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Tue Nov 15, 2022, 05:27 PM

The big polling shift the final few weeks wasn't real




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https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1592610318475141120.html

Really important thread: We now know that the big polling shift the final few weeks wasn’t real. The polls were roughly correct before that final shift. Yet that fake shift set off a chain of events that may have directly cost the Democrats the House majority and 52 Senate seats.

First, when every major news outlet (including major left-leaning news outlets) is yelling “red wave” down the stretch, it suppresses the vote. The average person is less inclined to go vote for their side if they’re being told they’re going to get blown out anyway.

Democrats lost the Wisconsin Senate race by just one point. If the media hadn’t been suppressing the vote by yelling “red wave” there’s a strong argument to be made that the Democrats would have won that seat. That, plus the Georgia runoff, would be 52 Senate seats.

It’s also an easy argument to make that the Democrats could have won 218 House seats, instead of 215-217 seats (or whatever the final total ends up being), simply due to the media suppressing Democratic votes by yelling “red wave.”

But there’s more.

It turns out the Democrats won the Senate races in Pennsylvania and Arizona by five points each. And the polls told us that with a few weeks to go. But then the polls suddenly and falsely claimed those races were TIED, so we had to dump huge last-minute resources into them.

If we hadn’t been forced to play defense in Pennsylvania and Arizona, we could have put more last-minute resources into other Senate races.

And if we’d known we were down just one point in Wisconsin, and not 3.5 points, we’d probably have put much of those resources there.

The House math is always more complex because there are 435 races and at least 60 tend to be competitive. But the media yelling “red wave” and suppressing the vote surely cost us at least a couple of the tightest House races. And that’s the House majority.

Here’s the crucial part. We know Republicans commissioned bunches of polls in the final weeks showing them hugely overperforming. Only some of the media hyped these “fake” polls.

But around that same time, the real polls also went insane – and the media unanimously hyped those.

And now the election results prove that the legitimate polls were more or less correct *until* they suddenly went sharply red in the final weeks. That shift was imaginary. Voters weren’t changing their minds in those final weeks. Legitimate pollsters just started blowing it.

The question is why. A few weeks before the election, legitimate pollsters panicked and began changing their polling sampling or methodology in a way that was much more favorable to Republican candidates, and made their work far LESS accurate than it had been. Again, why?

There is *no* reason to suggest that legitimate pollsters, many of whom have reputations to protect or work for major universities, would ever tank their polls on purpose. I would never buy that. But what would spook them into mistakenly tanking their own polls down the stretch?

Something presumably caused the best pollsters out there to say with a few weeks to go “wait a minute, what if we’ve had this wrong all along, what if a red wave is coming,” and adjust their methodology accordingly.

Did legitimate pollsters see all the Republican-commissioned polls showing huge (imaginary) last minute Republican gains, and panic about their own polls perhaps being wrong?

Did legitimate pollsters just hear “red wave” on TV too much like the rest of us, and fell for it?
Or is it something more innocuous, where pollsters didn’t actually change the questions they were asking, but the Democratic-leaning voters being polled were just depressed and were telling pollsters they were less likely to vote because they were hearing “red wave” on TV?

We also keep hearing about how Hochul supposedly dragged down the entire New York Democratic ticket. But the House results in California are just as unexpectedly bad for the Democrats as they are in New York. Can’t blame Hochul for *California* elections.

If I had to *guess* right now I’d say that Democratic voters in New York and California got depressed when they heard liberal media outlets yelling “res wave” and stayed home because being in a very blue state makes people instinctively feel safer from Republican extremism.

Then there’s how the Republicans specifically focused on commissioning “fake” polls showing Hochul and Zeldin TIED. Hochul won by seven. That race was never competitive. She was never in trouble. But that false narrative presumably drove right wingers to the polls…

…under the false belief that they could finally get a Republican Governor of New York. That surge didn’t elect Zeldin. But it was enough to flip three tight House races in upstate New York. And you have to wonder if THAT was the goal of the pro-Zeldin polls.

At the time, I wondered if the “fake” polls were coming from incompetent Republican campaign strategists who wanted to make it look like their losing candidate was winning, to muddy the waters so when they lost the blame would go anywhere but the incompetent strategist.

