Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(53,061 posts)
Sun Nov 4, 2012, 01:51 PM Nov 2012

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

"I have run a number of campaigns both at the Presidential and Local Levels"

Habitual Liar and Self Promoter, Douglas Kaplan on January 21, 2012, Voice of Russia interview

. . . .

"I know Gravis is a fraud." grantcart 10/7/2012

. . .

Human Events interviews Doug Kaplan

The pollster entered into his current occupation when national name-brand pollsters contracted him to make their calls, he said. Looking at their mark-up on his calls, he decided to ask his own questions—making the transition from wholesale to retail.

"I learned the polling business from scratch . . some of the first polls were not great . . . (I had to) hire my own statistician and started putting out my own polls . . . " He now has a political adviser who works in Washington, along with other personnel to help facilitate the polls.

Understandably, Kaplan said he did not want to get into the details of his past transgressions.

Douglas Kaplan on 10/21/2012 interview with Human Events

Link to previous articles on Gravis Marketing Group


We have taken a short respite for two reasons; first we hoped that by taking the pressure off Kaplan would raise his head and make some more interviews, because quite frankly our greatest source on how Gravis Marketing is a Fraud is Douglas Kaplan, the other is that this is my business's peak season and available hours are rare.

More bombshells are coming for Douglas Kaplan and associates.

A number of conservative publications did contact us for an interview and we provided this carefully worded response

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.

Reactionary publication "Human Events" (are they still in business?) never contacted us but did, thankfully, get Kaplan to go on the record.

In the interview Kaplan confirms two things

1) Our basic charge that Gravis Marketing was not in fact a professional polling company


2) That our long detailed list of misdeeds by Kaplan and associates was factual. To date not a single fact, and our combined reports run into over a hundred pages of detailed facts about Kaplan, that we have put out about this 'gang' have been refuted. More charges are coming.

As to the first point Kaplan confirms that he is exactly who we said he was, namely a junk fax/robo call operator that has been running into and just this side of federal authorities for over ten years.

We charged that Kaplan had no academic or professional training in polling and in the interview Kaplan confirms those charges


The pollster entered into his current occupation when national name-brand pollsters contracted him to make their calls, he said. Looking at their mark-up on his calls, he decided to ask his own questions—making the transition from wholesale to retail.

“I hired my own statistician and started putting out my own polls,” he said.

“Some of the first polls were not great,” he said.

Kaplan said as he learned the polling business from scratch, he recognized that he needed help. He now has a political adviser who works in Washington, along with other personnel to help facilitate the polls.

This was the basis of our claim that Gravis Marketing was misrepresenting themselves as a national polling firm and that they had successfully punked Silver and others who didn't think that they were a bunch of slimy robo callers that decided to go into the polling business but that they were in fact a full service political marketing company.

The assertion that they made the "transition from wholesale to retail" is lunacy. Political polling is not a collection of numbers but an advanced academic discipline that requires post graduate knowledge (most pollsters) or experience (Rasmussen, who also is not an academically trained statistician having gone into polling after he made hundreds of millions selling ESPN that he and his dad started).

To say that going from robocalling to polling is the same as transitioning from wholesaling to retailing is idiocy.

Question: Are you guys at "Human Events" really THAT stupid?


Let me s p e l l this out to you in almost infantile fashion so that it doesn't go sailing over your heads.

1) Kaplan isn't just a 'robo caller'. He has been the target of federal action because of what he markets and how he markets. Kaplan's bread and butter over the last 10 years has been robo calling the hell out of America (with his colleague Jacob Woods) scamming people with bogus savings in trips from Florida, to Florida, to/from the Bahamas and Ocean cruises. It is alleged that in order to avoid prosecution in Florida they never call anybody in Florida.

2) Robocalling is to Professional Polling as Selling Dental Equipment is to Dentistry. So you think that you can go from the pedestrian field of running a boiler room of telemarketers to designing peer review quality polling is simply a matter of transitioning from wholesale to retail? Question: just exactly where did you guys get your degrees from? Liberty University?

Here is Human Events' opinion: Kaplan said himself he has no training or experience in polling. But, you do not have to know how to make meatballs to own a restaurant.

That's right you don't have to know how to make meatballs to run a restaurant. You do however have to know how to run a restaurant to run a restaurant.

3) At its heart Polling doesn't sell polling results

They sell credibility.

Douglas Kaplan is a habitual liar.

