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Member since: Sat Jan 5, 2008, 08:45 PM
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Things are about to get a whole lot tougher for Nate Silver

From the Political Wire

Too Tough to Forecast?


Nate Silver: "If the current polls hold, predicting the election outcome will boil down to making a series of educated guesses about the relationship between state and national polls, and between the Electoral College and the popular vote."

"There have been plenty of elections before when the outcome was highly uncertain down the stretch run or on Election Day itself. But I am not sure that there has been one where different types of polls pointed in opposite directions. Anyone in my business who is not a bit terrified by this set of facts is either lying to himself -- or he doesn't know what he's doing."

Well Nate if you are going to trust every Tom Dick and Doug Kaplan that comes your way you are going to make a mess out of it.

You are actually going to have to look at the pollsters and start throwing some of them out, and give others only a token weight.

But when you are flooded by polls from the right wing including Gravis, ARG, Purple Strategies, WeAskAmerica and Rasmussen you are being played, and being played badly.

Did you really think that with hundreds of millions of dollars going around that they wouldn't try and play the ref by flooding you with a lot of right wing polls?

Late breaking Exclusive DU: Kaplans twitter reveals distaste for Ras, affection for O'Keefe

His twitter account has been identified and appears genuine as it has pictures of his son on them consistent with other photos, by someone named clownseven (ironically Kaplan's last comment at DU he was called a clown and made a comment "from a clown"


I would guess that just about anybody can now see that Gravis Marketing was a set up from the beginning.

The guy doesn't even like to be robo called, lol.

I am travelling tomorrow and cannot read it all but here are a couple of interesting


@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

There are a lot of pro Israel postings like this one, probably 90% are related to Israeli issues:

Pollard received the same sentence as Aldrick James and Robert Hansen. People did because of them. Pollard did the same thing sandy Berger
February 1, 2011 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

Some on the left seem so happy about the wiki leaks files. I guess some love to see America hurt. It is Christmas for Mother Jones and Crew.
October 22, 2010 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share
I love this guy! Italian PM Berlusconi:I Feel Israeli;Ensuring Israel's Security & right to exist and are ethical and moral for Italians”
October 10, 2010 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

Not a fan of Jimmy Carter

JImmy Carter is a disgrace http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news...
September 20, 2010 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

and then there is this priceless gem

Gravis Marketing Exposed II. The Evisceration of Douglas Kaplan

Part III: New DU member provides twitter link and starts a whole new exposition.


Part One Here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021489250 Many thanks to the many co-investigators that supplied many valuable links so I don't have time to individually thank each of you. This went way over the time I budgeted, there was just so much material on Kaplan. This should get some attention. If not there will be a follow up around Wednesday or Thursday.

If someone could screenshot the various websites, especially those at Gravis Marketing and Kaplan. I expect some heavy scrubbing is on the way.

Gravis Marketing Exposed: Stage II the Evisceration of Douglas Kaplan.

This post has 3 parts;

The first is the summary of what is known. Everything in this part is based on fact or published statements, most of them by Douglas Kaplan. Every assertion is made with a footnote in parentheses () and detailed below so that it doesn't distract from the initial reading. Many of these facts were dug up by others and I have tried to credit their contributions.

The second section details the facts and describes each attribution in context.

The third section deals with the problems that have been noted in the actual polling again each statement is backed up with attribution.

The fourth section, if needed will be what happens after these facts have been digested. I hope to get to it by Wednesday or Thursday.

Gravis Marketing makes it to the 'Big Show'.

Part One The Summary of What is Known

This isn't a story about an ambitious(2.1) small time(2.2) con artist/fax spammer(2.3), right wing confidant/Republican booster wannabe (2.4), with limited math skills(3.1), who with a limited educational background(2.5), no direct polling experience(2.6), a limited grasp of the political process (2.7), a startling pedestrian ability to communicate effectively about the political process he claims to be an expert in(2.8), who has become the most dominant polling source from many key swing states (3.2) despite some glaring mathematical deficiencies (3.3) and becomes the highest weighted pollster for Silver (3.3) and most frequently used by RCP (3.4) and also despite the fact that he has no effective business plan and states that he is deriving zero revenues(2.9), has an outrageously adolescent professional portfolio(2.10) and an embarrassing display of testimonials(2.11) with an apparent failed attempt to become a partisan political money launderer(2.12) all the while claiming to be non-partisan (and listed by Nate and RCP as such)(2.5).

No it isn't a story about all of that. Yes all of that is objectively true and will be layed out in a systematic matter but that isn't the big story here. The big story is about the lack of standards in the profession of political polling and how those who have gotten to the top of the polling evaluation mountain got punked bad and exposing the fact that they have no objective hold on the people who are supplying them their raw material.

