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Member since: Sat Jan 5, 2008, 07:45 PM
Number of posts: 41,819

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The time has come to take the (D) off of PPP Polling.

One of the frustrations of the last campaign season was the designation of various polling. Gravis was never identified as R even when it issued polls which gave Romney huge leads in the swing states of CO, VA and NC.

PPP on the other hand seemed to have the most accurate polling. It labeled NC as a tie when Gravis was giving Romney an 8+ advantage. PPP is always identified as a Democratic polling firm because they are frequently hired by Democrats. And yet in 2010 they went against the pack in predicting first that Brown would take Kennedy's seat.

Fordham University examined and ranked the various polling. The most accurate pollster was PPP. PPP therefore has to be considered the baseline and from that point all other pollsters you would either fall in the range of error or show a consistent R or D bias. The pollster who is identified as the most accurate cannot be categorized as having a bias, by definition. PPP is the only pollster that cannot be given either a D or R.

The fact that the most accurate pollster is usually hired by Democrats, or that they are run by Democrats, or that they make the most sense to Democrats doesn't mean that PPP leans Democratic it means that Democrats lean to objectivity.

The media should stop attaching 'D' to PPP, they are only embarrassing themselves.


Fordham Ranks the accuracy of various pollsters.

1. PPP (D)*
1. Daily Kos/SEIU/PPP*
3. YouGov*
4. Ipsos/Reuters*
5. Purple Strategies
6. YouGov/Economist
11. Angus-Reid*
12. ABC/WP*
13. Pew Research*
13. Hartford Courant/UConn*
15. Monmouth/SurveyUSA
15. Politico/GWU/Battleground
15. FOX News
15. Washington Times/JZ Analytics
15. Newsmax/JZ Analytics
15. American Research Group
15. Gravis Marketing
23. Democracy Corps (D)*
24. Rasmussen
24. Gallup
26. NPR
27. National Journal*

Magic Presto How DU moved a pollster 5 points to the left.

Don't have a lot of time but quickly two general points on the polling and prediction results. DU group wisdom was better than most of the punditry. North Carolina was largely written off as either a solid Romney or Lean Romney State. It was not. It was, until late in the night, a tossup state. It was the only toss up state that the President didn't win.

Here are the percents of difference in the 6 closest races (from CNN totals)

Florida .56 %
Ohio 1.92%
North Carolina 2.17 %
Virginia 2.96%
Colorado 4.3 %
New Hampshire 5.4%

We were right that North Carolina should have been ruled a toss up, within the MOE and not a lean Romney state, even though he did take it, the only swing state that went his way.

How DU Moved a pollster 5 points to the left

At a time when Romney was looking like he was going to lose every single swing state, and major media is recording that there is a sudden down turn in money coming into the Romney campaign a new pollster emerges and gives encouraging numbers showing Romney walking away in North Carolina, Virginia and Colorado. His numbers go into the averages, right wing bloggers rejoice and, apparently the money starts flowing into the Romney campaign again.

But many DUers call bullshit. And some ripples go out across the web. Astonishingly the owner, Douglas Kaplan (later to be known as Douglas "I am not a pollster" Kaplan) joins DU to defend his company. His responses are uninformed, weak and, remarkably, Kaplan is tossed off the site as an uninformed troll, not even meeting the admittedly low bar we have for trolls here.

Curiosity is raised and I launch an intensive long drawn out 27 minute investigation of Gravis while I am watching Matt Damon try to figure out for the 8th time why he was in Germany killing someone and why does everyone keep calling him Jason Bourne. Using the advanced investigative techniques that escape the New York Times and the rest of the media I take the extraordinary steps of clicking on Gravis Marketing. I then use the seldom used "Google" feature (if you are not familiar with it "Google" google and it will tell you more). This brings up a radio interview and I leave Matt Damon in his confused state and listen while doing paper work. When they get to the heart of the interview Kaplan remarks that the South Carolina's significance in the Republican Primary was because South Carolina "was the first state to leave the Union" and that's when I knew that this guy who presents himself as someone who has managed "national presidential and state campaigns" was in fact a buffoon of limited education or self awareness.

More investigation followed and on October 7th DU ran this thread to the head of the class stating, perhaps still a little too restrained and subtle for Major Media "DU Exclusive: Gravis Marketing exposed as a fraud" http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021489250

It goes out over the internet and various other sites pick it up.

And then a miracle happens.

Those states where Gravis Marketing shows Romney walking away before the DU expose suddenly jump back to the left by 5 points.

In fact Colorado jumps back in just a few days.

Let's look at the "DU Effect" on Gravis results (as sourced by polls listed with Silver)

North Carolina before DU (10/6) Gravis had North Carolina at 8.7% for Romney after DU expose Gravis pulled it down to 4.0 and the final result showed that the Pre DU Gravis was off by 6.7%

Virginia before DU (9/9) had Romney +5.3 and after DU expose Virginia was a tie (10/26) and the final result showed that the Pre DU Gravis was off by 8.2%

Colorado before DU (10/4) had Romney up 3.5% and AA supporting Romney over Obama and just one week later PRESTO (10/11) Gravis found a massive move to Obama who was now up 2.4% and the AA community had changed their minds back to supporting the President. Gravis' pre DU expose poll would be 8.8% the final result.

So to all of those FReepers, Cave Dwellers and Right Wing nut jobs that just rushed over and gave Kaplan a big embrace, we caught him red handed in the act and everything that we have said about Kaplan, and his past has been proven true. You can hire as many schmucks as you want to put lipstick on a pig but it is still just lipstick on a pig.

So while we got the pollster to jump back 5 points it should be noted that his pre DU expose numbers were 6.7 to 8.8% off the final result (Human events how do you like those numbers. Do you still consider that 'bullying'?)