The whole entire exercise of Gravis Marketing has been one set of lies after another. In digging back we find that Kaplan, the habitual liar, has been lying for years. He lies when there is no reason to lie. His lies are not even very clever.

When we exposed the lies of Kaplan (reminder Kaplan has not challenged a single item that we referred to) the mentally challenged folks at Human Events classified it as a 'personal attack'. Trust me we have a lot more personal material on Kaplan that we could release if we wanted to get 'personal'

I knew that Kaplan was a fraud 30 minutes into checking him out.

I went to the link that Kaplan provided on his media link page at Gravis Marketing and played the interview with Voice of Russia that put Kaplan on not as a robocaller, junk faxer, but as a national pollster and political expert


This the blurb from Voice of Russia about the taped show:

South Carolina caucuses seem to be in flux. Gingrich is rapidly gaining on Mitt Romney, although the recent interview of his wife to ABC News, accusing him of infidelity, could actually cut his popularity. It’s still going to be a little rockier, as a fair amount of people who were going to vote for Rick Perry may follow their candidate and throw support behind Gingrich. Doug Kaplan, Managing Partner at Gravis Marketing, a public relations firm specializing in electoral campaigns, Jean Pelletier, Republican Party Caucuses organizer in Linn County, South Carolina, and Chris Haire, Managing Editor for the Charleston City Paper, as well as VOR correspondent and producer Carmen Russell-Sluchansky, who is down in South Carolina covering the caucuses, talk about the recent shifts in the presidential candidates’ field and what is still to come.

Note this is January 21, 2012 seven months before Gravis Marketing starts releasing their polls.

Listening to it I realize that the quality of discussion is basically at the level you get when you are sitting in a Denny's and listen to a bunch of political novices in the booth next to you.

Here are some of the obvious points:

7:02 Kaplan is introduced as a political scientist (not a robo caller) who has just issued a "special corespondent capital corespondent poll".

He talks at length in the interview about all of the polls that he has issued.

Gravis Marketing doesn't release any polls until July/August. Seriously, google Gravis Marketing with all kinds of qualifiers and you will not find any polling released before August 2011. I have gone 100 pages deep into google.

In this interview you can hear Kaplan and some obnoxious guy pimping (Carmen Russell-Sluchansky? continually trying to set up the not too bright Kaplan) talking about all of the polls that Gravis Marketing has released and the one coming out that day. At 12:30 you can hear his bullshitting interlocutor talking about polls that Gravis has released (and you will also ironically hear Kaplan talking about the poor quality of journalism 'picking on a Republican again'.)

Fact: Gravis Marketing doesn't release any polls until August, 7 months later.

Here is their opening blog from their own blog:


Hello world!

August 23, 2012

Welcome to WordPress.com! This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

Happy blogging!

The whole thing is a preposterous fraud by the habitual lying self promoting Doug Kaplan. For example at 19:21 he talks about his personal work as a pollster going over documents at the county level in Iowa. As we now know from Kaplan's own admission to Human Events, it was all a lie, he is not a pollster, not a political scientist.

I am not a political scientist although I have an undergraduate degree in Political Science and in my college years (1972-76) worked for Washington State Governor Evans (R) and the minority leadership in the state legislature (R).

Listening to the bullshitting on this show I was struck by the low level of information, something akin to a 101 Political Science.

When at 22:00 Kaplan gets full of himself and states

"I have run a number of campaigns at the Presidential and Local Level"

At that point, approximately 25 minutes into the 'investigation' I knew that Douglas Kaplan is a habitual liar and self promoter. Despite overwhelming evidence, including Kaplan's own statements, some conservatives continue to practice their knee jerk reflex and embrace the fraud.

But it was at 25:00 when they ask him about the significance of the South Carolina primary that I knew he wasn't a self embellisher but a complete fraud.

For a real pollster, or a real political scientist I knew that there was a mother lode of material you could talk about concerning South Carolina. It has been the third 'winner take all' primary in the front loaded Republican system and its importance is that if you can run IA, NH and SC as a Republican you will choke off the donations and oxygen. That is why Rove gambled so hard with an explosive lie about Senator McCain in 2000. Because of Florida's move SC had (along with NH and IA) moved its primary up and faced sanctions.

There was a lot to talk about.

What does the habitual liar and self promoter Douglas Kaplan talk about?