Imagine for a minute that you are Scott Rasmussen. Now Scott was raised a Republican and like most people that age (including me) revolted at Nixon and became a Democrat. Scott and his father started ESPN (which is now owned by Disney) and when he sold his shares at the age of the age of 28 started amassing a Romney like fortune and is currently estimated to be worth $ 600 million. He didn't major in statistics or political science but graduated from DePauw University and has an MBA from Wake Forrest. Scott works hard to provide the Republicans with a respectable although universally perceived biased polling vehicle where FOX and the Republicans can go to get numbers that support their position as best they can. Now imagine that you are the same Scott Rasmussen and one day you wake up and realize that your position as the go to guy(2.14) for the right has been replaced by Douglas Kaplan. You go on FOX almost nightly and Kaplan has a couple of interviews on an obscure Russian Govt radio program (2.15). So you get curious and you find the personal web page for Kaplan and this is what you are looking at;


Doug Kaplan was Born in Brooklyn, New York, I grew up as the middle child of seven siblings. Early on, I developed a love of project development. By the age of 14, I had read several books . It was at this time that I knew what I wanted to do with my life. Upon graduating from high school, I entered Valencia and Devry University, I quickly found work developing my first project for Discovery Marketing. I learned a lot with the company, as I was responsible for their first national campaign. The most important lesson I learned was the importance of pushing the envelope and not being afraid to take risks. My technique has continued to evolve to the present day.

I am currently a freelance professional, working from my private office in Orlando I enjoy meeting other professionals and following the latest trends. I enjoy attending conferences and symposiums, as well as adding more books to my reading list. Although I am highly sought after, I am always open to new projects. No job is too big or too small. Call me today at 407-242-1870.

Maybe he clicks around and finds out that Douglas Kaplan is the one that is sued by Disney, who now owns his beloved ESPN, for running a fax spamming con (2.3) and that Nate Silver gives this guy more weight than he does you (3.5)

Well if that little mental exercise didn't make you smile then you might either be Scott Rasmussen or possibly Nate Silver.

Nate Silver is one of the most interesting guys that popped out of the 2008 elections. Unassuming and one of the ultimate sports fans he used his BA in Economics from the University of Chicago to quantify one of the loves of his life, baseball and developed Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm a statistically driven model that works to predict future professional success based on a players past statistics (for details go to Wikipedia).

Nate uses the same discipline and posts under a pseudonym and eventually on his own website. Very successful he licenses the site to NYT and becomes the 'Better Housekeeping Seal of Approval' for polls.

In 2008 there are two very exciting primary races each of which generates hundreds of state wide polls which are followed by a historic and equally exciting general election with another cascade of polls. All of which works to Silver's strength. The more polling the more accurate his modeling is going to be.

Now in 2012 the Democrats have no primary and the Republicans have a dreary affair with a dragged out coronation. When the GE gets in full gear you have a media and Silver's modeling system that demands more and more polling data. It is an unquestionable thirst. Silver's model is based on two assumptions;

1) That published polls follow similar methodology even though they may have some measurable biases.

2) The bias of one side of the polls can be fairly balanced out with polls on the other side and with some simple weighting techniques.

This OP will show that when Nate let Gravis into 'The Big Show' he really dropped the ball. More than any other person in the game, Nate is the gatekeeper on who should be consider a minimum professional standard for a professional pollster and at least in regard to Gravis Marketing, a company with no real academic or professional standards, was allowed to slip in and undermine the whole process. Nate simply accepted the pollster based on the initial product being consistent with other product and never looked behind the curtain.

If one campaign or even individuals wanted to influence the national Electoral College models then all they would have to do is to publish acceptable looking polls and then as the race tightens flood the airways with numbers for the ever hungry media and blogosphere and presto states turn from light blue to purple and from purple to red. If you are having difficulty with fund raising (as has been reported about the Romney campaign) then presto the polls show a tighter race and you are not observing the race but helping one side become more competitive.

Part Two: The Evisceration of Douglas Kaplan.

Most of what is here is either the result of Douglas own words or court records reflecting his previous activity.

It shouldn't have been necessary. After the first thread Gravis Marketing should have been laughed off of the internet. While most of the reactions at other sites were the same as DU there were a couple of responses that need responding to:

1) So What If Its A Stock Photo. The start of the previous thread had a stock photo of an experienced looking businessman and was followed by Kaplan's own use of a goofy looking frat boy. The point wasn't that he used a stock photo but that when it came to using his own photo he apparently doesn't possess enough self awareness to realize that it is a very unprofessional presentation for a national pollster.

2) I don't see a smoking gun. the smoking gun would be to match telephone records with the times published or to show time cards, or to let a reporter examine your records and observe a polling cycle. But all of that is really beside the point. Our purpose is not to bring in a verdict but to serve an indictment. It’s not for us to prove that everything Gravis Marketing is putting out is wrong, it’s to show that he should never have been allowed on the main stage. There is more than enough for that limited purpose.