Oh yeah and all of those toss up swing states that you reached in and got your hard earned money and threw it at the incredibly rich Romney so that he could appear to be competitive in for absolutely no effect?

He lost them all except NC, which was a cliff hanger.

We were right and you were duped.

Oh and one more thing, FOUR MORE YEARS.

Full index on Gravis Polls here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021568200

Toasting the person most responsible for taking Romney and his money down:

The unknown man or woman who taped Romney with his fundraisers.

Whoever you are we are very grateful.

If you ever reveal yourself you will never be able to buy yourself another drink or meal in public for the rest of your life.

Mitt you could have been a contender but you opened your mouth at the wrong time and
let everyone see what you are really all about, so close, so sad.

Good summary by ABC news.


Before a May 17 fundraising dinner at a Florida mansion, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told the reporters who'd been tailing him on the campaign trail that he was sorry they couldn't follow him inside.

"Too bad you can't come to the fundraisers," Romney told reporters.

While the journalists were left outside, however, someone inside the lavishly catered dinner decided to do a little freelance reporting, creating the latest viral recording to jar a national political campaign.

A camera secretly recorded Romney from a serving table at the edge of the room as he addressed an audience of 40 or 50 at the $50,000-a-plate event, delivering remarks that would make headlines four months later. Romney dismissed Obama supporters as entitled "victims."

"There are 47 percent who are with him," said Romney, "who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what."

Gravis Working Group versus the New York Times, letter to NYTimes Ombudsman

<Because the work product to get here was shared I give credit to the unnamed assistants of the GWG but
in this case the arguments are mine, so any errors are mine alone. It is doubtful that a single letter to the
NYT is going to get far. If you are interested in sharing your opinion on the subject Margaret Sullivan is the
NYT Ombudsman and her email address is public@nytimes.com.

Also I don't have time to crosspost this elsewhere. I waive all copyright and thank you in advance for crossposting elsewhere, please let us know if it gets any traction >

Dear Margaret,

I am writing to raise serious questions about the NYTimes use of polls from the time of August through today.

I have discovered and exposed one of the most frequently used and heavily weighted pollsters used by the NYT (and more specifically Nate Silver) as someone who is a prolific liar with no post high school education (although multiple CVs claim 'attending' various diploma mills like DeVry) and no previous professional association with a pollster. With a group of citizen investigators we have pieced together the 'pollsters' last 10 years of professional work and know that he is a frequent target of federal and state investigations because he violates federal laws with junk faxes and robo calling. In fact he is a robo callier, not a pollster, confirmed by the source himself. I have detailed these charges in a 10 article expose at Democratic Underground and you can find an index to the articles here:


If you are short on time but have some interest start with article;

X. Gravis Working Group: Douglas Kaplan confirms our charges he is not a pollster.


After our constant bombardment Douglas Kaplan admits the following

1) He is not a professional pollster
2) He has no academic training in polling
3) His earlier polls were substandard
4) He has 'had to hire' a statistician and a 'political adviser' because these are areas outside of his expertise.

To the other charges, contained in a hundred pages of published material, he doesn't comment on, but no one has refuted a single one of our charges or facts.

This is not a trivial issue about a habitual liar (in an interview with the Voice of Russia Kaplan boasts that he has run both Presidential and State campaigns) who punked Nate Silver.

In the new world of post Citizen United we are faced with vast war chests of hundreds of millions of dollars entering the field from specific moneyed interests like Koch (heavy industrial) or Adelson (gambling). Does the NYT think that this wash of money is only going to be used to buy ad time?

It is not.

The Romney campaign has shown a propensity of buying supporting campaign infrastructure. Need a hundred thousand twitter followers? Buy them. Can't find editorial cartoons that make pro Romney cartoons? Set up a faux editorial cartoon site, hire a cartoonist that works for the Mormon Church and pretend that it has no connection to the Romney campaign.


We have seen with the hateful antics of James Keefe III that there are resources to fund the type of activities that the NYTimes used to win Pulitzer Prizes for exposing ala Liddy and the Plumbers that were part of the Nixon White House. Now they appear to be part of the acceptable landscape and after having taken out an important advocate the poor, ACORN we are now seeing AA standing in 5 hour lines to vote just 12 years after we vowed that it would never happen again.

So it must be asked if the New York Times is missing the big picture, is there a campaign to use vast amounts of money to shape the geography of the campaign for the special interests, beyond simply buying ad.

Now we come to the more specific question of the polls that are used by Nate Silver. While not a statistician I understand his model to be based on the baseball idea model of a virtual conveyor belt of unending statistics. That model worked well in 2008 where there was a vast and unending number of polls due to two contested primaries and the historically unique campaign of electing our first African American President. This year not so much.

In August Gravis Marketing started publishing polls. A lot of them. In certain swing states they were the most frequent. In some cases they had the widest margin for Romney. Silver gave them the highest weight, higher than well established, but Republican leaning Rasmussen. Not only that there were a large number of other Right Wing polls (ARG, Rasmussen, Purple Strategies, et al, ad naseum). In 2008 you could argue that the polls balanced each other out. In 2012 that claim can no longer be made. Zogby is gone.

Silver does weight the polls. Curiously Rasmussen, who is a real pollster and gets paid for it, does not receive full credit because he leans consistently Republican. Rasmussen is honest about his bias and while not academically trained in statistics he has a known background and did in fact attend college.

Mr. Silver gives a heavier weighting to Mr. Douglas Kaplan. Kaplan is a proven liar who never achieved any academic distinction, and admits it. Mr. Kaplan's experience is that of junk faxing and robo calling primarily around marketing dubious travel packages on unsuspecting dupes. He has been the target of federal and state complaints as well as lawsuits by Disney.

