Friday, September 28, 2012

Earth to GOP: The Polls are Arithmatic


"Skew" is another interesting phrase the GOP loves to use. Here's the defintion via Online Etymology Dictionary:
skew (v.)    late 15c., from O.N.Fr. eskiuer "shy away from, avoid," O.Fr. eschiver (see eschew). Meaning "depict unfairly" first recorded 1872, on notion of being slanted. Statistical sense dates from 1929. Related: Skewed; skewing. The adjectival meaning "slanting, turned to one side" is recorded from c.1600; noun meaning "slant, deviation" first attested 1680s.
It is ridiculous to imply that "all" the polls are "skewed" except for certain bad polls by biased people like Rasmussen or Karl Rove that show their guy Romney leading. Isn't it more likely that they are the ones who are skewed instead of the 15 other pollsters, some of whom are non-partisan or who take a poll of polls average?

But none of that matters if you are Republican clinging to false hope. They just can't accept that the very likable and inspirational - although African American - President Obama is way ahead in the polls. Because . . . arithmatic.

As of tonight, Nate Silver of 538 Blog is giving Barack Obama an 84% chance - well, let's be scientific and say "83.9%" chance of winning the Presidency.

Mitt Romney has, therefore, only 16.1% chance, no rounding necessary.

That's the mathematical truth, unless you are a Republican in denial.

The polls are what they are - just a statistical snapshot of the country's rejection of goofy-strange Mitt Romney as President of the United States. Simple as that.

But denial is strong in them, like the Force. For instance, here's a stammering and sputtering Karl Rove spinning about how "unscientific" the polls are, but even Bill O'Reilly isn't drinking the kool-aid on Fox News:
O'REILLY: . . . Are these polls dishonest?

ROVE: No. Look, we endow them with a false scientific precision they simply don't have. If you've got nine points more Democrats than Republicans and you're nine points more --

O'REILLY: You you're going to have a poll that reflects that.

ROVE: -- yes, nine points more Obama. Think about this. Romney and Obama get each roughly the same percentage of Republicans and Democrats as -- as their opponent. That is to say they carry their -- their base overwhelmingly. Romney, among Independents is winning by three points.

So -- so if Romney is winning the Independents and winning the Republicans do you think in a battle ground state like Florida, he's nine points down and the answer is no....

ROVE: . . . So look, we've got to be careful about, you know, we have a proliferation of these polls. There have been 87 national polls in the last 30 days. That's more polls than were run in the last six months of the 1980 presidential race.


O'REILLY: All right.

ROVE: Last week -- last week alone, we had 51 state level polls; and the week before that, 41.

O'REILLY: I understand that but -- but here -- here -- look, from my point of view as a news analyst and I believe that the folks know I'm honest in that regard, when news agencies like the CBS News on the radio report the polling and it shows that Barack Obama has leapt out to a big lead in Florida and Ohio, that gets inside people's minds. They remember that. And that can only help the President. That helps the President.

ROVE: Sure.

O'REILLY: Because the perception is he is going to be the winner.

. . . O'REILLY: All right, real quick, real quick, your board, the Karl Rove board where is the race in Ohio and Florida in your opinion?

ROVE: Well, toss-up in both states.

O'REILLY: Toss-up? It could go either way at this point in history.

ROVE: Sure.

O'REILLY: All right, Mr. Rove. We appreciate that.

Then tonight, we have Wolf Blitzer of CNN taking a stand for a change, although he rolls it back quickly to the "toss-up" idea, via Media Matters:

Transcript from CNN

Ashleigh Banfield: CNN's Wolf Blitzer joining me live from Washington, D.C.

Wolf, the Romney camp and their allies are suggesting that a lot of those so-called mainstream polls are skewed in some way, that they're not accurate. I want to play a short clip from Mr. Romney's political director, Rich Beeson.


RICH BEESON, POLITICAL DIRECTOR, ROMNEY CAMPAIGN: We trust our internal polls. I don't make any campaign decisions based off what I read in the "Washington Post." So I'm not going to get into the specifics of what our polls say or don't say. I trust our numbers and that's what we're basing our decisions off of.


BANFIELD: But he won't give us those numbers.

So, Wolf, here's how it goes. Every time bad numbers come out, I hear campaigns saying, we don't use those numbers, we use our own. But I never hear that when the numbers are good. Am I wrong?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": You're not wrong, but the fundamental fact of what's going on right now is the numbers in these key battleground states, according to almost all of the reputable national polls out there, show that Obama is ahead in most of these key battleground states. That's obviously disconcerting to a lot of Republicans. Some of them, like Karl Rove, for example, have repeatedly gone out there and suggested that these polls are biased against the Republicans because they're oversampling Democrats, for example, as opposed to Republicans. And as a result, don't trust these polls, they're not reliable. So it's sort of convenient for a lot of these Republicans, like Karl Rove, to go after the NBC poll or the ABC poll or CNN polls.

But what they don't say is that the FOX News polls are showing almost exactly the same thing.
FOX has some good polls. For example, their most recent battleground states, Ashleigh, in Ohio and Virginia, show Obama ahead of Romney by seven points. In Florida, the FOX News poll shows the President ahead of Romney by five points. Very similar to all these other so-called mainstream poll numbers. You don't hear them complaining about the FOX News polls. They're complaining about the others, so there is an imbalance there.

If you take a look at all these polls, and we at CNN did a poll of polls, you show -- it clearly shows that the President is ahead slightly in almost all of these key battleground states. And I think that's pretty significant.

BANFIELD: We were just showing Virginia, and now here is Florida, and they're saying exactly what you just said, Wolf. And here is the thing. Yes, we're 40 days out. But early voting -- we started the program talking about the significance of early voting and the volumes of people who do early voting. Which brings me to my next question, regardless of what the Romney camp is saying about their internal polls, is it entirely possible they are seeing these polls that are now, as I said, solidifying with early voters and saying it may be time to spend the money on down-ballot contenders and go for the House and go for the Senate because we've lost those states at this point?

[Blogger Note: Wolf immediately rolls back his comments so as not to offend the GOP. Typical. The truth is never enough.]

BLITZER: Yes, I think it's way too premature to say they've lost those states. It's early. I've seen polls turn around the final 40 days of an election. They certainly can turn around in this election. And let's not forget --

BANFIELD: But even with the early voting numbers, Wolf?

BLITZER: Even with the early voting numbers. This is not over by any means, Ashleigh. There's three presidential debates, one vice presidential debate. And I remember very vividly -- you probably were too young to remember -- the 1980 race.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I don't see a way to email you, so I'ma put this in a comment that you should just go ahead and delete, or better yet, not publish. You've spelled arithmetic with an "a" where the "e" should be. No biggy, but I like your blog and thought you might want to change the spelling.

    DO like your blog. :)