3) Nate doesn't give it much weight as shown below Nate gives it the maximum weight in swing states.

Now for the particulars;

2.1 Gravis Marketing as ambitious.

Before August 9th we can find no polling results for Gravis Marketing.

In the last 66 days they have become the most proficient pollster in swing states, and with the average of polling the most influential in the combined polling results.

Here are examples from RCP polling summaries


Before August 16 there were 40 polls completed, none by Gravis Marketing. In the 66 Days since Gravis published there have been 16 pollsters with published results:

Gravis Marketing 5
Rasmussen 3
NBC/Marist 2

Of the last 26 polls all have Obama ahead in Ohio except for 2 from Gravis and one each from ARG and WeAskAmerica, all Republican pollsters.

Prior to Gravis there were 56 polls. Since Gravis started in 8/9 there have been 29 polls;

Gravis 4
Ras 3

And 15 other pollsters with 20 polls.

Before Gravis first poll 8/9 there were 15 polls and after 21

Gravis 3
Ras,ARG, CBS, Denver, PPP, Purple all have 2

But it isn't just by quantity that Gravis Marketing throws big weight around

Go to Nate's 538 for North Carolina. http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/author/nate-silver/

Gravis Marketing has a single entry showing Romney 8 points up. Nate gives this poll more weight (maximum 4 bars) than Rasmussen (1 and 3 bars) and High Point University (2 and 1 bar).

then there is


where Gravis has Romney winning the AA vote


Black 40.34 Obama 2.12 Other 57.54 Romney 100.00 total

and he still gets the highest rating. Sorry about that Scott.

2.2 Gravis Marketing as a small small business.

It is listed under numerous profiles as having 2-4 employees.


You can see the small little strip office below at Google maps and it houses the following business, oddly enough Gravis Marketing isn't even listed as a tenant.;

Central Florida Environmental‎
Integrity Restoration & Remodeling‎
Levan's Catering‎
Mars Financial Group‎
Micro Innovations‎
Music Teachers Collective‎
Pro-Co Inc‎
Pro-Rehab Contracting Inc‎
Products Llc JB‎
Solutions of America‎
Total Water Treatment, inc‎


2.3 Douglas Kaplan legal difficulties as a marketing fax scammer.

What did Kaplan do between DeVry and becoming the nation's most influential pollster?

He had a small level con operation as a massive fax spammer. There is a lot of evidence here so I will summarize what we have;

Here is a Rip Off Report (yes I know that RipOff Report is a shake down artist)


Douglas Kaplan is the owner. He's a little weird quiet guy who talks behind everyones back. He doesn't say anything to anyone directly because he isn't a big fan of confrontation. his cell# is 407-463-2157 you can call him directly for a refund. he has money. or e-mail him at dougkaplan32765@yahoo.com

Also they only take check by phone. Doug wasn't able to get a merchant account cause noone trusts him at all--actually come to think of it--the resorts he's selling the vacations for doesnt know he's involved otherwise they wouldnt deal with him--so they use other names....

Here is a legal citation by the FCC


With about a dozen business aliases I don't think its too much to call Kaplan a small time con, do you Mr. Silver?

It has come to our attention that your company recently sent
an unsolicited advertisement to a telephone facsimile machine
(see attachment). Pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection
Act of 1991 (TCPA) and the Commission's rules, it is unlawful to
use a ``telephone facsimile machine, computer, or other device to
send an unsolicited advertisement to a telephone facsimile
machine.'' 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1)(C); 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(a)(3).

In addition to the violation identified above, it appears
that your company has also violated the provisions of the TCPA
and the Commission's rules that require any person or entity who
sends a message via a telephone facsimile machine to clearly mark
``in a margin at the top or bottom of each transmitted page of
the message or on the first page of the transmission, the date
and time it is sent and an identification of the business, other
entity, or individual sending the message and the telephone
number of the sending machine or of such business, other entity,
or individual.'' 47 U.S.C. § 227(d)(1)(B); 47 C.F.R. §

That was in 2001. In 2005 he was sued by Disney for using their name in fax marketing scam



According to the suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Orlando, Wood and several other defendants representing I Marketing Co. of Oviedo allegedly marketed "Disney" vacation packages without Disney's permission. Unsolicited faxes showed images of Disney characters; customers who called the toll-free number allegedly were told they had reached the "Disney Reservation Center" or "Disney Reservations."

And so it goes with Mr. Kaplan’s previous 'marketing' expertise.

2.4 Right Wing Confident and Republican booster

Kaplan was recorded as a part of a Republican meet up site, now washed clean

Ben Sep 18, 2012 9:14:00 PM


Would you look at this! The jig is up, Doug!

He also has been a donor for Republicans and when Limbaugh started his campaign to try and boost Hillary to keep the primaries going he contributed to Hillary.

