Categorized | Opinion

There the Pollsters Go Again! 2016 Presidential Junk Polls

After the embarrassing thumping the pollsters took in this year’s national races, here they go again.

When I look at the polls, all I can do is shake my head and hope people realize they are being suckered.

Let’s have a look at a couple of recent “shocking” polls.

CNN released a poll on 2016 Republican contenders and found a shocking lead for Jeb (PLEASE NOT ANOTHER) Bush. And the headlines were echoed all over the land.

But let’s first look at the numbers. CNN’s pollsters called 209 people who described themselves as Republicans. Or about 4 per state. The correct way to determine party is not by asking, although that is done. Rather by asking for whom they voted in 2012, 2008, and perhaps 2004. Other presidential elections. And asking questions about their voting habits in the non-presidential years is also done to determine if they are likely voters or not. And from the cross tabs (internal numbers) they released, they did not even determine if the respondents were even registered to vote, or if they were citizens or even eligible to vote.

My personal opinion, this poll used a polluted and unreliable pool on which to base their opinion.  And then there is their “weighting” statement. This is where they take the results of their poll in raw numbers and change them to reflect their picture of what the group should look like, saying “the entire sample was weighted to reflect national Census figures for gender, race, age, education, region of country, and telephone usage. Among the entire sample, 28% described themselves as Democrats, 22% described themselves as Republicans, and 50% described themselves as Independents or members of another party“.

So they called a few people, asked them some questions and then adjusted the responses as they see fit.

It should be noted that weighting is a normal procedure in polling. And the accuracy of the weighting demographics makes or breaks the polls. The 2014 election polls weighted the numbers very heavily Democratic. And they anticipated that the independents would break either even or slightly Democratic. The Indy’s went heavily Republican and more people voted Republican than the poss weighting predicted. So the results were laughable as the Republicans took the Senate in a landslide and increased their numbers in the House to historic levels.

Let’s take a look at the people who did this poll for CNN, ORC International. How did they do in the 2014 elections?

Like most (all) of the polls, ORC screwed the pooch on the 2014 election. Their final poll showed North Carolina Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan leading Republican Thom Tillis by 2 points. The actual result was a 2 point victory for Tillis, a 4 point swing.

And in Iowa, ORC showed Republican Joni Ernst with a 2 point lead on Democrat Bruce Braley. Ernst won by 9 points. Oops!

And ORC has some interesting polls showing just the opposite of what most consider reality on issues. For instance the US Economy is growing at 5% (who needs real statistics when you can poll, right?), Sony overreacted, Obama’s immigration policy is popular, and we love the response to Ebola. (The CDC is hiding new cases now.)

So my confidence in any polling done by ORC is pretty low based on their recent history.

But in this recent presidential poll, I have to admit that my jaw dropped when I read the actual questions. Putting aside their weighting and sample size, both of which I find questionable, take a look at how this poll was conducted.

One of the most glaring issues is that this poll omitted Mitt Romney. And while Romney has not declared, neither has the rest of the field with the exception of the “one foot in” Jeb Bush declaration. So the first question I have for ORC is “what’s up with that”? Last month Romney was leading the field of Republican contenders in a poll by this same outfit with 20% to 9% for Bush. Why would they leave out the top candidate a month later?

But even more curious, it seems that the poll anticipated the lead for Bush and had questions designed to trash Bush for his RINO – far left policies. Yea, I’m no Bush fan. You’re shocked, right?

But still, after asking the question:

I’m going to read a list of people who may be running in the Republican primaries for president in
2016. After I read all the names, please tell me which of those candidates you would be most likely
to support for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, or if you would support someone
else. Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich,
Rand Paul, Mike Pence, Rick Perry, Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, or
Scott Walker. (RANDOM ORDER)

And omitting Romney, who else would pop out after the recent flood of publicity with his tepid candidacy announcement?

Then comes the trashing questions:

Jeb Bush has supported plans that would allow
some illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S.
rather than being deported


Jeb Bush supports the Common Core curriculum


Jeb Bush has described illegal immigration as an “act of love” showing that illegal immigrants
are concerned about their families


Jeb Bush has never signed a pledge that many
other Republicans have signed to oppose all
new taxes


State government spending in Florida increased
while Jeb Bush was Governor of that state

And after kicking the RINO poop out of Bush enough to make sure the knowledge of Jeb’s liberal ways is fresh on the minds of the Republicans, they asked who would you vote for assuming Hillary Clinton was the Democratic nominee and they went down the list of Republicans who might oppose her one at a time.

It should be noted that the Democrats were not subjected to an equal trashing of CNN’s beloved Hillary. Not a single mention of Benghazi or her other failures.

Of course Hillary came out on top of Jeb Bush in this poll 54% to 41%. And that has made a few headlines. But the biggest headlines was the “surge” Bush has seen among Republican contenders (minus Romney) since the poll last month where Bush had 14% among Republicans and Christie had 9%. This month’s “surge” showed Bush up 9% and Christie up only 4%. But with a margin of error at 4.5% due to the small sample size, Christie could also be leading Bush, or at least tied.

But the story the press has missed is the fact that after trashing Bush and leaving Hillary alone, in the head to head match up between Hillary and Jeb in January 2014, Hillary had a 23% lead on Bush and now, while still leading that lead has been cut to 13%. So while the headlines scream about the 9 point “surge” Bush saw since the last poll, he also saw an even larger 10 point surge against Hillary.

I wonder why CNN didn’t point this out? I guess this wasn’t the story they were going for, huh?

But all in all, this poll doesn’t tell me a thing. And you should not take anything away from it except that the great polling failure of 2014 didn’t teach CNN or ORC anything.

By the way, the cross tabs for this poll are here.


About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

11 Responses to “There the Pollsters Go Again! 2016 Presidential Junk Polls”

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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