Mr. Silver may not be aware of his past but Mickey Mouse is.

As I said I am not a statistician. I am however (or technically was some years ago) a certified inspector in the quality control system known as ISO 9001. In the terms of ISO 9001 the 538 pollster column is in 'significant non compliance' with any known quality system. Mr. Silver's product is based on the raw material he receives. If he doesn't control the BS he gets in he cannot control, no matter how much weighting he attempts, the quality of the product. The first step that Mr. Silver must undertake is to be sure that the pollsters he is using are in fact pollsters.

Honestly it took me only 30 minutes to figure out that Douglas Kaplan was a fraud. I explain it in detail in the above link but I after I clicked on Mr. Kaplan's media link and listened to an interview he did on Voice of Russia where in answer to the question (which was the announced topic of the show) "What is the importance of the South Carolina Primary?", Mr. Kaplan completely disassembles and proffers "South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union" I knew that Kaplan was not only a fake but not a very intelligent one at that.

More investigation and more questionable details about Kaplan flowed out without much effort. Under the steady drumbeat of facts Kaplan acknowledges that he is in fact, not a pollster and that his early polls 'were not very good'. And yet those polls were fine for Mr. Silver.

On Mr. Silver's behalf I know that his model requires a vast number of polls to improve the prediction quality. But, quite frankly, Douglas Kaplan has successfully punked Nate Silver.

It is obvious that Silver's justification is that 'if it looks like a good poll, numbers match like a good poll, and it walks like a good poll' it is a good poll.

This is ridiculous. Clearly we have people doing polling not to reflect opinion but to move perception, or make opinion. Mr. Silver acknowledges this fact every time he gives Rasmussen polls a lower weight.

If you were interested in using a fake pollster, oh say like you are using a fake editorial cartoonist, the way that you would buy your way in is to offer up a number of polls that matched the expected average, then when needed you can start publishing numbers that pull the averaged poll numbers your way.

Mr. Kaplan started publishing polls only 77 days ago (this was 6 months after he had gone on Voice of Russia and talked about his extensive experience as a Presidential campaign manager and glibly lying about dozens of polls that he had done, including one that was coming out just as soon as he got off the air with the English speaking Russophiles. Lie after lie after lie, including detailed discussions about his work in certain counties in Iowa. All now acknowledged by Mr. Kaplan as not being true. He admits he is just a robo caller who wanted to get a bigger slice of the pie.

Again all of this was found out by spending 20 minutes listening to the tape that Kaplan had linked to his own website.

Which brings us to Mr. Silver's probability score on North Carolina.

North Carolina is actually more important than Ohio. Mr. Romney needs to flip a number of states from Mr. Obama's 2008 performance in order to have any level of credibility in the Electoral College race. He has Indiana. After that he has North Carolina. If he can't flip North Carolina (that was decided by only 25,000 votes) then the likelihood that he can flip Virginia, Ohio, Iowa, Nevada, or Wisconsin are non existent.

North Carolina is the key to maintaining a facade of Electoral College viability. Enter Gravis Marketing and a whole bunch of unknown right wing pollsters. I looked at Gravis because a) most frequent b) farthest out. At the same time that PPP is showing NC a tie. Gravis continues to show it a Romney runaway up by +9 +8 +4. Just as the NYTimes and other outlets are reporting that Romney is having problems raising money Gravis comes in with magic numbers in North Carolina.

Talking about money we should also note that we have also documented that Mr. Kaplan has hundreds of thousands of dollars of IRS liens, multiple foreclosures and has said that he 'isn't making a dime out of the polls'. The kind hearted Kaplan is favoring us with independent polls, paid out of his own pocket, even hiring statisticians and political advisers that coincidentally serve to maintain Romney's Electoral College viability and help keep his fund raising ship afloat.

Hey, even Mickey Mouse wasn't fooled by this guy.

Nate Silver maintains that North Carolina has a 80% probability of Romney winning (ok today he lowered it to 77%). Look at the early voting results. North Carolina is a 50/50 tossup, but given the number of new voters that the Obama campaign has brought in so far, you would have to give a slight edge to the President taking North Carolina.

Why does it matter? Its just one state.

We don't need Nate Silver to be right about Hawaii or Utah. His value, and his only value is in the close states. And in all of the close states, North Carolina is the most important for reasons noted above.

For the record we obtained emails of various editors including political desks and inside emails to Nate Silver offering all of the information about Doug Kaplan and Gravis Marketing before we blogged the results and never got an answer. Further these issues have been discussed in various parts of the blogosphere, including discussion threads at Intrade and we have to assume that Silver and the political desk did know that highly dubious facts about Gravis were available. There are more details to come as well.

At this point none of the charges or facts that we have documented have been refuted and in his last interview Kaplan confirms that he is not trained (either in an academic or professional setting) in polling that he learned it 'from scratch' and that the quality of some of his polls were not good.

Silver might have had a question when one of Gravis' polls showed a majority of African Americans supporting Mitt Romney, but even that obvious brick didn't change the fact that for most of September Gravis was the most prolific and therefore the most used pollster in polling averages and had become, for a few weeks at least "America's most powerful Pollster".

There is more to this story but I will leave you with just one question. At the same time that Kaplan is launching his faux polling company he also launches this Political Action Committee, The Protect Candidate Speech PAC


Nate, New York Times, why would a legitimate independent pollster start a PAC? Has this ever happened before? How would that be consistent with someone that was doing legitimate polling? Is there someway that a dishonest person could profit from such an arrangement? All questions for the future.

Nate Silver and the New York Times didn't just drop the ball, you dropped it in the ninth inning of the seventh game of the World Series.