Kaplan also lists two media appearances;

One is with the Voice of Russia (more on that later)

And the other is



Ed Dean is a radical right radio show that boasts he is slotted between O'Reilly and Sean Hannity

If you go to his website he lists a bunch of regular contributors, including somebody by the name of "Bamboo Bob" but alas
does not thank Kaplan, even though Kaplan lists it as one of his two media outlets.


2.5 limited educational background

With Mr. Kaplans' penchant for self promotion I believe that he would have told us if he had graduated. All we have is that he 'entered' DeVry.

(from above)

I entered Valencia and Devry University,

2.6 No previous polling experience

Prior to August this year there is no evidence of Kaplan being connected to a professional polling firm, and the junk fax spamming is the only marketing we have seen from him.

2.7 Limited Grasp of the Political Process

Here we make our first visit to an actual encounter with Kaplan at the AngryBear blog


He was able to con Voice of Russia into believing that he is a national pollster and they included him in a talk show


Doug joins the team of nitwits at 5:00

First of all you hear them talking about a Capitol Correspondent/Gravis Marketing poll. Try to find any January poll under Gravis or Capitol Correspondent.

You can hear his co conspirator prompting him on. It sounds about the same sophistication you can hear at a Star Bucks. No real gravity to what he is saying, "Paul wants input at the convention" etc.

At 25:31 he starts blathering about South Carolina, that is just weird and seems completely unaware of how Republican primaries are run, especially NH, Iowa, and SC. He pulls out of his ass that "South Carolina is the most socially conservative state in the country". Well the very socially conservative Republican Party in Iowa that almost always votes for the guy that is closest to being a minister wins would be astonished to hear that.

All he can come up with is that it is in the 'South' and that it is 'Conservative'. He seems unaware of South Carolina's past importance of a winner take all state in the Republican's front loaded system and the changes to the rules in this year's Republican Primary.

Time and again he apologizes for Republican vulnerabilities like Gingrich's wife and Romney's offshore account.
His insight states that he thinks "Republicans are torn with Romney".

2.8 a startling pedestrian ability to communicate effectively about the political process he claims to be an expert in.

In the Angry Bear Blog

There are just weird statements like

The poll was conducted when Sandra Fluke in town in August. We polled woman and asked them
Numerous questions. So you should look at the questions we asked.

At one point one obvious Republican supporter gives this priceless advice to Kaplan

DOUG, STOP CORRESPONDING WITH THESE IDIOTS. You make yourself look unprofessional by engaging in a comment section, especially when you write with numerous typos. Not sure a legitimate pollster would feel the need to waste his time in a place like this. That's for people like me who want to find out about your poll, and now I think I have my answer.

2.9 Has no effective business plan and states that he is deriving zero revenues

Kaplan at Angry Bear

You are the one talking about me Trust me I'm far from a republican operative or taking marching orders from Rush. I do wish the GOP would hire us because this is allot of abuse for putting out polls on my own dime.

. . .

This will be my last comment, I have gone above and beyond responding.
This is automated polling, just like PPP and the rest. We do live polling as well, however it is cost prohibitive. Push Polling is a completely different thing, which are not part of our polls.

These are self funded, we believe the we have an non-partisan perspective that is not out there

2.10 has an outrageously adolescent professional portfolio



2.11 Embarrassing display of testimonials

But they do have testimonials, all politically related.

There is "Cindy L" in Oregon and "Chris Young" in Rhode Island, both very satisfied and anonymous.

Mike Hardin is very happy with "Doug and the rest of the folks" at Gravis (pretty impressive for a 2-4 employee company).

Mike is also a political consultant (probably a roommate from college) but if you Google Mike Hardin political consultant all you get is the Gravis referral page, and this letter to the editor in Sacramento:


The Democratic legislative leadership makes me sick. How dare they place themselves above the thousands of state employees who suffered through furloughs for almost two years and face them again. Speaker John A. Perez derides the California Citizens Compensation Commission. Of course, this is a blip in terms of the budget mess. But why not suffer together through this recession? The political scientists quoted throughout the article are no better. What are they thinking?

Now there is some very sophisticated political analysis.

Leaving us with a single actual political candidate who endorses Gravis Marketing.

And he is a 'Democrat', Chris Benjamin.

Except it turns out that Benjamin is also a fraud:


Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/01/4532351/state-officials-pay-cut.html#storylink=cpy

After it was revealed that Chris Benjamin, a municipal judge and part time political consultant, is having serious personal financial problems, questions are being raised about his ability to manage public funds. Benjamin is most infamous for switching parties to run for the State Senate as a Democrat in 2008.

Either Benjamin was one of these guys that takes money to run as a Democrat so that the Republican can win easily or he ran as a Democrat because he thought he might make money it doesn't really matter.

And that is Gravis Marketing's great success and only identified public client.

