There were many problems with the latest Gallup Poll, which has McCain up +4 vs Obama. But now with more information (buried deep into the 9th paragraph of USA Today's own write up), it only gets worse. It's potentially "startlingly" worse
It seems that Gallup according to writer Seth Colter Walls, "committed polling malpractice", when describing polling expert, Prof. Adam Abramowitz analysis, of Gallup/USA today's latest halting revelation.
Gallup fudged the numbers in more ways than we ever thought!
As for how "likely voters" were identified, USA Today reports that respondents were asked "how much thought they had given the election, how often they voted in the past and whether they plan to vote this fall." Fair enough. But the very next sentence raises even more questions about whether USA Today's effort is actually a snapshot of the electorate, as its website claims, or enters the realm of forward-looking hypothesizing. Buried in the ninth paragraph of USA Today's own write-up, they reveal that "McCain's gains came because there was an even number of likely voters from each party. Last month, the Democrats had an 11-point edge."
Abramowitz says this contradiction is the equivalent of polling malpractice. "It is simply not plausible that there would be an 11-point swing in party ID among likely voters or that there is now an even split in the likely electorate between Republicans and Democrats," he wrote in an email to the Huffington Post.
Agreed! There is no responsible poll in America that would weigh Democrats and Republicans evenly right now.
As Prof. Abramawitz explained, party ID wouldn't be up 11 points in a month (especially for the struggling Republican party) either. Think about it? When is the last time you've seen, or heard about a poll where Republican and Democratic party ID were equal? Gallup tried to hide this initially. It was bad enough they had given us multiple, shaky reasons/data already. But this one (equal party ID) is just as bad as removing a large sample of 109 so called "unlikely voters", who planned to vote for Obama by 61 to 7% (Yes. They did that, and several other highly questionable decisions) to give McCain the "likely voter edge". Obama should of been up BIG in this poll (as he already hit 50% vs McCain's 44% in their June poll).
Something really crazy is happening. I wrote a diary yesterday regarding this subject. http://www.dailykos.com/...
There seems to be a confluence of media and polling firms, that are either against Obama or trying to keep this race close.
I don't know. But Gallup Chief Frank Newport practically admits on MSNBC that they lied and were testing new theories. So Back to Mr. Colter of the Huffingtonpost:
But grains of salt aside, there is other evidence to suggest that USA Today's "likely voter" poll runs afoul of its own standards in terms of not forecasting far-off election results. In describing the poll's usefulness on MSNBC Tuesday morning, Gallup chief Frank Newport said "it's important to look at likely voters ... just to see under a scenario where McCain supporters are energized."
"Just to see a scenario where McCain supporters are energized"; so now Gallup is passing off speculation and hypothesis as accurate polling?
Shouldn't this be some type of scandal? What was Gannet's (USA Today's owners) role or influence in this? Why is MSNBC, other media and "pundits", continue to reference this now disgraced poll? What does this mean to our future, the upcoming election, and media/polling priorities and influence?
Gallup/USAToday should certainly feel ashamed and needs to apologize as it attempts to pass off this drivel. Mr. Colter Walls agrees, and Gallups, Newport even tries to defend/explain himself one more time, as well:
So sure, "under a scenario" where McCain's voters are energized at a level equal to Obama's and the national distribution of party ID is equal between Democrats and Republicans, perhaps it would make sense to see McCain with a four-point lead in a poll with a plus/minus 4 percent margin of error. But engineering coverage of a poll with metrics contrived to show results under a certain "scenario" sounds more prospective and hypothetical than the paper's stated mission of covering polls as momentary snapshots and "not forecasts of far-off election days."
As Newport said on MSNBC this morning: "The likely voters simply tell us that turnout could make a difference."
I'm sure we've all thought it at times. But I hope this is the first, last, and only poll that has McCain ahead (legitimate, or illegitimately). Let's not start any precedents.
Gallup's Frank Newport, The Washington Post's Dana Milbank, John McCain and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough are all a disgrace, and charter members of Keith Olberman's "Worst Person Of The Day". club.
PS: Obama is kicking ass, and the crowd is juiced in his economic townhall in Missouri today.
He's been funny, articulate, honest and emotionally energized.