"first state out of the union back during the civil war"

"have the hottest political discussion and the most recognized political leaders tend to come out of South Carolina, it has a tradition in America of being a leader"

"South Carolinians tend to be far more socially conservative than not just other states that have voted but the rest of the nation as a whole in fact I have some polls come out that indeed South Carolina is the most conservative state in the country

Really Doug? The South Carolina Republican Primary is more conservative than the IA caucuses, the caucuses that gave Huckabee 34% while SC gave the win to McCain? or in 1988 when IA gave Dole 37%, PAT ROBERTSON 25%, and G Bush 19% while South Carolina gave Bush 49%, Dole 21% and PAT ROBERTSON 19%.

Well Doug when it comes to batshit crazy social conservative primaries South Carolina isn't the leader, IA is and they worked hard for that batshit crazy position and they are not going to give it up lightly.

You were correct about South Carolina being the first state out of the union in 1860 but again that had to do with a small group of South Carolina slave traders that wanted to profit from restarting the slave importing business from Africa and not from their 'social conservatism'.

Human Events does include this statement:

Carmen Russell-Sluchansky, the host of the Washington-based radio show “Capitol Affairs,” said the war on Kaplan came as a complete surprise. Kaplan has been a regular guest on the program, which in addition to being carried by other stations, is also carried on Voice of Russia radio service.

Carmen is the imbecilic voice on the tape that is listening to this tripe from Kaplan and thinks he is talking to a political scientist/pollster/national campaign manager, which he is not.

Carmen, Kaplan has admitted that he is a robocaller and that everything on your program was complete bull.

Once I heard that tape I knew that Kaplan was a fraud.

In that time the level of lies and con that Kaplan is engaged in is breathtaking.

He has issued multiple CVs all with different educational claims, none of which, by the way, claim that he did anything more than 'enter' a pay for diploma mill.

Now to correct some of the lies that Kaplan states in the Human Events interview:

“I don’t run fake polls,” said Douglas J. Kaplan

Response: Strawman. We didn't say the polls were a fake we said that you were a fake, and that if you are not a pollster but a habitual liar then there is no reason for anyone to believe either your polls or anything you say. By the way have you decided which college you are going to lie about attending? It really is counter productive to lie about going to multiple schools at the same time.

“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.”

Response: We never said that he knew Karl Rove. We said that he isn't a pollster, has no academic or professional training and should not be listened to. Obviously some of the polls like the CO poll that showed a majority of AA supporting Romney (which you immediately redid and got another result) or the SC poll that has Romney up by 9 points are ridiculous. You have confirmed that when you said "some of the first polls were not great"

Kaplan said the attacks against him are personal and not just against his business.

Pollsters sell credibility. We attack your credibility. You have none. The personal stuff we have left out. If you continue to charge that we are releasing personal information we will, in defense, release personal stuff.

Here is what we said about your personal side:


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.

In addition to the claim that Douglas Kaplan is a habitual liar and self promoter and a fraud as a pollster we can now add this claim:

The Guys at Human Events are idiots.

There article did include some of the statistical questions that have arisen in regards to Gravis. This was an interesting side story but never the main course. I always assumed that they used a spreadsheet and somehow there was a factoring that would account for the integral numbers not appearing to being consistent with the numbers of respondents.

From the article:

They’re trying to destroy my friends, any of my associations—it’s unbelievable.”

Understandably, Kaplan said he did not want to get into the details of his past transgressions.

The folks at Human Events tried to imply that all we were involved in ancient history.

It is true that we provided old arrest pictures that are not relevant to Gravis Marketing. We did that because they did reflect graphically the disconnect between Kaplan's fairytale Gravis Marketing and the GM that we now know had no background in polling.

They aren't all ancient history however.

Which gives us the opportunity to republish our favorite photo.

Here is a picture of Alan Giardinieri just a few months ago which would correspond the time that he was the Marketing Manager for Gravis Marketing


There are a number of innocent non political civilians that have some connection and we haven't gone after any of these.

In fact there are some juicy leads that we could have exploited but didn't.

For example:

Ashlee Crosbie is a Marketing Specialist at Gravis Marketing. We could have pointed out that she is deeply involved in far right conservative social networking, but we didn't.

There are more inaccuracies in the story, but they are not critical.

The actual ownership of Gravis is not clear but we are happy to credit it to Kaplan.

He is not however the creator of any proprietary software, he buys it from the main robocalling software giant.

More is coming after the election about what Doug and his associates have been doing between the time when he was the junk fax king and when he punked the political and polling world including Nate Silver.