2.12 With an apparent failed attempt to become a partisan political money launderer

People want a 'smoking gun'. What about this. Kaplan, the so called non partisan pollster tried to set up a Super Pac so that he could manage media dollars and take a cut. Now, Mr. Silver would you consider this normal behavior for a national pollster, a 'non partisan' one at that?.


Committee Name: Protect Candidate Speech Pac

Treasurer: Douglas Joseph Kaplan

Committee Designation: Unauthorized

Committee Type: PAC

After Citizens United Kaplan just wanted a little share of all of that Koch money, just like any national pollster.

2.13 Kaplan as non partisan

Even though he is obviously slanted he continues to be noted by both RCP and Silver as 'non partisan'.

III. Part Three Looking at the Problems of Gravis Marketing Polls.

There is a lot to be covered here so I just included some basic points. If needed this can be dealt in more detail. So many anomalies. North Carolina gives only 1 in 4 independents going to Obama, in Colorado more AA support Romney than the President, Michigan, Gravis is the only pollster to put the state into the EOM.

3.1 Limited Math

The blog Angry Bear had an interesting encounter with Kaplan where he feebly came on to defend Gravis:


I recently read the entire results of the Gravis August poll of Pennsylvania preferences for Senate and President. I found the document to be sloppy and amateurish. Worse, I found a glaring mistake in the tabulations. I pointed out the mistake both on the Gravis blog (my comment was deleted by the blog administrator) and via email directly to Doug (still no reply after 12 hours).

Here is the mistake ... follow along:

The executive summary of the poll states that 46.76% of respondents support Tom Smith for Senate and that Smith leads Sen. Bob Casey 47% to 24% -- a difference of 23 percentage points. A few paragraphs later, the executive summary says that Smith leads Casey by 19 points. The pie chart accompanying the executive summary shows 46.76% for Smith, 28.06% for Casey, and 25.18% undecided.

The news release announcing the poll's results, meanwhile, refers to Smith receiving 46.76% support. Later, it says "the Polling shows a close race for President and Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey with a decent lead."


A look at the poll's cross tabs reveals a serious mistake in the calculations. According to the cross tabs, 234 respondents said they would vote for Casey, 195 would vote for Smith, and 70 are undecided. Percentages are:

Casey: 46.89%
Smith: 39.08%
Undecided: 14.03%

Either Gravis fails at basic math, or it is intentionally misstating the poll's results -- I don't know which is worse.

I see many other problems with the methodology -- a poll conducted just one weekday afternoon; way too many respondents over age 50; too many whites; female and minority support for republicans that defies national trends, etc.

But this error is simple math. How could Gravis so seriously misstate the poll's results? How is it that they have any credibility in any polling work?

3.2 Who has become the most dominant polling source from many key swing states

As detailed in 2.1 Above

3.3 Becomes the highest weighted pollster for Silver


Start with North Carolina and work through the swing states. Nate consistently gives Gravis Marketing a full maximum 4 bar rating

3.4 Most frequently used by RCP

For Ohio, Florida and Colorado Gravis Marketing has more polls posted at RCP than any other since Gravis started producing. See 2.1 for the numbers.

No time for proof reading so apologies for syntax and spelling erros. tks.

Rand Paul: Romney is wrong about military spending, and foriegn policy.


I am a bit dismayed by his foreign policy speech Monday, titled "Mantle of Leadership."

Romney chose to criticize President Obama for seeking to cut a bloated Defense Department and for not being bellicose enough in the Middle East, two assertions with which I cannot agree.

Defense and war spending has grown 137% since 2001. That kind of growth is not sustainable.

Adm. Michael Mullen stated earlier this year that the biggest threat to our national security is our debt.

If debt is our gravest threat, adding to the debt by expanding military spending further threatens our national security.

David Paleologos (Suffolk U) latest VA poll shows Obama +2, announces "unwinnable for Obama"

Latest Suffolk Poll 9/27


President Barack Obama (46 percent) clings to a 2-point lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney (44 percent), in a swing-state nail-biter, according to a Suffolk University/NBC12 (WWBT-Richmond) poll of likely general-election voters in Virginia. Seven percent were undecided.

The race is close – with survey results within the statistical margin of error – despite a decided popularity advantage for Obama. He boasted a +8 (52 percent favorable to 44 percent unfavorable) to Romney’s -3 (42 percent favorable to 45 percent unfavorable).

“Barack Obama shows personal popularity and strength, especially outside of the D.C. area in northern Virginia,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston.

and today


Pollster David Paleologos of Suffolk University told Bill O'Reilly that his organization will not be doing any further polls in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia because he believes President Obama has no chance to win those states.

If I ever ran a company the way that these guys carry on I would have been closed on day one.

And no one bothers to click on their website to see what the guys own polls show. Oh yeah he was on Fox.

What a farce.

This isn't about cherry picking polls this is about a pattern of incompetence and willful misrepresentation that if it were a lawyer or a doctor would get you a malpractice suit. (By the way did you note that the last poll was 'likely voters' usually the most disadvantageous way to poll for Democrats?

