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Former Gallup Pollster Tells How Polls are Used to Manage Public Opinion

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NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 08:23 AM
Original message
Former Gallup Pollster Tells How Polls are Used to Manage Public Opinion
... an insider speaks out and validates our suspicions.


Do Polls Tell the Truth?
22-Sep-2008

http://www.unknowncountry.com/news/?id=7113

A longtime pollster says that media polls are not used to uncover the "will" or thoughts of the public, but rather to manufacture a "public opinion" that grabs the attention of journalists and can be used to fill media news holes.

In the 13 years David Moore worked for the Gallup Poll, he learned he learned some things about how polls really work. In the fall of 2007, media pollsters reported a solid lead for Hillary Clinton among Democratic primary candidates and crowned Rudy Giuliani the national Republican frontrunner. Clinton's lead evaporated in the first contest and Giuliani later dropped out of the race without having won a single delegate.

Moore says, "Early in the campaign season, pollsters refused to report the simple truththat the election was wide open. It makes for better headlines to pretend that there are front-runners and under-dogs. They love to show a wildly fluctuating electorate rather than to reflect a far less interesting reality that months before an election many voters are undecided. Media pollsters will do everything they can to beat such an undecided voter into oblivion, so they can begin horserace coverage long before the race track has even opened.

"Eventually, the many conflicting and nonsensical results should shame pollsters and the news media into reform. Only if that happens will polls achieve their ideal role in the democratic process telling the truth about the public, warts and all."



Cher
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FloridaGrl Donating Member (615 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
1. Great article
I have been saying this for a long time. I don't trust the polls whether they're good or bad for the democrats because I believe polls are mind games. You can see the attitude of this board changing when the polls are down for BO. We need to forget the polls and don't let them allow us to lose hope. Keep up the energy, keep on the fight and get people out to vote.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 08:31 AM
Response to Original message
2. Wouldn't it be cool if there were somekind of national Polling Review, like Consumers' Guide?
Edited on Mon Sep-22-08 08:32 AM by patrice
Since polling samples can't actually be truly random, the questions about how a population from which to draw samples, is identified is an important one. Especially given today's information universe, one wonders about how and whether certain kinds of meta-information give pollsters - WHO ARE BUSINESSES SELLING A SERVICE TO CUSTOMERS LOOKING FOR PRODUCTS WITH CERTAIN CHARACTERISTICS - the ability to reverse engineer results.
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BadgerKid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. Think you're on to something -- different polling groups
depending on the results the pollsters want to manufacture.
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tomp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #2
16. absolutely great freaking idea!!!!!!! nt
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RichGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 08:41 AM
Response to Original message
3. I think it's good that the polls are close and inaccurate.
If they were showing Obama ahead by 10 pts, we would relax and wait for the election. If the lines are long, you might even say, he's going to win with or without my vote...etc.

Being nervous makes us get out there and work, vote and make sure everyone we know votes!!

I feel very confident that Obama will win. But, I don't want a squeaker, I want a major blowout...a LANDSLIDE!

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nichomachus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Yes, but . .
By implanting the idea in the public mind, it allows the radical right-wingers who control the vote-counting process to manufacture any result they want. The Sheeple will shrug their shoulders and say "Well, it was close...."

Had the polls shown Gore at 75% and Bush at 25% going into the 2000 vote, people would have questioned the outcome a little more.

Common sense will tell you the same thing -- as I posted here a week or so ago. I can't think of any other issue in the universe that will result in a 50-50 split in polling. Anything. If you get 50-50, it's a fluke.

Yet, with such sharp divisions in the country over the last eight years, polls have been showing a nearly even split -- within a few points. That's just inconceivable. I simply refuse to believe that the country is so evenly divided. It is illogical. On individual issues, the GOP loses every time and loses big. War, economy, gay rights, women's rights, health care, etc. Yet, they ask us to believe that a significant number of people who oppose the GOP on every single issue are going to vote for them.

Bah!

But you are right. If the polls showed Obama at 80% and McCain at 20%, then money and volunteers would dry up for Obama.
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 09:09 AM
Response to Original message
5. Though we always knew there was manipulation going on,
Does anybody really believe that Gallup's motivations were strictly to create the semblance of a horserace for $$, rather something more political?
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NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #5
14. Yes, there is big money behind this type of thing
For those of you who have been following how the republicans have shaped public opinion in this country, think back to when O'Lielly's show first came on. In many markets, no one would pay for his show. So somewhere, somehow, money happened upon the scene to pay broadcasters to air the show.

