One of my listeners recently sent me this story from National Journal, which documents both how polling done by the Republican Party establishment is usually so far off. Remember all the grandiose predictions from these people in 2012 that never came to pass? How about the fact, as National Journal points out, they were “only” 45 points off in Eric Cantor’s loss to Dave Brat last week. How is it possible they keep making these mistakes.
There are two reasons, in my opinion.
1) They’re not pollsters, they’re propagandists.
The main goal of the Republican Party establishment is to perpetuate itself, in order to do that it has to perpetuate two preferred mythologies: the liberal media is always wrong, and the GOP’s conservative/libertarian base is just there to be corralled and used when convenient. For these people to stay in power, and continue the crime family-like scam (according to former Reagan biographer Craig Shirley) they’re current endeavoring, they must continue this magical thinking regardless of all evidence to the contrary.
In other words, they’re not analyzing hard data to find out how to alter the objective outcome to their liking. They’re manipulating the data in the hopes of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is what we used to call a “scam.”
The truth is while the liberal media often gets it wrong ideologically (check out this hatchet job the Washington Post just tried on the Heritage Foundation, for example), when it comes to polling on elections they’re right over 90% of the time. I know, because I documented it myself in new book. In fact, one of the most accurate pollsters of the 2012 election cycle was one of the most Leftist — Public Policy Polling.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t trust these Leftists on issue-based polling, because that kind of push polling can get you the result you want by how you frame the question. For example, in 2013 I was consulted on some extensive national pro-life polling done on the rape/incest question. When we asked the our polling sample “should a woman have to carry a baby she conceived against her will in rape/incest to term” the answer was overwhelmingly no. On the other hand, when we asked the same polling same “should a child be executed for the crimes of his/her father” almost the exact same percentage said no. We got a different answer to the same question, depending on how it was framed.
But when it comes to calling races they nail it far more often than not. At the very least their track record is vastly superior to the Republican Establishment’s polling (propagandists). This is why when I want help knowing the real numbers I go to pollsters who aren’t bought and sold by the GOP establishment, like my friend Rick Shaftan in New Jersey.
2. Their methodology is outdated.
People my age and younger don’t respond to traditional polling mechanisms like previous generations did. They’re less likely to have a land-line at all, and more likely not to even be aware of what the “networks” are saying/doing, but far more likely to read Red State on the Right or Huffington Post on the Left after they check out Drudge online. Because everything about the GOP establishment says “1989″ they don’t know how to reach those people with either their ideas or polling. In fact, I’ve been privy to conversations where they’ve openly bristled at attempting to do so.
That’s why in the 2012 cycle I started following the polling methodology of conservative pollster Gabriel Joseph, who polls cell phone users exclusively. In 2012 his data had the presidential election pegged virtually the whole way through, bad news and all. Gabriel actually wants his clients/causes to win, so he tells them the truth.
Now you know at least some of the reasons why many consider me one of the most accurate political analysts in conservative media, and I get asked to pontificate on these matters by the media, or consult with conservative candidates/causes across the country all the time. It’s not because I have a 5th element or a 6th sense no one else has. Or because I have a crystal ball or an oracle I consult. It’s because I’m actually willing to objectively analyze the data that is — not the data I want it to be. I’m tired of being lied to, so I assume many of you are as well.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.