But hey in an industry where an unemployed DeVry graduate can get to the head of the class over night why ask questions.

DU Exclusive: Gravis Marketing exposed as a fraud Part I

Gravis Marketing wants you to believe that this is Doug Kaplan


Meet Doug Kaplan


My interest was peaked when gravismarketing entered a thread with this very lame response on a thread.


Didn't seem like a very professional response.

So I started a lengthy background check using public and private sources to track the principles behind Gravis Marketing, all of their public appearances and have come to the conclusion that Gravis Marketing is a complete fraud. Nate Silver and Real Clear Politics have all been punked.

Want to have an impact on the election or do you want to try and make some money out of it then start up a website and start issuing press releases with poll numbers. Find industry averages and publish it on a PR piece. In a poll hungry environment you will be quoted and if you do it regularly you will be put into the regular rotation. And you never have to make a single phone call.

Gravis Marketing promises to be the cheapest in the business. Well there is one way to undercut the others, save on direct expenses like a telemarketing center.

It triggered Daily Kos to ask the question who are these guys and nothing came substantial came up.


This is like the Sherlock's case of the dog that didn't bark. Check out the three 'officers' of the company and nothing comes up. No academic, professional or occupational hits.

They are

Doug Kaplan
Chad Miller
Bobby Hymel.

They have between 2 to 4 employees.

As a Managing Partner in one of US largest consulting companies between 1994 and 2000 I was thousands of business resumes. This is one of the thinest I have ever seen.


So he promotes himself as a political expert and national pollster.

His public spots? One is with some small failed local Limbaugh wannabe in Florida by the name of Ed Dean. The other is on the Voice of Russia, the Russian Government's English language channel and a political show called: Carmen Russell-Sluchansky's Campaign Connection.

He is quoted there as a national US Pollster and Political analyst.

You can listen to this twerp here:


You can start to listen to him at the 5 minute mark. His comments have all of the sophistication of a poli sci major having a beer induced bull session with a bunch of his friends trying to sound like they are on the inside. Pay special attention to his rambling inarticulate explanation of why South Carolina is important.

He sounds completely uninformed for a pollster. He seems unaware the South Carolina had special importance before because of the heavy front loading of the Republican schedule with winner take all primaries that made it very difficult to be viable after SC if you didn't score in Iowa or NH. He seems unaware of the substantial rules changes that had a dramatic impact on the Republican Primary schedule and dynamics.

I could match his numbers with even better numbers and, like him, not make a single phone call.

Next there is the structure of their business model. Go to any other polling company and the political polls are just a small part of a larger business, usually in doing polling for marketing of consumer products. Face it the general elections only show up every 4 years so you can't make a lot of money there. In fact most polling companies publish polls as a loss leader so that they can attract commercial customers.

None of this exists at Gravis.

But they do have testimonials, all politically related.

There is "Cindy L" in Oregon and "Chris Young" in Rhode Island, both very satisfied and anonymous.

Mike Hardin is very happy with "Doug and the rest of the folks" at Gravis (pretty impressive for a 2-4 employee company).

Mike is also a political consultant (probably a roommate from college) but if you google Mike Hardin political consultant all you get is the Gravis referral page, and this letter to the editor in Sacramento:


The Democratic legislative leadership makes me sick. How dare they place themselves above the thousands of state employees who suffered through furloughs for almost two years and face them again. Speaker John A. Perez derides the California Citizens Compensation Commission. Of course, this is a blip in terms of the budget mess. But why not suffer together through this recession? The political scientists quoted throughout the article are no better. What are they thinking?

Now there is some very sophisticated political analysis.

Leaving us with a single actual political candidate who endorses Gravis Marketing.

And he is a 'Democrat', Chris Benjamin.

Except it turns out that Benjamin is also a fraud:


Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/01/4532351/state-officials-pay-cut.html#storylink=cpy

After it was revealed that Chris Benjamin, a municipal judge and part time political consultant, is having serious personal financial problems, questions are being raised about his ability to manage public funds. Benjamin is most infamous for switching parties to run for the State Senate as a Democrat in 2008.

Either Benjamin was one of these guys that takes money to run as a Democrat so that the Republican can win easily or he ran as a Democrat because he thought he might make money it doesn't really matter.

And that is Gravis Marketing's great success and only identified public client.

So Nate, Huffington Post, Real Clear Politics have all been punked.

And the right wing blogs are running around with all of these wonderful numbers, and some at DU get their chain pulled.

Doug probably hasn't made any money off of it yet but next time around the Republicans will be happy to throw some bucks his way to get some good PR numbers.

Until then Gravis remains 'non partisan' lol.

Now you know Gravis is a fraud.

I know Gravis is a fraud.

The media can pick up this work and get a story out of it.

