Ok, books have been written on why polling is so flawed. So when I saw that Hillary is "up by 20 percent in a new PA poll", I decided to do some digging. Apparently, the poll that released this info is American Research Group, and judging by their flawless and professional website design, I smell sumthin' funny.
OK so I took a politics and elections course last year wherin I found out that it was(at least for 04 and 06) the standard operating procedure for pollsters to not call anyone with a cell phone. They only poll people who have a land-line.
Being that most of my peers(people under 25) don't have lan-lines, and more and more people are getting rid of theirs(except the elderly), I always saw this as proof of an obvious age bias that is present in most polls. Keep that in mind.
The glory of the internet is that someone has probably done the background work for you.
I'm not the only one who found ARG Sketchy.
Among what we can gleam,
-Someone by the name of either Dick, LF, La Fell or something Bennett is the head honcho at the group.
-His staff is a whopping 16 people
-They are based out of New Hampshire
And this Dick guy just gets worse
the New Hampshire Business Review has a couple of snippets from Dick Bennett on what his group sees, so those are worth extracting. First up is from 11 MAY 2007:
Dick Bennett: The New Hampshire pollster tells the Los Angeles Times, that Republicans are so disgruntled in the waning years of the Bush administration that he’s finding it difficult getting GOP voters to participate in surveys.
NHBR on 28 SEP 2007 we see this:
Dick Bennett: The Manchester-based pollster defends the omission of cell phone users in polling, saying that the people without landlines – mostly young people – "don’t vote."
WaPo in 2004 looking back a bit at the 2000 race:
New Hampshire: Graveyard of Pollsters
The New Hampshire-based American Research Group's tracking poll ended up buried deepest in the snow bank: They had Bush winning by two the day before the primary, merely 20 points off the mark. On the Democratic side, the losing pollster at least got the winner right: The Quinnipiac poll predicted Gore would win by 17 percentage points, but he actually won by four.
It was the second debacle for ARG in as many New Hampshire Republican primaries. The day before the 1996 contest, ARG's Dick Bennett told the Union Leader, "It looks like Dole's going to win," based on the Kansan's seven point advantage in their tracking poll. He didn't, losing to Pat Buchanan by a single percentage point.
Ok, so is anybody buying these numbers? Is this "poll group" shady or what? Conspiracies Welcome.