But now I wonder if it wasn’t something more. The Republican-commissioned “fake polls” appear to have directly prevented the Democrats from winning the House majority and 52 Senate seats. Are we supposed to chalk that up to just dumb luck on their part? Maybe. Maybe not.
The answer is always in the numbers, and the ability to crunch them correctly.

There’s a LOT of research to be done here, in order to figure out who changed what, when, and why – and I’m not that kind of number cruncher. I would urge number crunchers to dig in and figure it out.

It’s not about this election – it’s over, and in the big picture we won anyway. It’s about 2024. The Republicans succeeded in weakening our 2022 wins just by releasing a bunch of polls falsely claiming they were winning. Whether it was strategy or luck, they’ll now try it again.

At some point in 2024 – maybe three weeks out, maybe in the primaries just for kicks – Republicans will flood the market with “fake” polls showing insane results. When it happens we’ll need the media not to take the bait, and we’ll need legitimate pollsters to stay the course.
• • •

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Arrow 42 replies Author Time Post
Reply The big polling shift the final few weeks wasn't real (Original post)
Nevilledog Nov 15 OP
honest.abe Nov 15 #1
W_HAMILTON Nov 15 #2
Demsrule86 Nov 15 #31
Meadowoak Nov 15 #3
karynnj Nov 15 #4
Hermit-The-Prog Nov 15 #5
Wounded Bear Nov 15 #6
Sympthsical Nov 15 #7
progressoid Nov 15 #16
Celerity Nov 15 #39
Abolishinist Nov 15 #8
progressoid Nov 15 #15
Nevilledog Nov 15 #20
Abolishinist Nov 16 #41
Demsrule86 Nov 15 #32
onecaliberal Nov 15 #9
Demsrule86 Nov 15 #33
onecaliberal Nov 15 #38
BigmanPigman Nov 15 #10
GoodRaisin Nov 15 #12
Cheezoholic Nov 15 #17
Farmer-Rick Nov 15 #27
Demsrule86 Nov 15 #34
EarnestPutz Nov 15 #11
bedazzled Nov 15 #13
moondust Nov 15 #14
peppertree Nov 15 #18
Marthe48 Nov 15 #19
Demsrule86 Nov 15 #36
PXR-5 Nov 15 #21
Aussie105 Nov 15 #22
RainCaster Nov 15 #23
Farmer-Rick Nov 15 #30
AdamGG Nov 15 #24
Demsrule86 Nov 15 #37
Joinfortmill Nov 15 #25
Phoenix61 Nov 15 #35
bucolic_frolic Nov 15 #26
AdamGG Nov 15 #40
leighbythesea2 Nov 15 #28
FakeNoose Nov 15 #29
BornADemocrat Nov 16 #42

Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 05:29 PM

1. Yep.. Trafalgar and the other RW scam polling operatives pulled it off.

Damn shame as we would probably had a real "blue wave".

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 05:33 PM

2. Hopefully those that were posting that Republican propaganda polling will take note:

You absolutely were NOT helping Democrats by doing that -- you were amplifying Republican efforts to depress Democratic turnout.

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Response to W_HAMILTON (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 08:44 PM

31. I was furious and pointed out to them that people read DU who may not be signed up or actively

posting...discourage the voter and they don't turn out. I am still pissed about this...Criticizing Katie Hobbs and John Fetterman became an artform really. And all the posts that Cherie in NC and Barnes in WI were going to lose became a self-fulfilling prophecy if you ask me. And the GOP polls were sacrosanct, but of course, they were a pack of lies. I was attacked multiple times for posting positive news and pushing back on the polls.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 05:35 PM

3. Do you think we will learn, and not fall for the bs next time, I doubt it.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 05:43 PM

4. We had internal polls and Simon Rosenberg was tweeting that R polls were not

Showing the same thing as the non partisan polls. He is a very connected person who worked D elections going back to Bill Clinton.

The fake polls did drive a media narrative, but likely not a DCCC or DNC strategy .

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 05:46 PM

5. M$M does what adds to the profits of the 6 conglomerate owners.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 05:47 PM

6. We pretty much knew this...

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 05:48 PM

7. The quality of analysis I expect of Palmer Report

Which is to say poor, with a minimum of data, lots of speculation, peppered with a little conspiracy theory, and a lack of understanding of basic election and polling infrastructure of the Democratic Party.