Human Events do you still stand by your story or do you now agree that I was correct and that Kaplan is a fraud?

Doug, more interviews, please.
X. Gravis Working Group: Douglas Kaplan confirms our charges he is not a pollster. (Original Post) grantcart Nov 2012 OP
Amazing work, as always. Indpndnt Nov 2012 #1
Thank you grantcart Nov 2012 #6
K&R flamingdem Nov 2012 #2
Thanks flamindem grantcart Nov 2012 #8
'human events'? the same 'human events' that was the vehicle for shockley's racist iq BS? HiPointDem Nov 2012 #3
I suppose, frankly I wasn't aware of them before this. grantcart Nov 2012 #12
Thank you Grantcart. GoneOffShore Nov 2012 #4
Thanks grantcart Nov 2012 #13
K&K gademocrat7 Nov 2012 #5
Thanks grantcart Nov 2012 #14
Once you validate them, keep the photos of his associates coming. Baitball Blogger Nov 2012 #7
Will do. grantcart Nov 2012 #16
One thing John2 Nov 2012 #9
thanks grantcart Nov 2012 #18
More excellent investigative work! BumRushDaShow Nov 2012 #10
Thanks grantcart Nov 2012 #19
K&R, amazing work. n/t MadrasT Nov 2012 #11
thanks grantcart Nov 2012 #20
Evening kick grantcart Nov 2012 #15
grantcart, you are amazing. Jennicut Nov 2012 #17
thanks grantcart Nov 2012 #21
"I don't run fake polls" ~ Doug Kaplan Major Hogwash Nov 2012 #22
i am not a crook RM Nixon grantcart Nov 2012 #23
Morning kick grantcart Nov 2012 #24
Thanks for the investigation and reports. Mc Mike Nov 2012 #25
thanks grantcart Nov 2012 #26
Bookmarked your important work. Thanks, again. Mc Mike Nov 2012 #27
Kaplan is at it again jmarx319 Feb 2015 #28


(2,391 posts)
1. Amazing work, as always.
Sun Nov 4, 2012, 01:55 PM
Nov 2012

Will the MSM ever acknowledge that this fraud should not have any part of their projections? It's insane that he was not vetted beforehand.

Nate Silver needs to take Samuel L. Jackson's advice and "Wake the f*ck up!" Using Gravis just undermines his own credibility. You'd think he'd care about that.


(2,730 posts)
9. One thing
Sun Nov 4, 2012, 02:37 PM
Nov 2012

is for sure, they may have some right wing connections. He is very interested in Israel also. So that may explain his interest in this election against President Obama. His operation is also based in the state of Florida, which is the same as other Republican Pollsters such as McLaughlin. They also have produced some eye popping negative Polls against President Obama in this cycle. McLaughlin is a big supporter of Prime Minister Netanyahu. I also think the Cuban republican Senator (Rubio) has connections to Kaplan. It just gives me a suspicion, this is a concerted effort to go after President Obama by any necessary means. That is why I don't trust any Republican Pollster. You cannot also dismiss the enormous amount of money being spent to get rid of President Obama. Kaplan might just be the little fish but I would like to know who all the executives were in the room Romney was supposedly talking to, when he made his infamous remarks about the 47 percent?

So really, you can't just isolate Kaplan, because this whole election has been strange and sleazy on the Republican side. They have no regard for honesty period.


(25,415 posts)
17. grantcart, you are amazing.
Sun Nov 4, 2012, 08:15 PM
Nov 2012

Kaplan is just such a sleaze and a fake. And I love that you are exposing him for what he is, a fraud.

Major Hogwash

(17,656 posts)
22. "I don't run fake polls" ~ Doug Kaplan
Mon Nov 5, 2012, 02:09 AM
Nov 2012

"I don't strip on fake poles" ~ Ashlee Crosbie

"I don't run fake marathons" ~ Paul Ryan

"I don't have fake blind trusts" ~ Mitt Romney

"I don't have a fake Republican party" ~ Reince Priebus

"I saw a musk ox run around a pole one time on the tundra and it wasn't even snowing!" ~ Sister Sarah

Mc Mike

(9,100 posts)
25. Thanks for the investigation and reports.
Mon Nov 5, 2012, 08:43 AM
Nov 2012

Fake pollster helps both to drive and also to explain / justify attempted repug election thefts.

This is a key mechanism for GOP skul dugg er e.

Latest Discussions»General Discussion»X. Gravis Working Group: ...