Yesterday I asked the question Is Gallup Skewing Polls Since Obama Justice Dept Filed Lawsuit?
For me, I believe that Gallup Polls are not to be trusted.
It turns out, I am not the only one with that opinion.
In today’s Daily Caller, they have internal emails which I believe raise enough questions and concerns that I will no longer consider a Gallup Poll to be valid.
From the Daily Caller:
Internal emails between senior officials at The Gallup Organization, obtained by The Daily Caller, show senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod attempting to subtly intimidate the respected polling firm when its numbers were unfavorable to the president.
After Gallup declined to change its polling methodology, Obama’s Department of Justice hit it with an unrelated lawsuit that appears damning on its face.
TheDC is withholding the identities of the Gallup officials to protect them from potential retaliation from Obama’s campaign and his administration.
In April, Axelrod tweeted that a poll showing Mitt Romney with a 48-43 percent lead over Obama was “saddled with some methodological problems,” directing his Twitter followers to read a National Journal story criticizing Gallup polls showing a Romney lead.
In that National Journal piece, Ron Brownstein wrote that the polls showing Romney leading the president had “a sample that looks much more like the electorate in 2010 than the voting population that is likely to turn out in 2012.”
Internally, Gallup officials discussed via email how to respond Axelrod’s accusations. One suggested that it “seems like a pretty good time for a blog response,” and named a potential writer.
And this is not new. Back in 2009, the Obama White House attacked Gallup again for polls they didn’t like.
From NewsBusters back on December 8, 2009:
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs lashed out at Gallup polling today for releasing poll data that the administration does not like. The most recent Gallup poll shows President Obama’s approval ratings at 47 percent, the lowest rating on record at this point in any presidency.
“If I was a heart patient and Gallup was my EKG, I’d visit my doctor,” Gibbs told reporters today, referring to recent fluctuations in the polling company’s reported presidential approval ratings. As of November 30, Gallup reported Obama’s favorable rating at 51 percent, with 42 percent responding unfavorably. The latter rose to 46 percent as of Sunday.
Pollsters always seem to have an agenda. A vested interest in the outcome of the polls. Either to sway public opinion into believing a candidate is doing better (or worse) than they really are, or simply to move the average of Real Clear Politics to keep Obama in the lead.
It happens with such regularity that it is unlikely a coincidence. Just as a Republican Candidate (Mitt Romney in particular) looks to be moving ahead in the RCP average, out comes a poll from a far left leaning source or Democratic pollsters (aren’t they one and the same?) that has some wild results that are totally outside of the samples the rest of the polls show. And if they bother to include the number of Republicans vs Democrats surveyed - many times they leave out this bit of important information – they have oversampled Dems by sometimes double digits. One wonders if they even make calls at all.
Polls that are intentionally skewed or inaccurate are absolutely worthless to political junkies and the general population. They are campaign propaganda tools intended solely to influence public opinion – not measure it.
And I have said this before and will continue to note the observation that contrary to what you hear, polls do not really grow tighter as the election nears. They simply begin using more accurate samples that reflect public opinion. Because a pollster’s reputation is not forged by their poll results in September or October, but rather those in November – or late October. And if your last few polls of an election cycle are are not close to the final results, your reputation suffers.
It would be nice of the polls all used the methods now, in September, that they will be using in the last few days of this election.
I believe if they did, the Republicans would show a lead of a few points in most races. You wouldn’t know it by most of the polls, but this is looking like it could be an exceptionally great year for the GOP.
At this point, I trust the Rasmussen Polls far more than the others. They don’t show general site visitors the internal numbers behind the polls, but Platinum members have access to all of the internals, and I check every poll and especially the Demographics in each one. Rasmussen tends to sample about an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, which is how the rest of the polls should be doing things.
On a few polls, Rasmussen seems to be oversampling women a bit, but I don’t believe this is intentional.
As for Gallup, unless things change between them and the White House intimidation squad, I think we should count them as compromised and not reliable.