Newsweek Plays Games With Polling

I thought there was something off in the latest Newsweek poll, and sure enough Powerline identifies some dodgy numbers in the poll.

Now, I won’t defend Bush’s debate performance, because it sucked. However, the more I think about it, the less coherent Kerry’s statements become. Kerry won this debate because Bush was inarticulate and failed to challenge Kerry on his contradictory and often ridiculous statements. Kerry said he thought the war was a mistake, but would somehow pass the buck to our allies. He’s for multilateralism except in the case of North Korea where he’d play into the hands of Kim Jung Il with bilateral talks. He’d give nuclear fuel to Iran. Any of those positions is just asinine, but Kerry didn’t get called on them for the most part.

My money is still on the results of the ABC post-debate survey as well as Gallup’s similar results. Bush’s poor performance hurt him, but the battle lines in this race aren’t changing much. I highly doubt that Kerry gained that much so quickly, and Newsweek either had an unrepresentative sample or deliberately skewed the results.

In any event, if the results of the poll reminds GOP voters and the Bush campaign not to get too cocky it could help in the long run. Kerry’s oratorical skills can’t cover his weak ideas and contradictory positions. A smart campaigner will always run like he’s ten points behind – the Bush campaign should do the same.

UPDATE: Rassmussen’s numbers seem to be a better reflection of the current state of the race. They show that Kerry picked up steam (well, duh) and Bush lost a bit of ground – but that Kerry is not yet anywhere near ahead. It’s still no time for complacency, but remember that the media wants Kerry to win and has been ready to spin this as his big comeback since well before Bush’s abysmal performance. Nothing much has changed, every Republican needs to get to the polls and ensure others do as well to support our candidates running for public office. As always, if it’s not close, they can’t cheat.

UPDATE: The Newsweek poll was even worse than I thought – it was only conducted in Pacific and Mountain time zones, excluding the entire South from the polling base and other strongly Republican states like Texas as well. Either the Newsweek pollsters screwed up bigtime or this poll was rigged to show a Kerry surge. Sadly, I’m inclined to believe the latter…

5 thoughts on “Newsweek Plays Games With Polling

  1. A couple of comments on the Newsweek poll. The most recent poll included a Saturday, while the previous poll (9/9-10) showing Bush with a 50-45 lead was conducted on a Thursday-Friday. Averaging all the major polls from August 30 through October 2 (including the most recent Newsweek poll), those that include a Saturday show Bush with a 2.1% lead; polls that do not include a Saturday show Bush with a 5.8% lead.

    That said, Bush’s numbers in the Iowa Electronic Markets are falling like a rock. In the Winner-Takes-All market, where Bush led 71.9% to 28.5% on 9/27, he leads 56.5% to 43.4% as of 6:00am ET on 10/3.

  2. You know jay, the more I hear the phrase “The media wants Kerry to win” the more I wonder about it. I mean I can see how the media wants to make this a close race, its a great boost to ratings. And lets be honest, for all the talk about bias (conservative or liberal) the news is a business, and thrives off exciting and serious news. Thats also why I wonder if the media secretly wants bush to win. His presidency has been a frenzy of media events, more so then I think kerry’s would be.

  3. When I suggested the pollsters are playing games with party affilation rates in their samples before this weekend, I was either ignored or ridiculed. Now that the polls are rigging their samples to Kerry’s benefits, Jay and other Bush shills are immediately banging their spoons against their high chairs crying about “unfair” polls. Also, your selective acceptance and/or rejection of the credibility of Rasmussen polls depending on the prevailing political winds of the moment make you look foolish. Quit flip-flopping on polls Jay!!! 🙂

  4. I criticized other polls for oversampling Democrats, which is what Newsweek has done. The partisan balances do change, but if you’re suggesting that 11% of people will change their party ID in a matter of days, you need to go back to Political Science 101.

  5. Jay, the Newsweek poll after the GOP convention showing an 11-point Bush lead indicated a 5-point GOP registration advantage. This one indicates a 5-point Dem advantage. Neither is an accurate representation of voter affiliation in this country. You surely never had a problem reporting the last Newsweek poll or every laughable Gallup poll that oversampled Republicans and even wrote a goofy “The Changing Voter” hypothesis suggesting that the GOP does have a seven-point voter affiliation advantage over the Dems in 2004. Now when the same trick is pulled on you by pollsters trying to frame the race, you cry foul to the same tactic. Your intense partisanship is clouding your ability to be consistent and logical. It’s gonna be a blast watching you unravel with each new poll released this week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.