Serious Proposal: Separate Group for FB Meme

What makes GD so interesting is that it is like building a brick fence. One person makes a post about Iowa and another about a poll in Iowa and another on the pollster. Thread by thread a tapestry is woven and if you can keep up with the information, observation analysis and snark it is a singularly rich and sometimes frustrating place (particularly if you don't agree with the majority opinion).

It is a unique place on the web where conversation among a widely intelligent group of people in diverse backgrounds challenge and persuade. It is intriguing but not perfect.

In that flow people post the latest FB meme. These meme are almost invariably low information in nature. Some people post them to let others know what is going around on FB. Others post it seeking a rebuttal. It is a favorite tool of the putrid troll that is trying to provoke.

As someone who has no interest in Face Book, I just don't have the time and don't really tolerate idiot questions from acquaintances well, and given that I have a practice with several hundred clients and wouldn't want to involve them in my politics, I plan to just let the FB pass me by until I have grandchildren at which time I am sure I will become an insufferable Face Booker.

So at first I was really irritated evey time somebody posted some silly FB meme in GD. Now I see it as a good thing, as a way for people to engage people and persuade them.

In that light I suggest that we have a group especially for FB meme. It would serve a positive purpose in allowing people to post positive and negative things they find on FB. It would also show which FB are getting wide spread attention and which are isolated postings. It would save people from reposting the same meme, as they could find the thread on that FB meme and post on that.

It would take it out of GD which would solve my OCD compulsion to have neat boxes of topics. But it would help traffic for two reasons. FB meme threads generally don't do that well in GD and generally sink out of sight anyway, so a separate group would actually give them more exposure. Secondly it would reduce some of the traffic in GD which can result in a great thread sinking out of sight before it is seen.

It would be particularly helpful to new members who are interested in spreading the word but may be posting a FB meme that is new to them but has had 5 cycles in GD.

I am sure that there are 34 reasons why it isn't a good idea but I can't see them so I submit this humbly so the gang can reduce it to shreds.


10/27 Update on early voting NC and IA, good news, not great, and possibly great hard numbers.

The early voting news is good, not great, and possibly great.

The good news is that with the possible exception of Colorado the Obama campaign is mounting a huge GOTV effort and will almost certainly be going into every swing state with a huge lead. That's the good news.

In North Carolina for example MattTX at DailyKos reports


Early Voting in NC on Thursday and Friday was pretty consistent with the pattern we saw in Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday early voting. 170,215 people voted on Thursday and 173,543 more voted on Friday.

Overall, 1,352,147 people have voted and President Obama has built up an estimated margin of about 117,939 votes.

The not great news is that in 2008 the President was up 170,000 at the same time. It all comes down to one question, "How many early votes are from regular voters and how many are from so called 'sporadic voters'. There is good evidence that Romney's numbers are simply shuffling election day voters to vote earlier while the President's numbers include sizeable numbers of new or sporadic voters.

It will take more days of reporting to know for sure. North Carolina is going to be very very close, but the President will probably head into election day with an advantage and a fair chance to win. This is 'not great' news.

What makes this also 'possibly great news' is that Romney has to turn a whole bunch of states from bue to red. Give him Indiana, and after that the going gets tough. If Romney does win North Carolina but only by the narrowest of margins it is logical to conclude that Romney isn't going to have enough momentum in other states where Obama's margin was larger than the 14,000 in NC to overturn them.

North Carolina is going to be very very close and Romney really needs a big win in NC not a cliff hanger if he's also going to be taking any other 2008 Obama states to the Republican side.

Nevad also is showing very good numbers as reported by fightingregistrar at DailyKos


In the previous daily report, Democrats bested Republicans by 5,202 ballots cast. In this one, Democrats outstripped Republicans by 5,535. In fact, the Republican percentage went down among early voters since the previous report. These are very solid numbers for us in Clark County, especially considering that Romney is contesting Nevada much more vigorously than McCain did four years ago.

Now, here are the cumulative figures, including mail-in ballots:

Dems 105,338 (49.75%)
Reps 69,294 (32.73%)
Inds 37,107 (17.52%)

TOTAL 211,739

As of this report, 24.86% of the 851,803 active voters in Clark County have voted. That is huge. At this point in 2008, about 17% of all active voters had voted.

(Washoe County, the other large county is basically split exactly even. The two counties account for 90% of the vote. A sizeable win in Clark County determines the state results)

Other notes from McDonald at George Mason


Iowa, 400,000 absentee and early votes, 44% Dems, 30% Rep.

Florida 1.1 million cast with Republicans 45 to Dems 40%, but and this is a big but, in Florida Republicans normally have a 12 point advantage in early/absentee voting and Dems make it up on election day.

Excerpts from the transcript from "the 1980s are calling" "horses & bayonets" "teacher love"

OBAMA: Governor Romney, I'm glad that you recognize that Al Qaida is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what's the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not Al Qaida; you said Russia, in the 1980s, they're now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War's been over for 20 years.

But Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s.

. . .

OBAMA: You said that we should still have troops in Iraq to this day. You indicated that we shouldn't be passing nuclear treaties with Russia despite the fact that 71 senators, Democrats and Republicans, voted for it. You said that, first, we should not have a timeline in Afghanistan. Then you said we should. Now you say maybe or it depends, which means not only were you wrong, but you were also confusing in sending mixed messages both to our troops and our allies.

. . .

ROMNEY: Syria is Iran's only ally in the Arab world. It's their route to the sea.

. . .
OBAMA: And to the governor's credit, you supported us going into Libya and the coalition that we organized. But when it came time to making sure that Gadhafi did not stay in power, that he was captured, Governor, your suggestion was that this was mission creep, that this was mission muddle.

