POLITICAL PANDERING PERPLEXING PERCEPTIONS OF POLLS and more…

GOOD MORNING WORLD

Yesterday I finally wrote a note to Comcast our cable provider.  For the last few weeks I have noticed a side bar on my email inbox page.  On the right of the screen is a side bar that hold ads.  No problem to me as I usually ignore them until recently. 

I’ve noticed that this space has been occupied by ads for Barack Obama.  It scrolls between pictures of him to pictures of Michelle to pictures of the two of them interspersed with ads for Norwegian Cruise Lines and a fat belly-busting product.  I decided to time them and they changed every time I hit a new email.  There has not been one ad in this space for Mitt Romney.  It became investigation time for me!!!

I clicked on the ad info that was below it and up popped a survey of sorts.  I was able to look it over and put comments in specific boxes to submit.  The Comcast disclosure said:  

Regarding candidate/political advertisements:
Comcast delivers paid advertisements from many sources that represent a wide range of viewpoints. With respect to candidate advertisements, the amount of advertising distributed for a particular candidate is determined by the candidate. Comcast maintains an objective position and will neither accept nor reject ads based on agreement or disagreement with the advertiser’s viewpoint. If you have a comment about the advertisement you saw, please contact the sponsor of the commercial, the candidate or the candidate’s political committee. The sponsor’s contact information is usually available on their website.

I filled out the survey and left this quick comment:

I timed the ads for a few minutes and on the right of my email inbox screen there is a almost continuous loop of Barack Obama and Michelle – what about equal time on a public service – is this in compliance with the laws of campaigning???  …..I believe this is partisan and not sure it is legal – think I will take it to facebook or my blog to share…your statement says you maintain an objective view – I do not see that – since I began to notice this not once have I seen an ad run by the Romney campaign in this space….

This led me to thinking about what we are hearing throughout our media.  I have written about this before.  It is the consensus I believe that most Americans believe the majority of the media supports re-electing Barack Obama.  Networks, not cable, are supposed to give equal time for ads and I believe they probably do.  They cannot however control the opinions of commentators that clearly lean left to the Democrat Party.  The polls have the potential to be skewed as well.

Last night on one of the cable talk shows that we watch there was a very interesting discussion about polls.  Karl Rove tried to demystify the information and it seemed very clear to me.  Regardless of the messenger at least let me share the message.

He had two small white boards.  One was for Florida and one was for Ohio.  The explanation that I am about to share is my interpretation of the information that I heard and I hope it makes some sense to you.  It did to me.

The way polls are done is to use a matrix and the one they use usually is the results of exit polls from the past to project the future.  Rove said the polls are not dishonest we just need to look carefully at how they are done.  So here is what he said using the exit poll matrix.

In Florida in ’08 the exit polls had +3% more Democrats voting than Republicans.  In 2004 Florida had -4% more Democrats than Republicans and in 2000 Florida had +2% more Democrats than Republicans voting.  Are you with me?

It is his contention that the CBS/NYTimes poll that has Obama (Democrats) winning the election in November by +9% is way out of reach.  This means that this poll believes there are three times more Democrats in Florida that will vote Democrat this November than there are Republicans that will vote.  Are Democrats in Florida 9% more excited about this election this year than they were in 2008?  It is for us to decide if this poll is right.  We need to have the real information about how it is compiled to understand.

In Ohio he gave the same information.   In 2008 Ohio was +8% for Democrats.  In 2004 it was a -5% and a +1% in 2000.  The CBS/NYTimes give this a 9% Democrat win as well.  While Rove believed the race closer in Ohio he believed the margin was somewhere between the +8 of 2009 and the -5 of 2004.

The other point to add here is that the polling finds that Romney is winning the Independents by 3 points so how can these margins in these two states be so high?  All this information and the margins of errors and the way they figure the polls are on the websites of each individual poll.  It has to be ferreted out and searched for and it is there to check the websites and the instruments by which they conduct their polls.  Real Clear Politics polls and Pollster.com have the race has Obama winning by 4 points.

In 2008 the Rasmussen Poll was the most accurate throughout the election cycle.  I like Scott Rasmussen when I catch him speaking.  His poll is an independent poll and he seems like a no nonsense kind of guy.  They do daily tracking of many different things.  Their last poll of the Presidential race was last week and it had the race as essentially a dead heat.  Obama was up 2 in Florida and up by 1 in Ohio.

As I have said, I believe the media is a major force in helping Obama get re-elected.  We as the electorate have to be informed.  We need to find information anyplace we can.  I believe that we have to share it as well.  What I hear may not be what you hear. I am committed to passing on all I can for everyone to make a clear choice. 

I hear you out there – yes of course I want to elect Mitt Romney.  That does not take away from the fact that we have to be informed.  Polls can keep people home from voting.  I have said it myself.  Why bother going as it is a foregone conclusion that “?” will win.  I voted anyway as I do believe with all my heart that every single vote counts.

I also believe in the American people.  I do not believe, contrary to many, that they are just sheep who can be directed to a candidate by what the media says.  Dr. Larry Sabato, the Director of the UVA Center for Politics said it very well last night.  He said, ‘People are not empty vessels into which the media can pour opinions.’  He added, ‘We all have perceptual screens and we screen out things with which we disagree.’  It is important to have all the facts to filter through those screens.

If I am wrong, and Dr. Sabato is as well, then let me add my information to the din to help all make an educated choice even if it is not for Mitt Romney.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…  

 

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2 comments on “POLITICAL PANDERING PERPLEXING PERCEPTIONS OF POLLS and more…

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