Tabbi reads DU and he may have got interest in the KB Toys from one of my articles so this would be a fun story for him, how many other pollsters are punking the media.

I have done most of the work already so some journalist can take all of the credit, just give a mention to DU.

Now Doug Kaplan is going to scream like a stuck pig.

Well all a good investigating reporter has to do is ask to see his W-2s for all the people making the calls and all of the phone bills for all of the calls. Check back on every poll he made and ask to see the telephone bills for all of the calls, I know my bill lists every call I made. Or do you think that they all used the same Vonage line, lol.

Gravis Marketing is a fraud.

Doug Kaplan is a fraud.

And until all of their records have been published and checked that's how they should be noted.

Just another notch for DU fettering out right wing bull shit.

(if someone could take the time to send this to real clear politics, nate silver and post it at Daily Kos, I would appreciate it. I have to move today. On to Tucson.)

Losing a debate is not the same as persuading someone on a policy.

It is difficult for me to be objective about the debate because my distaste for Romney is so strong and visceral that I cannot watch him for more than a few seconds without my blood pressure rising and my testerone pump starting to flood my body with angry little hormones.

I find that after 30 seconds of Mitch watching I am compelled to rise out of my chair and start shadow boxing. This is the kind of telltale indicators that tips you off that you might not be objective about what you are watching.

My distaste for Romney is in part related as a reaction to the corruption of the Republican Party and even capitalism that makes me so angry. You see I followed his dad in '68 and rooted for him to take out Nixon. How different the world would have been. Iit is assholes like Romney who have corrupted capitalism even further making it even more callous, reckless and devastating than it need be.

Then there is his whole phony persona that he has spent a lifetime trying to engineer to get people to embrace him and project his religion as wholesome.

He nauseates me and as a prophylaxis to my health I have taken the very sensible antidote by simply muting him off. I wait until after he has been distilled and analyzed and can take him in short clips.

I also don't trust DU to have an objective view of the debates because you are all political junkies. So I texted about 6 Democratic friends who I trust (and aren't as obsessed as we are) and generally they thought that Romney gave a good 'performance' but that the President also made his points about the policy. They also didn't think that Romney's 'performance' advanced any of his theories.

There is one point that I think DU has lost perspective on and that is even if you thought that Romney handily won the debate it is unlikely to have a dramatic impact on the outcome of the election. Intrade went from the astronomical 70% level to the extremely high 65% level. What states flipped from Obama to Romney last night. Possibly North Carolina, possibly none.

It will be seen as a very clever performance by a person that people still don't trust. And if that wasn't enough there is that wonderful little secret Romney telling them over and over again that he doesn't care about the 47% he isn't going to worry about.

I do strongly disagree with some at DU who wish that the President had brought that up. I hope that it never comes up in a debate because it gives Romney the chance to address it and get ahead of it. Today it lingers as a wonderful little antidote to any independent that thinks that they might like Romney.

Having a good performance at a debate is not the same as persuading someone on a policy. People didn't buy the Romney policies, such as they are known before the debate and they are not going to buy it after the debate. People that basically didn't like the guy still don't like the guy. His negatives didn't go down last night.

And for a lot of people who, like me truly hate the idea of a President Romney, they got a lot more focused.

Is the idea of vast Rep Super Pacs war chest a myth? Obama @ friends outspend Romney.

So what happened to all of those hundred million dollar Koch brother checks?

Was it all a myth, a bluff? If so it may have motivated Democrats to give more and given Republican fat cats reason to sit on their wallets. About a month ago I predicted that the official Romney campaign would face cash flow problems and a couple of weeks later media reports started reporting that the Romney campaign had borrowed $ 20 million]and was spending considerably less than the Obama campaign.

Now a careful look at media buys is showing a curious result.

Where are those huge Super Pac media purchases by right wing billionaires?

Last week total media buys for all campaign and super Pacs topped $55 million but of that the Obama campaign spent 40% of the total. The two largest Super Pacs involved in buying media last week? Number one was Omaha billionaire Ricketts who just started buying spots with more than $ 8 million and number two was the Obama Super Pac which spent $ 3.4 million.


President Obama, Mitt Romney, and outside groups spent more than $55 million on advertising running between Sept. 25 and Oct. 1, according to sources watching the advertising market. Obama's campaign alone spent $21 million during the last week, while Romney's campaign dropped $14 million on its own advertising.

All told, Obama's team has spent a total of $285 million on broadcast, cable, and radio advertising, while Romney's camp has spent $117 million. Add in outside spending and the total spent on the general election tops $724.6 million to date. With 39 days to go until Election Day, the 2012 campaign has already eclipsed the total amount spent in the 2008 cycle.

Ohio, Florida, and Virginia continue to be top targets for candidate advertising. The two sides are spending a combined $11.4 million reaching Buckeye State voters; $12.6 million in the Sunshine State; and $10.5 million in the Commonwealth this week alone. All three states have seen more than $114 million spent on advertising already.