So, well done there . . .

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Response to Sympthsical (Reply #7)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 06:23 PM

16. +1

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Response to Sympthsical (Reply #7)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 09:03 PM

39. +1000

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palmer_Report

The Palmer Report is an American liberal fake news website, founded in 2016 by Bill Palmer. It is known for making unsubstantiated or false claims, producing hyperpartisan content, and publishing conspiracy theories, especially on matters relating to Donald Trump and Russia. Fact-checkers have debunked numerous Palmer Report stories, and organizations including the Columbia Journalism Review and the German Marshall Fund have listed the site among biased websites or false content producers.

Evaluation by academia

Political scientist Alan Wolfe wrote in 2019 that Trump's connection with Russia "has created a wide-open field for leftist conspiracy theorists to make one wild claim after another; nearly all of them...can be conveniently found on a website called the Palmer Report. In a 2019 report from the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, the Palmer Report was described as a "left-leaning dubious-content site" where many of the articles "range from the unsubstantiated...to the sophomoric."

David G. McAfee's The Curious Person's Guide to Fighting Fake News described the Palmer Report as a website that "provides skewed content featuring sensational headlines and stories with unverified conspiracy theories". In Yochai Benkler's 2018 book, Network Propaganda, found that the Palmer Report (along with Occupy Democrats) were the "clearest examples" of left-wing sites that adopted the "hyperpartisan strategy" of successful right-wing sites in 2017. David Greenberg, a professor of history and journalism, identified the Palmer Report as a "junk-news" site and a source not to be trusted. Brendan Nyhan believes with sites like the Palmer Report, the left risks "poisoning" the Democratic Party.






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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 05:52 PM

8. The Palmer Report? Really?

The Palmer Report is an American liberal fake news website, founded in 2016 by Bill Palmer. It is known for making unsubstantiated or false claims, producing hyperpartisan content, and publishing conspiracy theories, especially on matters relating to Donald Trump and Russia.

Fact-checkers have debunked numerous Palmer Report stories, and organizations including the Columbia Journalism Review and the German Marshall Fund have listed the site among biased websites or false content producers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palmer_Report

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Response to Abolishinist (Reply #8)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 06:23 PM

15. +1

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Response to Abolishinist (Reply #8)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 06:47 PM

20. What part of this OP do you disagree with? Do you disagree that the polls were manipulated?

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Response to Nevilledog (Reply #20)

Wed Nov 16, 2022, 04:51 PM

41. This, for example.

Then there’s how the Republicans specifically focused on commissioning “fake” polls showing Hochul and Zeldin TIED. Hochul won by seven. That race was never competitive. She was never in trouble. But that false narrative presumably drove right wingers to the polls.

Presumably? Based on what? How many are there of those who presumably were driven to the polls, i.e. they would NOT have voted otherwise. After all, she still won by seven. Perhaps a survey is needed to see if this was a factor.

As far as "fake" polls are concerned, the Trafalgar Group, for example, was one of the few to accurately call the 2016 presidential race, yet in 2022 they sucked big time across the board. It could be entirely attributed to their methodology, which appears to be quite different than most, working then but completely out of date six years later.

And on a personal level I don’t get the “my candidate is behind in the polls so I’m not going to vote” thing. I see voting as my civic duty, so I always vote. Beyond that, and partly because I’m in California, besides voting for Governor and Senator and Representative this time around there were 27 other items on the ballot, not including another 16 that were rather frivolous. So there's always a reason to show up.

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Response to Abolishinist (Reply #8)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 08:51 PM

32. Fucking Trafalgar and Insider Advantage are fake polls which spread out and out lies.

So yeah I think that the Palmer report would have been more useful than these bozo's on the right who had fake polls that when you looked at their internals were worthless...and of course, Trafalgar doesn't share information...if 538 includes these polls and RCP going forward, I will never look at those websites again.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 05:56 PM

9. In my area for months every second of commercial airtime was attacking

Salas and Gray. The onslaught was insufferable. 5 or 6 ads every break. Where were the dem are? Especially since they knew this district might have been competitive. Salas is at 47% but the count hasn’t moved in days.

