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unc70

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC
Member since: Tue Aug 16, 2005, 10:43 PM
Number of posts: 2,368

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Company linked to Bain/Romney selects who gets called for majority of election polling

Company linked to Bain/Romney selects who is called in nearly every election poll

Gallup, Rasmussen, Quinnipiac, Pew, AP GfK Roper, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, WP, NYT, Elon, and the great majority of the rest.

Most pollsters entrust their sampling to a single company

Every statistically sound poll relies on trusting the "random sample" of telephone numbers that they call. Pollsters today rarely select the samples used in their surveys, trusting instead those created by companies considered sampling experts. In most cases, they entrust sampling to a single company, Survey Sampling International. That is a lot of trust to place in any one entity, its employees, procedures, data, and suppliers. A lot to trust, and little way to verify. Same for all the call lists based on additional demographic and other data associated with each phone number. If you control who is called, you can determine the poll results.

The trust in SSI was built up over several decades by its founders and employees. But SSI today is not that trusted company. It was taken over and acquired by Western WATS/Opinionology, but legally it was a merger with the resulting entity the legal continuation of SSI, its corporate history, identity, home state (CT), and reputation, but its control, ownership, operations and goals remain that of Opinionology, a Utah company with a notorious past and a poor reputation.

Opinionology began as a company named Western WATS in Orem, UT whose founder is a friend of Mitt. He appears to have sold his ownership around 2004, then Sterling Investment Partners became majority owner in 2006. During 2007-2008 Western WATS was a center for dirty tricks, scandals, and massive child-labor law violations. A lot was posted here at DU. Here is an article about some of that:

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/695230357/Utah-firm-hired-to-smear-Romney.html?pg=all

In 2010, Western WATS changed its name to Opinionology months before it acquired SSI, publicly described as "a merger of equals", with the company after the merger operating under SSI name and corporate identity. Current SSI CEO Christopher Fanning had been CEO of Lattice Semiconductor, a widely discussed Bain company under Romney. Doug Newhouse of Sterling Investment Partners even posted about owning a polling company back in 2008.

Has anyone actually manipulated poll results this way? I don't know. They have the means, opportunity, and motive. The polls have certainly been interesting this cycle, from well before the Republican debates.

It is urgent that DU look at this closely. Grantcart's Gravis group, the experts on Bain, all of you not doing GOTV. Follow the corporate ties with SSI, its owners, board, and management. Look for examples of new Romney campaign TPs being supported within 1-2 weeks by new poll. Lots of threads to follow.


NOTE: Statistically sound polls that weight adjust their results are more robust and resistant to may sampling issues.


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