Imagine if we had pulled out at that point. You know, Moammar Gadhafi had more American blood on his hands than any individual other than Osama bin Laden. And so we were going to make sure that we finished the job. That's part of the reason why the Libyans stand with us.

But we did so in a careful, thoughtful way, making certain that we knew who we were dealing with, that those forces of moderation on the ground were ones that we could work with, and we have to take the same kind of steady, thoughtful leadership when it comes to Syria. That's exactly what we're doing.

. . .

ROMNEY: No. I believe, as the president indicated, and said at the time that I supported his - his action there. I felt that - I wish we'd have had a better vision of the future.

. . .

ROMNEY: Our Navy is old - excuse me, our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917. The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. We're now at under 285. We're headed down to the low 200s if we go through a sequestration. That's unacceptable to me.

I want to make sure that we have the ships that are required by our Navy. Our Air Force is older and smaller than at any time since it was founded in 1947.

. . .
OBAMA:You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.

OBAMA: And so the question is not a game of Battleship, where we're counting slips. It's what are our capabilities. And so when I sit down with the Secretary of the Navy and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we determine how are we going to be best able to meet all of our defense needs in a way that also keeps faith with our troops, that also makes sure that our veterans have the kind of support that they need when they come home.

. . .

OBAMA: And, you know, we visited the website quite a bit and it still doesn't work.

. . .

OBAMA: Bob, let me just respond.

Nothing Governor Romney just said is true, starting with this notion of me apologizing. This has been probably the biggest whopper that's been told during the course of this campaign. And every fact checker and every reporter who's looked at it, Governor, has said this is not true.

And when it comes to tightening sanctions, look, as I said before, we've put in the toughest, most crippling sanctions ever. And the fact is, while we were coordinating an international coalition to make sure these sanctions were effective, you were still invested in a Chinese state oil company that was doing business with the Iranian oil sector.

. . .
Obama: If we're going to talk about trips that we've taken - when I was a candidate for office, first trip I took was to visit our troops. And when I went to Israel as a candidate, I didn't take donors. I didn't attend fundraisers. I went to Yad Beshef (ph), the Holocaust museum there, to remind myself the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel will be unbreakable.

And then I went down to the border towns of Storok (ph), which had experienced missiles raining dowm from Hamas. And I saw families there who showed me there where missiles had come down near their children's bedrooms. And I was reminded of what that would mean if those were my kids. Which is why as president, we funded an Iron Dome program to stop those missiles.

. . .
Obama: In the same way that you initially opposed a timetable in Afghanistan, now you're for it, although it depends. In the same way that you say you would have ended the war in Iraq, but recently gave a speech saying that we should have 20,000 more folks in there. The same way that you said that it was mission creep to go after Gadhafi.

When it comes to going after Osama bin Laden, you said, well, any president would make that call. But when you were a candidate in 2008, as I was, and I said if I got bin Laden in our sights I would take that shot, you said we shouldn't move heaven and earth to get one man.

OBAMA: And you said we should ask Pakistan for permission. And if we had asked Pakistan permission, we would not have gotten him. And it was worth moving heaven and earth to get him.

. . .

ROMNEY: But I love teachers. But I want to get our private sector growing and I know how to do it.

SCHIEFFER: I think we all love teachers.

. . .

OBAMA: Well, thank you very much, Bob, Governor Romney, and to Lynn University. You've now heard three debates, months of campaigning and way too many TV commercials. And now you've got a choice. Over the last four years we've made real progress digging our way out of policies that gave us two prolonged wars, record deficits and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

And Governor Romney wants to take us back to those policies, a foreign policy that's wrong and reckless, economic policies that won't create jobs, won't reduce our deficit, but will make sure that folks at the very top don't have to play by the same rules that you do.

And I've got a different vision for America. I want to build on our strengths. And I've put forward a plan to make sure that we're bringing manufacturing jobs back to our shores by rewarding companies and small businesses that are investing here, not overseas.

I want to make sure we've got the best education system in the world. And we're retaining our workers for the jobs of tomorrow.

I want to control our own energy by developing oil and natural gas but also the energy sources of the future.

Yes, I want to reduce our deficit by cutting spending that we don't need but also by asking the wealthy to do a little bit more so that we can invest in things like research and technology that are the key to a 21st century economy.

As Commander in Chief, I will maintain the strongest military in the world, keep faith with our troops and go after those who would do us harm. but after a decade of war, I think we all recognize we've got to do some nation building here at home, rebuilding our roads, our bridges and especially caring for our Veterans who sacrificed so much for our freedom.

And we've been through tough times but we always bounce back because of our character, because we pull together and if I have the privilege of being your president for another four years, I promise you I will always listen to your voices. I will fight for your families and I will work every single day to make sure that America continues to be the greatest nation on earth.

Thank you.

Message to FR and other Cons who have jumped into bed with Douglas Kaplan from Gravis Working Group

Edited to add that Kaplan's admission to FR contributor that he had to hire a statistician confirms one of our basic contentions. They are not a professional polling firm and don't have that kind of expertise. Now for Nate and the others to evaluate Gravis they should know who that is because Kaplan has admitted he doesn't have the expertise. BTW Doug every time you open your mouth you give us another nugget. More interviews please.

Regarding the following comment that has been relayed to us from Free Republic

Left-wing bloggers and activists declared war on an independent pollster, who dared to pick up on Romney’s positive momentum, both nationally and in the states.

“I don’t run fake polls,” said Douglas J. Kaplan, who owns Winter Springs, Fla.-based Gravis Marketing, and who has been polling and releasing polls on the presidential election.

“It is ridiculous,” he said. “We have no power. We put out polls.”

“They are trying to shut me down because they think I’m a pro-Romney pollster,” he said. “They said Karl Rove was funding me, I wish I knew Karl Rove.”