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Response to onecaliberal (Reply #9)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 08:53 PM

33. The Republicans have big yummy dark money and consider all those here who said they would

send money to individual candidates but give the DNC and DCCC nothing...maybe it wasn't a wise decision.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #33)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 09:02 PM

38. To be fair, the republicans have "ruled" here for decades. Hasn't been a Dem rep here in here

In 40 years at least. The district was “re-drawn” so we will see how it shakes out. Valadeo was one of the reps who voted to impeach the bloated tick, so the psychos won’t vote for him.
I don’t know where the tallied vote is from geographically or I’d have a better idea of where the race could be headed. I assume no one does since the race hasn’t been called.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 06:07 PM

10. I knew this weeks and weeks ago

That is why I kept posting on DU, "IGNORE THE POLLS"! It was obvious, even to a moron like me, what the fuck was going on with all the supposedly unbiased polls and the BS all over the news. $$$$$$$ is what drives them, not democracy. The greedy M$M will print any BS as long as it keeps people angry or in fear. Playing on voters' emotions is why they do what they do...all for ratings $$$$$$$. There is no "Liberal media", it is all "Greedy Media" which has no political affiliation with anyone or anything unless it means more and more and more $$$$$ for their owners. Michael Moore's words kept me sane when everyone around him (including the "liberal media" said there would be a Red Wave.

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 06:14 PM

12. +1

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 06:36 PM

17. Yesiree totally agree!

I watch polls for trends but inside 30-45 days the trends are usually 95% set. It takes some kind of truly ground-shaking national or international political nuke, or as in this case, P.T. Barnum inspired nuclear bullshit, to change the direction of the river of trends that have been establishing that flow for 6 to 8 months.

When you treat political polling like some ass clowns twitter feed this is what you get

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 08:17 PM

27. Yes, this is so true

It truely amazes me how we Americans who are subjected to probably more advertising then any other people on this planet are so easily manipulated by it.


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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 08:54 PM

34. We both did our fucking best to counter the doom and gloom.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 06:08 PM

11. Neville - This is the important post on this site today, dealing with the most important issue.....

.....coming out of the midterm elections. The right started with gerrymandering to their advantage years ago, turned it into a high art form, now goes after mail-in ballots, ballot drop boxes, voting hours, voter registration, the post office, Secretaries of State, election officials, poll workers, voting machines, dropping off someone else's ballot and anything else they can think of to limit the number of ballots and votes the majority party can have. Now they go after the polls, trying to pervert the national discussion prior to the election, again in an attempt to limit how many people show up at the polls. They know that they don't have the numbers to compete fairly. All they got is cheating and low information voters.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 06:14 PM

13. Both Alex Wegner and Stephanie Ruhle had guests saying the dems would tank

I turned them both off and won't watch either again.

Still love lawrence though

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 06:15 PM

14. Maybe.

Old Cynic suspects corporate media lusting for tax cuts using manipulated polls to create a narrative to energize a certain base and demoralize the other base into apathy.

I haven't trusted polls since the end of universal landlines when incoming calls were free.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 06:42 PM

18. All that - plus Gerrymandering

We should go to at-large House seats - like a number of states had back in the 19th century.

But as long as Repugs find gerrymandering so advantageous, it's unlikely to heppen.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 06:43 PM

19. I would not stay home because of what I hear on tv

I also donated and volunteered time, because no matter how the elections turn out, I know I did everything I was able to do to support my candidates, and our rights.

Something to keep in mind is that the candidates who are elected by the people in their states don't just represent that state. They end up representing all of us. If the majority elected get there by hook or by crook, then their representation is tainted, and they will not listen to the voice of the people.

My new plan is to continue to hammer home the r plan to get rid of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and marriage equality. I have to years to keep pressing those points, and I sure will!

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Response to Marthe48 (Reply #19)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 08:56 PM

36. I would do exactly as you do...but many don't and those are the ones who stay home if the think

we will lose.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 06:59 PM

21. It's been over 25 years

since I was polled for anything, not just politics, but TV shows, automobile quality etc.

Interesting, because my Republican "friends" say the same thing.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 07:02 PM

22. Do polls reflect reality?

Hell no!