Yes, that really happened. O'Leilly couldn't get into certain markets so "they" paid to get him on the air.

Now the right has a regular cast of right-wing shows across the broadcast spectrum.

I've absolutely no doubt that there is money funneled to these polling organizations.

The execution of the poll need not be overtly pro-Republican, either. Someone who is talented with the construction of surveys can compose the survey with a bias. Hire underlings with little or no knowledge of the business and you've got yourself an "operation."

Here at DU, when we go into the survey methodology, we almost always find the bias.



Cher
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #14
22. Self-delete
Edited on Tue Sep-23-08 09:58 AM by The Backlash Cometh
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Jennicut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
6. I guess we were not just tinfoil hat wearers after all
Manipulation is real and it is happening as we speak, i.e. the Rasmussen Polls and close PA polls.
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WI_DEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
8. I think this is confirmation of what most of us suspected all along.
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
9. the use of meaningless polls to distract from issues of substance -- No Way Tweety
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azmouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
10. K&R
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
11. Information that is sickening, but has been known by most of us, nevertheless.....
It shows that this democracy is sold to us on the cheap, and is controlled by someone other than "we the people". This should be frontpage news, but of course, it won't be.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. It also means, whatever happens, Win or lose, the Grassroots must stick together and stay ACTIVE.
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dave123williams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
12. That is correct, particularly where the 2000 Hillary race was concerned.

All pollsters, Gallup, Marist, what have you all had the race as neck and neck, right up until polling day. When Mrs. Clinton walked away with the biggest electoral landslide in the history of New York State.

The pollsters had it dead wrong, and somehow....that wasn't worthy of a single news story.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 09:33 PM
Response to Original message
15. We knew it but thanks for
posting the link article to confirmation, NJCher :)
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curious one Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 12:48 AM
Response to Original message
17. I have said repeatedly that don't trust the polls. It all depends who, where, and when the poll is
taken.
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Quixote1818 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 12:54 AM
Response to Original message
18. I think they are going to manufacture one more McCain surge
Perhaps after the Debates they will rig it to look like McCain has pulled even. Clearly that is what the News Media needs to keep ratings up. If it happens we will understand why.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 02:55 AM
Response to Original message
19. Pollsters and the media--an unholy alliance, if there ever was one. Both are supposed to tell us
Edited on Tue Sep-23-08 03:01 AM by No Elephants
what is happening. In reality, however, they are trying to make happen what they want to happen. And, the pollsters provide cover for the election stealers. I hate them, but we need more Democrats in that business.
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TooRaLoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 03:04 AM
Response to Original message
20. Thanks!
Now I can take off my tinfoil hat. It was getting itchy.
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 07:15 AM
Response to Original message
21. It's all in the questions. For example, the DLC commissioned a study "Winning the Gun Vote" that
included questions about "assault weapons", e.g. I agree with President Bush that we need to renew the ban on assault weapons.

The study was completed in 2003, see http://www.ndol.org/documents/AGS_Penn_1003.pdf

The report said 70% of gun-owners would likely vote for a Democratic candidate who supports renewing the assault weapons ban.

Apparently the DLC used that study to write the 2004 Democratic Party Platform that says reauthorizing the assault weapons ban and 2008 Democratic Party Platform that says reinstating the assault weapons ban.

See related discussion Did the report Winning the Gun Vote for DLC influence our 2008 Democratic Party Platform?

The DLC study asked the wrong question, made the wrong promise in the 2004 and 2008 platforms, and now Obama is running on a platform that will cost him votes because H.R. 1022 cosponsored by 67 Democratic congresspersons gives the attorney general authority to ban semiautomatic firearms used for self defense.

That only angers 80 million gun-owners of which 64 million do not hunt.

Here we are, in the closing days of the election, with swing states FL, PA, OH, MI and their 85 electoral votes at stake, with representatives from over 70% of their 77 congressional districts rated "A" by pro-gun groups and "F" by anti-gun groups, and way too many Dems still believing assault weapons include AK-47's and the 2nd is about hunting.

That sage of the Okefenokee, said it best,

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Venceremos Donating Member (488 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
23. Kick
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WA98296 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
24. K&R
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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
25. I knew it!
asswhores...they've been doing this for years, now we have whistleblower. Screw Gallup for being the focus of attention! I knew they were dragging a dollar bill through the trailer park. No more!
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