We have been contacted by various conservative media who requested an interview.

We still have more to release but we did pass the following on to conservative and right wing media outlets that seemed honestly interested in getting more information;

We expect that many of your questions will be answered by our latest post but that it will raise even more questions. This one paragraph should be of the most interest to you and your people:

One word of caution. We are not finding that there is a strong link between Kaplan and his known associates and the Republican Party, the conservative movement or politics in general. It may be that polling was only part of a wider scope of activities. We still have a great deal of material we are going through.

While people on the right might still be clinging to Gravis they won't when we are finished and the longer they defend him the sillier they will look. Read his tweets. Read his bios. Try and figure out what college he thinks he really went to. Ask yourself why would a pollster start a PAC?

If you want to understand where this is going then you should start investigating all of the different associates that he has been working with over the last 10 years. These are not the only mugshots that will be attached to the Gravis story.


I hope that you will note that when we could have written this with a slant that "this is how Republicans act" or "see your typical Republican mug shot" we did not.

This is called comity.

Here is the definition:


It doesn't seem to be a word that anyone in the right wing media is familiar with.


The Gravis Working Group at DU.

One of the reasons that it has taken so long is that Kaplan is such a prolific fabricator that we had to take apart one level of lies after another. He lied about who he was, where he studied and what he has been doing. He has no back ground in political science or statistics but is a serial junk fax con man, robo caller that has tried to cash in on the political season and has a long history of FCC violations.

There are other more personal facts that we have become aware of that we could have used to assassinate the character of Mr. Kaplan if we really wanted to 'declare war' on Mr. Kaplan.

He has four strong passions. He is passionate about his son, his dogs, the conviction of Casey Anthony and supporting the State of Israel. His world view isn't sophisticated enough to be linked to a political ideology. Listen to the tapes in our link and you will realize that he has the sophistication of the guy in the booth next to you at Denny's.

We are not trying to 'shut him down'. We are trying to force those that average polls together admit that they really don't have an object professional standard when it comes to choosing which polls to go. Any shutting down won't be done by us but by folks with federal alphabet soup names or State LEOs after the election is over

We have never alleged that he is connected to Karl Rove. Of course the fact that he set up a PAC (an obvious conflict for a pollster) made us wonder if he wasn't either fishing for some of the Koch brother largess or a James O'Keefe III imitator (who he followed on tweeter). His assertion that we alleged a tie to Karl Rove is in fact another lie. Just as he went on Russian English language radio and talked about all of the polls that Gravis was working on, except none were never released until 6 months later when Gravis became the most prolific swing state pollster of the season.

One last challenge for our friends at FR. He has consistently stated that he doesn't have clients for these polls and is doing it on 'his dime'. Now why would a guy facing massive IRS liens and foreclosures be running polls with no avenue of profit? By the way we know that among Kaplan's closest personal friends is a person who seems to be a consistent Obama supporter. He has tweeted some pedestrian statements appearing to support the Affordable Health Care Act and at the same time retweeting charges that Obama is a clandestine Muslim interloper.

For the record we have put out hundreds of facts on Kaplan and his associates and we are not aware of a single fact that has been challenged.

When we have had time to finish going through the mountain of backed up material and we release the final link to Kaplan and other 'alleged' activities that occurred at places where Kaplan was a manager at, and while he was a manager at, you will not be in his corner. We have published a list of people that Kaplan has had a long association with and you don't have to believe us, start running those names through the internet and you may be shocked at the connections you get.

We also believe that the idea that Kaplan is writing proprietary software is another in a long series of untrue self promotions. We believe that the software comes via Predictive Concepts (owned by Miller and Hymel) who have a partnering relationship with PIKA Technologies. Pika Technologies is the industry leader in robo calling hard and software and there several dozen companies that use their product for similar robo calling. Its not a major point, just another example of Kaplans unflagging self promotion from a fellow that has multiple CVs and can't decide which non accredited college he should say he entered.

In your conversation with Kaplan he states that he has hired a statistician.

Well Kaplan uses various social media to link to everyone he does business with. And I mean everyone. He even links to the attorneys that apparently defended him in the prosecution by the FCC.

So we know a lot of his associates and even social friends. We have not been able to identify this mysterious 'statistician' you refer to.

Now we know who Alan Giardinieri is and this is a fairly recent photo that was taken during the time when he is supposed to be working for Gravis:


That is not such a flattering picture of Alan so let's use this one instead;


We know who Ashlee Crosbie is. She is in fact a certified conservative and is registered over at Liberty Link a social site only for true blood conservatives (another cheap shot we could have used if we wanted to unfairly paint Gravis as a primarily consecrative operation but did not)

And we know who Randy Stevens is, the so called project manager. But none of these are qualified statisticians so why doesn't Kaplan reveal who is statistician is.

Now please note when we allege that Gravis Marketing is a Fraud we are not alleging that the calls are not being made, we know that they are. We note that some Gravis polls have published some results that have bordered on the twilight zone. Out of nowhere they have, for example showed Obama was 9 points behind based on the absurd suggestion that only 1 in 4 independents was going to the President (By the way with statistics in North Carolina showing the President's campaign 60,000 voters ahead of 4 years ago we agree with Daily Kos that something 'epic' is happening there. Wouldn't it be something if it was Gravis strange NC poll that got people in NC motivated) There was the strange Michigan poll that was the only one that shows Romney within the MOE. Now what was really odd about that was that Romney has given up in MI so why poll there, especially on your own dime. But it was Gravis CO poll that showed more AA favored Romney than the President that really provoked the laughter. It was such an idiotic result and so roundly laughed at that they turned around and did another one the day after the tabs were released. (BTW during the first part of October Gravis was doing almost a poll a day in the swing states. After we started publishing facts about Kaplan's background it slowed to about one a week.)