Do polls try to manipulate reality?

Hell yes!
No such thing as an unbiased poll result or a neutrally worded poll question.

Better to ignore polls and ads on TV and have your own reasons for voting the way you want to.

Polls suck, political reporting in the media sucks, only what you decide on is of any value.

Some countries have bans on exit polls and any TV or other media ads, discussions, editorials for political purposes for a number of days before voting starts.

And don't get me started on negative TV ads, you know the ones . . . I have no policies myself except negative ones, but my opponent really sucks!

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 07:07 PM

23. The important point here is to never trust the MSM

The Main Stream Media is no more trustworthy than any other media.

Don't trust social media, it's a lie.

Don't trust MAGA media, it's a lie.

Don't trust far left media either, it's a lie.

Don't trust MSM, it's a lie.

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Response to RainCaster (Reply #23)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 08:37 PM

30. What's the far left media?

I'm asking seriously. None of the corporate media ever goes far enough to the left for me. So, maybe your far left media does.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 07:27 PM

24. Maybe that R movement in the polls did happen, but then Trump started making campaign appearances

It wasn't just Trafalgar & Rasmussen that reported the shift away from Democrats in the final few weeks, it was also NY Times/Siena, Emerson College and other not right leaning pollsters.

Maybe there was a shift toward Republicans that was starting to happen (as is common for the non-Presidential party in midterm years), but then when Trump started making highly publicized appearances in the last two weeks, it caused another final shift away from them at the end that the polls didn't capture.

It was pretty disconcerting to see Trump suddenly plastered over media at campaign rallies again, crowing how beautiful things were going to be after Tuesday and that he was about to announce his own 2024 candidacy on the heels of the tremendous Republican wave that was about to happen.

That could have knocked down the Republican numbers from what they would have been if Trump hadn't jumped in.

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Response to AdamGG (Reply #24)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 09:01 PM

37. No it did not happen. The fake polls showed Fetterman and even Mastriano losing in PA.

They showed Kelly losing as well in Arizona...they said we would lose a senate seat in Colorado...none of that happened. And normal/non-partisan polls never projected any of this. These polls that showed the GOP had 'closed' were partisan polls that were created to lower the Democratic vote and the media swallowed it in a big way...even some of our folks believed it. And none of it was ever true. There never was a red wave.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 07:36 PM

25. People, ignore polls. Vote. Just Vote. It's a small act to ask for your democracy. Vote goddamnit

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Response to Joinfortmill (Reply #25)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 08:55 PM

35. Exactly. I consider it the price I pay to live in a democracy.

I get gerrymandering, closing polling stations, limiting early voting, preventing mail in voting are all done to suppress the vote. But if all it takes is some talking head saying the other side is going to win we’ve already lost. How many sports teams show up when the odds are stacked against them and play their hearts out?

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 07:59 PM

26. 2 Senate seats? Which were the close ones we lost, I didn't see any

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #26)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 10:19 PM

40. Wisconsin

and North Carolina and Ohio had polled closely up until the last month.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 08:19 PM

28. What's the Bannon mantra?

Flood the zone with sh*t. That.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2022, 08:28 PM

29. I voted 3 weeks before election day - by mail

Those of us who voted by mail (the vast majority are Dems) are impervious to all the last-minute game-playing that these media outlets are trying to pull. We've already voted by the time they start playing their stupid games.

If we haven't voted - well, at least we know who's getting our vote, so it still doesn't matter.

I can't believe the news media - including MSNBC - that think we're that stupid and that naive. My TV stayed off for most of the time because I got sick of all the "red wave" talk, all the "Joe Biden has terrible ratings" talk.

Here's what I know - political polls are meaningless because Repukes always lie in them. That's their big joke, lying to pollsters and pretending to be Dems. Meanwhile Dems are (mostly) too smart to answer the phone and tell strangers who they plan to vote for.

It's impossible for polls to be correct because they aren't getting any real answers from anybody.

I'm so happy this season is OVER!

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Wed Nov 16, 2022, 04:57 PM

42. I am not sure

The polls getting close seemed an aberration to me and motivated me to vote even more than I already was.

Turns out the tied polling for NH Senate on election day was a massive aberration, Hassan won by 9 points!

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