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FlyingSquirrel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-21-07 10:37 AM
Original message
Poll question: Is RealClearPolitics a Right Wing Website?
I had already made up my own mind, but some people challenged my opinion about it so I took another look. Here are a few things I noticed today:

They have something called an "Opinion BuzzTracker" dead center of the site... it links to Fox News.
Reader Articles: Most recent articles with 10 or more votes:

More Damning Presidential Records Hidden by the Clintons, 19 votes
The Low Wattage of the Liberal Mindset, 17 votes
Huckabee's High Wire Act, 25 votes
Hillary Does the Entire Talk Show Gamut in an Attempt to Save Her Failing Candidacy, 21 votes
Surprise for Romney, GOP Rep. Steve King Endorses Thompson, 17 votes
All I Want For Christmas is Fred Thompson, 14 votes
Sen. Lieberman to Endorse McCain, 15 votes
Is There a War On Christmas, 10 votes
Bubba Misfires, Hillary Does a Flyover, Obama Gloats, 14 votes
Fred Thompson Apologizes to Mike Huckabee, 10 votes

You get the idea. I see absolutely no articles with 10 or more votes saying anything positive about any Progressive candidate (Obama Gloats is not exactly positive), in fact nothing about any of the other Dem candidates at all.

Also, Most Read in the last 7 days:

Does Gore Know What He's Talking About
Clinton's Difficulties Deeper Than Strategy
Plan B for Pelosi and Reid

Last 24 hours:

GOP: McCain Surges to Within 7;
A George Will article;
a Krauthammer article; and
"Why did Clinton Overlook Obama?"

Now click on "U.S." right now. You'll notice pictures of Tancredo, Giuliani (twice), Schwarzenegger, Bush (twice). One of Obama with Oprah under "Time's top 50 lists". One of Gore entitled "Thus Far I Have Failed."

I'm sorry, but the overall impression I get is NOT that of an unbiased, even playing field site and therefore any information including polling information that is put out on the site is SUSPECT in my opinion. I feel that this site is a wolf in sheep's clothing, a Right Wing site trying to pretend that it is "Fair and Balanced" and thus sway people who may be on the fence.

But I've been wrong before. So what's your opinion?

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-21-07 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
1. It's not unbiased, but it does provide articles from 'acceptable'
writers; I found Helen Thomas' article there this am.
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MadBadger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-21-07 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
2. Whatever its "editorial" slant may be
The polls are perfectly fair. They simply average every poll out there. Whats the problem with that?
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FlyingSquirrel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-21-07 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. I guess I just have a very suspicious nature about anything that...
attempts to disguise its true nature. Especially if that something is Right Wing in nature. What's their methodology for averaging the polls? I've done some averaging myself and I can tell you that there are dozens of different ways to do it, some of which can make things look one way and some of which can make things look another way. If you have an agenda and you're trying to sway independent-minded voters your way, you'll choose different criteria and throw certain things out when you're averaging the data.
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MadBadger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-21-07 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. They do a simple mean
They include I believe the last six or so polls and just average everything together.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-21-07 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #6
14. Then ignore their averages.
Its still has an excellent compilation and organization of every poll.

And if you still don't like that site, you can go here for polling info

www.pollingreport.com

www.pollster.com
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Arkansas Granny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-21-07 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
3. I only go to Real Clear Politics to check out their poll figures.
I like seeing the compilation and it's a good link to the other polling data. I don't read the articles because they seem to be heavily weighted to the right.
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-21-07 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
4. Their articles are certainly biased in favor of the right.
But I think their poll averages are not. I hit their site regularly but almost never look at any of their articles.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-21-07 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
5. Are the closing stock price numbers in the Wall Street journal skewed to the Right?
Are the polls published at RealClearPolitics less current or more censored than polls published anywhere else?

If I want to demonstrate that Bush war talk caused oil prices to spike are the only daily commodity price quotes thar are accurate found in The Nation?
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FlyingSquirrel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-21-07 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. No, they are an inclusion of factual data to hide the true nature of the site.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-21-07 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. The Wall Stret Journal doesn't hide the true nature of their site
Of that I am confident.
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suston96 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-21-07 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
7. I think RCP is just a big spreadsheet that collects and holds data.....
....from other pollsters.

Now sure, RCP can present that data anyway it wants, favoring left or right, but how long would patrons of the RCP site stick around if that was so?
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maximusveritas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-21-07 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
11. All that shows is that their readers are right wing
You didn't really show anything about the site. I like to look at their polling pages because they present the polls in a nice organized way unlike Pollster.
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FlyingSquirrel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-21-07 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. Well, I guess I won't BASH ya for getting your polling info from them..
But I personally would take it with a grain of salt no matter how well-organized it is.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-21-07 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. Why would you? You can easily verify that those are the actual numbers,
and they are the most recent numbers from each of the organizations they track. They're righties, but they keep tabs on polling better than anyone I know. Some righties like to be well informed, too.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-21-07 10:54 AM
Response to Original message
12. Look at the About page for who depends on this site.
It purports to be neutral, but is skewed right.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/about.html

"RealClearPolitics is the first web site I check every morning. It's an invaluable tool for anybody interested in politics or public affairs." - David Brooks, The New York Times

"I check RealClearPolitics every day. It is the best collection of political commentary on the web." - Brit Hume, FOX News

RealClearPolitics.com is my favorite political web site after OpinionJournal.com." - Paul Gigot, The Wall Street Journal

"Absolutely indispensable." - Peter Beinart, The New Republic

Never miss it - that's the second biggest compliment I'd give to RealClearPolitics.com. The first is that it has become indispensable to anyone, in or outside of journalism, who's interested in politics, policy, or world affairs." - Fred Barnes, The Weekly Standard

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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-21-07 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
15. They are extremely right-wing, but their collection of polling data is excellent.
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FlyingSquirrel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-21-07 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Ok I'll concede the point...
Edited on Fri Dec-21-07 05:10 PM by FlyingSquirrel
Actually, in 2004 I relied heavily on http://www.electoral-vote.com / which at that time had a very conservative bent. I just checked it again and it seems a lot less partison now, although I can't imagine that it has moved completely to the center. After all, here is what it says about "The Votemaster" who runs the site:

Is he qualified to be Votemaster?

Is James Carville? He has advised loser after loser after loser for years. The Votemaster has some modest qualifications as follows:

Knowledge of Computers. See above. He has also designed a number of previous Websites. At its heart, this site is about collecting, aggregating, analyzing, and presenting third-party election data in a convenient and pleasing form, so computer and Web design skills are really the key ingredients.
Knowledge of Polling and Statistics. He has a Ph.D. from the University of California and has taken graduate-level courses in math and statistics.

Knowledge of writing. After 17 books and 125 published papers, he is starting to get the hang of it.
Knowledge of politics. He has worked on numerous political campaigns going back to Reagan's first run for Governor of California. and has lobbied (for environmental legislation) in the California state legislature. He was elected as a voting delegate to the World Democrats Abroad caucus in Edinburgh in 2004 where he met many "insiders." He has access to precisely the same polling data as other election analysts, since there are only a small number of pollsters and they offer subscriptions to anyone who is willing to pay for it. Ultimately, all analysis comes down to studying the polls and extracting trends. By studying 1347 state polls and hundreds of national polls during the 2004 election cycle he acquired a bit of on-the-job training.

So I'll agree that you can be biased (although he really has chilled out since 2004) and still post unbiased polling numbers. Something about the name "Real Clear Politics" really sticks in my craw though so I won't be going there for my numbers. And besides the other site doesn't really seem like it's trying to hide its true agenda - I hate that kind of thing.
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