So where are all of the tens of millions of the Koch brothers. Were they idle boasts? If so they may have crippled the Romney campaign because as I predicted (which was met with almost universal skepticism) the Romney campaign seems to have fallen way way behind the Obama campaign in media buys, in fact buying $ 170 million less.

If Romney has a less than great debate performance he could see his donor base quietly pack up their check books while the billionaires find other objectives for their political play money.

And then there is this;

When the Romney campaign ran short of money the borrowed against unused deposits of primary contributions.

They have already started paying that money back.

While other candidates will borrow to go into the hole it is generally understood that they don't have the resources to cover that debt and they have to spend time after the campaign to raise money to pay it off. With Romney's vast personal wealth he knows that once the election is over no one is going to donate one penny to him. He will have to write personal checks for every cent. My guess is that after the campaign is done the Romney campaign will have no debt.

So it may be that the original prediction of Romney's cash flow problems may have been under stated. It may be that not only will the official campaign have cash flow problems but that the Super Pac money will turn out to be tens of millions less than advertised.

Don't look now but they are pouring the cement for Jeb 2016 already

The sniping has already begun but it is rather obvious that on Nov 7th two things are going to happen in the Republican Party;

1) Mitt Romney will become known as the man who gave the election to the President aka the most hated man in the party (which with equally disdainful feelings of the Democrats and the Independents for different reasons) will make him the most hated man in America.

In order to try and undermine the President's second term they will completely take apart the man who ran against him. The meme will be "of course Obama won, look at the idiot that ran against him'.

2) There will be serious talk about structural Republican demographic problems, especially among Hispanics. From the Republican point of view the Hispanics are the most church going anti abortion ethnic group in America, that and the fact that they are the fastest growing means that the only way forward is that they must capture the Hispanic vote to win.

There is only one Republican candidate who has legitimate Hispanic credentials, Jeb Bush. Jeb is married to a wealthy Mexican national and is fluent in Spanish. His views will be portrayed as 'moderate'.

So expect to see;

1) More Romney sniping, cascading into 'he's an idiot' among punsters. You might even see cable anchors look into the camera and cover their face and mutter "sweet Jesus" after watching Romney on the stump.

2) More Romney financial cash flow problems. Now this requires some discipline because people mix up the huge funds of the Presidential campaign and those of the SuperPacs. The SuperPacs can buy ads but for most campaign activities they cannot. In the swing states of Ohio and Florida the Obama campaign has run 10,000 more ads than Romney. (I am also beginning to think that these hundred million dollar Koch checks maybe more myth than reality - in which case they had probably let a lot of Republicans think that they didn't need to contribute anything).

The truth is that the Bush/traditional Republican hierarchy never opened up their pocket books for Romney.

3) Strange polling. What kind of strange polling? Polling in the middle of a Presidential campaign that would suggest that the Bush Brand is not doing that badly, especially compared to Romney:


George W. Bush posts better favorability ratings than Mitt Romney in new Bloomberg survey

For all the talk about whether Mitt Romney should distance himself from George W. Bush –and the policies of the last GOP White House — a new survey shows that the former president actually has better favorability ratings than the Republican nominee.

A Bloomberg News National Poll released Wednesday has Bush receiving a favorable rating from 46 percent of those surveyed and an unfavorable rating from 49 percent. That’s compared to Romney’s 43 percent favorable and 50 percent unfavorable.

You really have to admire the quality of the Bush machine. Even when they are this obvious most Republicans have no idea what is happening. By December 1st they will be marching in step behind a new movement, "Only Jeb can save us now".

Karl Rove may be a POS but he can run an effective Republican operation.

A picture 148 years in the making.

Babyloniansister posted this thread about Janiya Penny's meeting of the President captured in one of the most arresting pictures every taken at the White House.

We don't know what circumstances led to Janiya getting listed on the 'Make-a-Wish' list but we know there is a mountain of heartbreak weighing on the family of every child who is on that list.

In the picture you will see that Janiya is overcome by joy at meeting the President.

You can see the joy of the parents.

The President is completely in the moment and after greeting Janiya has turned to connect with her parents, who undoubtedly have been through their own personal torment in accompanying Janiya through her challenges.

If that was all in the picture it would be a candidate for the shortlist for iconic White House pictures.

But glance up wards and view the picture with the melancholy view of President Lincoln witnessing the event.

That additional framing gives an added almost surrealistic level to the painting. It shows the completed circle that goes from a compassionate leader who pays the greatest sacrifice to illustrating how progressive policies can transform real people's lives.

And the wise compassion of one leader becomes the foundation for the wise compassion of another.

And in her innocence Janiya becomes not only our sister but shows us how politics does in fact impact real people.

And we all share in her joy.

And grateful to those who have sacrificed before us so that we can share the moment with her.
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