Thursday, September 27, 2012

An In-Kind Contribution to the Obama Campaign

Polling shenanigans are not new for the extension of the Democratic party that is most of the MSM.

Dick Morris is right.
Here's his column on "Why the Polls Understate the Romney Vote."
Here's something Dick Morris doesn't mention. And he's charitable.
Remember when Jimmy Carter beat Ronald Reagan in 1980?
That's right. Jimmy Carter beat Ronald Reagan in 1980.
In a series of nine stories in 1980 on "Crucial States" -- battleground states as they are known today -- the New York Times repeatedly told readers then-President Carter was in a close and decidedly winnable race with the former California governor. And used polling data from the New York Times/CBS polls to back up its stories.
Four years later, it was the Washington Post that played the polling game -- and when called out by Reagan campaign manager Ed Rollins a famous Post executive called his paper's polling an "in-kind contribution to the Mondale campaign." Mondale, of course, being then-President Reagan's 1984 opponent and Carter's vice president.
All of which will doubtless serve as a reminder of just how blatantly polling data is manipulated by liberal media -- used essentially as a political weapon to support the liberal of the moment, whether Jimmy Carter in 1980, Walter Mondale in 1984 -- or Barack Obama in 2012. 
First the Times in 1980 and how it played the polling game.
The states involved, and the datelines for the stories:
  • · California -- October 6, 1980
  • · Texas -- October 8, 1980
  • · Pennsylvania -- October 10, 1980
  • · Illinois -- October 13, 1980
  • · Ohio -- October 15, 1980
  • · New Jersey -- October 16, 1980
  • · Florida -- October 19, 1980
  • · New York -- October 21, 1980
  • · Michigan -- October 23, 1980
Of these nine only one was depicted as "likely" for Reagan: Reagan's own California. A second -- New Jersey -- was presented as a state that "appears to support" Reagan.
The Times led their readers to believe that each of the remaining seven states were "close" -- or the Times had Carter leading outright.
In every single case the Times was proven grossly wrong on election day. Reagan in fact carried every one of the nine states.
Here is how the Times played the game with the seven of the nine states in question.
• Texas: In a story datelined October 8 from Houston, the Times headlined:
Texas Looming as a Close Battle Between President and Reagan
The Reagan-Carter race in Texas, the paper claimed, had "suddenly tightened and now shapes up as a close, bruising battle to the finish." The paper said "a New York Times/CBS News Poll, the second of seven in crucial big states, showing the Reagan-Carter race now a virtual dead heat despite a string of earlier polls on both sides that had shown the state leaning toward Mr. Reagan."
The narrative? It was like the famous scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy and her friends stare in astonishment as dog Toto pulls back the curtain in the wizard's lair to reveal merely a man bellowing through a microphone. Causing the startled "wizard" caught in the act to frantically start yelling, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!" In the case of the Times in its look at Texas in October of 1980 the paper dismissed "a string of earlier polls on both sides" that repeatedly showed Texas going for Reagan. Instead, the Times presented this data:
A survey of 1,050 registered voters, weighted to form a probable electorate, gave Mr. Carter 40 percent support, Mr. Reagan 39 percent, John. B. Anderson, the independent candidate, 3 percent, and 18 percent were undecided. The survey, conducted by telephone from Oct. 1 to Oct. 6, has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
In other words, the race in Texas is close, assures the Times, with Carter actually in the lead.
What happened? Reagan beat Carter by over 13 points. It wasn't even close to close.
• Pennsylvania: The next "Crucial States" story focused on Pennsylvania on October 10. Here the headline read:
Undecided Voters May Prove Key
Reagan, said the Times, "appears to have failed thus far to establish many positive reasons for voting for him."

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