretty damned secondary to the real ideological/cultural war we’re in.

Sal (user link) says:

Some Better than Other

There are all sorts of polling companies out there, some better than other, some a lot better than others. A good pollster will never alter the numbers of a poll if he or she wants to stay in business as a good strategic pollster. Pollsters get reputations… before hiering one a candidate should check around and get references. That’s my two cents on political polling.

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