In any case its not the polls that are illegitimate but the company (and indeed Kaplan continues to insist that they make no money from the polling, that it is on his own dime). It is his lack of academic, professional and political science background and his self promotion of this as a primarily political marketing company that is a fraud. Kaplan has a 10 year history of running 'alleged' cons (some of which have been prosecuted by state and federal authorities. We don't think that if people understood that they would want to include Gravis in the polling 'club', more of that later.

We will have more latter in the week, we have businesses and professional practices to get back to and phone calls to make to re elect the President. Hey if you want to stand shoulder to shoulder with Doug and Alan, be our guest.

(apologies for any syntax or grammar errors, our eyes are getting tired from reading so many federal filings and mountains of backed up documents.)

Gravis Working Group

Prediction for the October surprise thread.

After the last debate both sides will almost certainly drop some surprises. For the Democrats if they have anything concrete on Romney's taxes that is when it will come.

The Republicans have a harder time because they haven't left anything behind in attacking him for 5 years.

But I predict that there will be something that will be very difficult for Romney.

and it will be leaked by someone in the Bush circle.

They don't want him to lose they want him eliminated for 2016.

That's my prediction. What's yours?

Gravis Exposed - America's Greatest Pollster Gets the Full Monty Index Updated 10/19/12 15:48 EST

Explanation of how the Gravis Working Group at DU is now operating below. The Did You Know feature will be changed frequently to add curious facts about Kaplan that will not fit into specific piece. They will be collected for the Douglas Kaplan trivia game that you will all want to play.

If you missed number VI then check it out, it establishes Gravis past known established criminal activities. There are more allegations to come from a really fine group of guys. Last we heard our statistician is going through everything Gravis Marketing has put out. He is so cautious he won't even tell us if it looks like the numbers look like real numbers or not. Got a good Did you Know update

Did You Know

Number 4 in a series of 538

In number 3 we requoted some of Kaplan's personal tweets.

Did you know that Gravis Marketing has established a very impressive tweeter following, as 'America's Greatest Pollster' you would expect he would. Here are some of the people on that list;

Nate Silver‏@fivethirtyeight

FiveThirtyEight blogger (http://nyti.ms/Qp8cqb). Author, The Signal and the Noise (http://amzn.to/QdyFYV). Sports/politics/food geek.

Gary R. Herbert‏@HerbertForUtah

Utah's 17th Governor


GOPAC is dedicated to educating and electing the next generation of Republican leaders.

and what appears to be hundreds of Republican Congressional Candidates.

Maybe they know that Gravis isn't a real polling company, maybe they are hoping to hear about a really cheap ticket to go to Florida on.

Here are the threads to date after the second thread I started getting substantial help from other contributors. After thread 4 other contributors will be posting their own threads. Each contributor is responsible for making sure their facts are correct. But we will try and be supportive of each others contributions. Phrig has compiled an evaluation that confirms dawolf's earlier assertion that they are impossible results. We welcome a technical discussion by competent statisticians on the issue. If it sustains peer review it would be devistating. But to the working group it is a little like digging up a corpse and redoing the autopsy and coming to the conclusion that the victim died not because the roof collapsed on him but because he saw the roof collapsing and had a heart attack.

We have published hundreds of relevant facts and none of them have been challenged. Whether or not the numbers are real or made up is very interesting but also beside the point. Douglas Kaplan doesn't have the academic credentials, professional experience or standing to be included in ANY polling averages with ANY level of weight. He does have a vast experience of criminial and illicit operations that have been the focus of state and federal prosecutions.

I. DU Exclusive: Gravis Marketing exposed as a fraud October 7th by grantcart

II.Gravis Marketing Exposed II. The Evisceration of Douglas Kaplan October 14th by grantcart

III. Things are about to get a whole lot tougher for Nate Silver by grantcart

IV. Update on the Gravis Marketing Fraud investigation; Statistician offers proof of fraud in the polls. October 16th by grantcart

V. Gravis Marketing Exposed - The Financial Side of America's "Greatest" Pollster by NorCen_CT


VII. Impossible results all throughout every single Gravis poll this year

VIIa. Non DU statistician who first argued that Gravis polls had "impossible results".


IX. Message to FR and other Cons who have jumped into bed with Douglas Kaplan from Gravis Working Group

X. Gravis Working Group: Douglas Kaplan confirms our charges he is not a pollster.

XI. Magic Presto How DU moved a pollster 5 points to the left

The Gravis Working Group at DU

I posted a couple of threads about Douglas Kaplan that had damning material about Gravis Marketing that I had gotten, mostly from his own words and website that showed Mr. Kaplan was, well, a fraud. The fact that he had gone from no profile to the most used and highest rated pollster at sites like RCP and 538 as well as the most quoted in the right wing blog field (go 100 pages deep into a Gravis Marketing Google and you will see the adoration) in only 68 days would, I supposed, trigger some MSM to pick up the thread and post a story or two.

Silly me.

Instead what happened is that I started getting an avalanche of material. It went from head scratching to jaw dropping to side splitting laughter to a nice well honed deep rage. We now have a very enthusiastic committed group of some very talented researchers (much more talented than me) who are working together in the 'Gravis Working Group'.

We contacted (in some cases with well established personal connections) some of the biggest names of the MSM with an offer to hand over all of the material in exchange for a commitment to expose the entire story and they gave us the appropriate emails to the key editors. Crickets. We also tried contacting a couple outstanding progressive legal firms and ask if they could simply help us catalog all of the legal documents but they could not spare the time to go through all of Doug Kaplan's legal 'situations' and those of his known associates who appear as co-dependents in legal actions.

So the "Gravis Working Group at DU" was formed. Some will be posting and some prefer to remain anonymous. Some are new to DU but have rather exceptional research skills. Scary good.

The other part of the Gravis Working Group at DU is you. We ask that you be critical readers and test the links and the assertions. So far no fact that we have asserted about Gravis has been refuted. It maybe that given the volume and interest in getting this out during the campaign period that we get a fact misplaced. You be the jury. Don't just give a rec hit the links and read the material. You might even see some connection that we missed. Pls continue your 'finds'.

And then the other thing that you can do as your part of the Gravis Working Group at DU is to post it other sites and send it to whatever media site you think should get it. You should assume that we are too busy reading and compiling to be able to spread it to other networks. If some editor gets more than one email, what is the harm?

So this is no longer a grantcart endeavor there are dozens of people making contributions to the threads you are seeing. It is completely decentralized and I just help keep the traffic moving by updating this index. You will see all relevant threads attached to this and I will put the time and date of the last update in the title.

I will also add a "Did you know" subject at the top of the post that will list unusual facts about Douglas Kaplan.

It is clear from the hundreds of pages of material that we receive, and continue to receive, thanks to all who send us their finds, that this is one of the greatest punking of political punditry ever seen. It will be proved with county court documents, federal citations but, most of all, by the lies of a sociopathic liar like Douglas Kaplan.

But you be the jury.

Men and Women of the Jury,

I propose to you that when the full disclosure of all of Douglas Kaplan's activities and all of his known associates are documented and put in the spotlight there will be no room for reasonable doubt on the question of whether or not Douglas Kaplan was ever a serious pollster.

I also propose to you to show that he knew James OKeefe III and admired him and either started Gravis Marketing as a pure money making scheme or intended to out punk O'Keefe, which you may conclude that he has done.

This is not a victimless crime. Anybody who bought into Gravis Marketing and their status as a pollster is going to have their reputations tarnished. Bloggers on the right that embraced every poll (and hundreds did) will be tarnished with the brush of being 'gullible'. Any hard working stiff who thought that the election was closer than it was because he thought that Romney had locked away North Carolina and made a contribution was also punked.

To a greater extent however the whole political process, including the use of polls and the idea of having a national conversation during a national election is the biggest victim. Members of the jury, I put it to you that the real crime is that defendants took polling from being an aid in the conversation by finding out what people think to a cynical attempt to influence how people think.

There is a straight line from Nixon's plumbers to James O'Keefe. It appears, members of the jury, that we found a potential new O'Keefe in the making.

For that reason we are not going to simply discredit Gravis Marketing the polling company but we are going to use the disinfectant of transparency to expose Douglas Kaplan and all of his known associates. We are not going to stop when we have made our point. We are not going to stop when we have achieved absolute agreement by all observers that we have found a low level con trying to cheapen our political process.

We are going to proceed to make Douglas Kaplan radioactive. We want all of his friends to shy away from him so that when it comes to their next con Doug doesn't get a seat at the table. We intend to atomize the public profile of Douglas Kaplan so that it becomes an object lesson to the next guy who thinks that it might be possible to follow O'Keefe and punk the political process. We want them to know what happened to the guy who started Gravis Marketing and in 68 days became 'Americas Greatest Pollster'.

And any news organization or pundit that thinks that Douglas Kaplan's Gravis Marketing is a serious national polling company then you are not drawing to an inside straight you are betting that aliens are going to land before December 31, 2012 and that Bigfoot will descend and he will be speaking fluent Navajo.

You can fool us once.

The next time we organize.

Previous "Did you Know" Posts

Did you know that Douglas Kaplan is such a prolific liar that he can't keep straight which college he is pretending that he went to:
Here Doug says that "I entered Valencia and Devry University"

and yet in another CV he states:
BA, American InterContinental University
International Business | Class of 2008
Florida International University - College of Business Administration
Advertising | Class of 2003


Number 2 in a series of 538

Did you know that at the time that Mr. Kaplan was busily getting ready to launch Gravis Marketing and himself as America's Greatest Pollster he was also active in doing other things.

Now even though Doug is looking at huge IRS liens, foreclosures he is still looking for ways to make money. All the while this 'non partisan pollster' is preparing to launch Gravis Marketing he also sets up a SuperPac so that he can raise millions and millons of dollars and spend them on partisan races?

Did you know at this same time he was also purchasing the website




Number 3 in a series of 538

Did you know that Doug Kaplan was a tweeter maniac. You have an entire graduate course just on trying to figure out the thinking of America's Greatest Pollster just from his tweets. Apparently obsessed with the Casey Anthony trial he had hundreds of tweets about it even as he was supposed to be setting up Gravis.

Now for a 'professional partisan national pollster' do these tweets look normal to you?

@RasmussenPoll quit being such a hack.
January 4, 2010 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

He is retweeting JamesOKeefe:

RT @JamesOKeefeIII: WSJ reports on the new NPR phone calls recordings... http://online.wsj.com/article...
March 10, 2011 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

Gives a shout out to Glenn Beck

I guess Glen Beck is nor so crazy @HuffPost Front Page Star Van Jones Led Anti-American Rally Day After 9-11! http://t.co/ULtbaZm
March 31, 2011 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

Not a fan of robo calls

Campaign Season must be around the corner #robocalls are starting to ring my phone.
April 19, 2011 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

Just watched Bill O. I love Donald Trump. We need a real person not a diplomats who can lead our country. Trump has me sold.
March 31, 2011 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

RT @rukiddingme66: Obama N secret meets with Muslim brotherhood, BHO is out 2 destroy Isreal and us. American Jews are stupid if they cant see whats happening
February 11, 2011 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

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