Category Archives: Polls

Berning it All Down?

So this article penned by Glenn Greenwald is making the rounds of Facebook today, and I personally am a bit more annoyed than I probably should be at the continued whining of Sanders supporters at the announcement of Hillary Clinton’s presumptive nomination by the Democratic party;

LAST NIGHT, the Associated Press — on a day when nobody voted — surprised everyone by abruptly declaring the Democratic Party primary over and Hillary Clinton the victor. The decree, issued the night before the California primary in which polls show Clinton and Bernie Sanders in a very close race, was based on the media organization’s survey of “superdelegates”: the Democratic Party’s 720 insiders, corporate donors, and officials whose votes for the presidential nominee count the same as the actually elected delegates.

It probably bears noting that these same super-delegates, which the democratically demanding Sanders supporters deride when lined up for Hillary, are the very same votes that Sanders will need to win the nomination since Hillary now has a commanding lead in numbers of votes and numbers of delegates.

But that isn’t the part that really annoys me.

No, the part that annoys me is that Greenwald is printing an outright fabrication in that article. Yes, it is true that the AP story which he cites claims that the survey was only of super-delegates, but it was no secret that Hillary Clinton was going to cross the threshold of delegates on the seventh or before, and that the announcement would probably be made before California went to vote.

Don’t believe me?

Here is the podcast I heard it on first; (stream link)

Weekly Roundup: Thursday, June 2
A week of defense for Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton goes on the attack in a big foreign policy speech. This episode: host/reporter Sam Sanders, White House correspondent Tamara Keith, digital political reporter Danielle Kurtzleben, and political editor Domenico Montanaro. More coverage at nprpolitics.org. 

 Please note the date of the podcast (June 2nd) and that the hosts of the podcast note that Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands voted before the four states whose primaries ran on Tuesday, and that the projected announcement date of crossing that threshold was on the seventh.

Which puts the lie to Greenwald’s assertion that “nobody voted”.  There were people voting, they just weren’t voting in the officially recognized states of the United States. A minor oversight, I’m sure.  Except he’s a journalist, and I’m just a blogger with access to the internet.  One would hope that a journalist would have a firmer grasp on the truth, especially Glenn Greenwald after all the times he’s gone to bat for it.

But NPR isn’t the only source that understood the impending threshold that would be crossed on the 7th. Fivethirtyeight was predicting the seventh as the latest date that the threshold would be crossed as far back as May 24th!

Does this mean that the major news outlets will declare Clinton the nominee at exactly 8 p.m. on June 7? Not necessarily. There aren’t likely to be exit polls in New Jersey, and the news outlets will probably wait for returns — exit polls are expensive — from the state to determine whether Clinton has clinched. Still, it’ll probably be pretty clear after some votes are counted that Clinton has hit the minimum delegate threshold to win the nomination.

It turned out that the number of delegates required to be declared the presumptive nominee was crossed early, as it was always possible could happen.  Nothing about this is unforeseen, or a surprise, except to the politically inexperienced who don’t understand how this game is played.  That group certainly doesn’t include Glenn Greenwald or Bernie Sanders.

It is time and past time for Bernie Sanders to put a lid on the ridiculous accusations leveled at the party that he is purportedly running as a candidate in, and to start making the kinds of noises one makes when one wants to make a civilized exit from a political race. It is time and past time for the media to stop inventing reasons to dump on Hillary Clinton.

The voices of support for her are few and far between at this point, and the brave few who dare to speak out are routinely targeted as paid shills for her.  As if she hasn’t earned some legitimate supporters of her own just through her own hard work in office and in the Democratic party itself;

In this telling, in order to do something as hard as becoming the first female presidential nominee of a major political party, she had to do something extraordinarily difficult: She had to build a coalition, supported by a web of relationships, that dwarfed in both breadth and depth anything a non-incumbent had created before. It was a plan that played to her strengths, as opposed to her (entirely male) challengers’ strengths. And she did it.

She is the presumptive nominee of the party.  Her landslide victory in California proves that she has the backing of the Democratic party across the nation. It is time to put this race to bed and get on with the convention shenanigans.

Journalism? General Education, That is the Problem

A comment on Robert Reich’s status went a bit long;

Trump is a manifestation of poor education in the US exacting its price on the US and the world.  The chickens have come home to roost. The wide-spread, wrong-headed notion that a strong leader is the way to get the change you want in a complex system, has manifested in the personages of Trump and Sanders, the demagogic “outsiders” who are believed by the uninformed to be capable of effecting change on a system by themselves.
While Sanders elected alone would fail just as Obama failed to live up to the dreams of the people who voted for him in 2008, Trump is quite capable of wrecking the system all by himself if he is elected. 
It is much easier to destroy than it is to create. 
At this point in this one election all that is left is to hope for is that the Democrats can pull out a win.  It would be nice to think that they could gain a sweeping victory that would bring in enough progressives to alter the system in a positive way.  Hand the Republicans such a crushing defeat that they are forced to re-invent themselves into a opposition party that doesn’t deny science and embrace religion as its starting point.  The Bernie or busters are going to make that possibility as remote as they can, unfortunately.
The Bernie or busters are not interested in reforming the system any more than the Tea Party Trump supporters are.  They want to re-invent it, which is just one step more than simply destroying it.  They tell themselves they’ll be happy with a Trump presidency because at least the status quo will end.  Both the Trump supporters and the Bernie or busters don’t really understand the kind of misery bringing down the US system will create.  I’m becoming afraid we might just find out how deep that well of misery is.
The fix for this is so much more than just reporting.  Just being able to predict what the population will go for in an election. That is not even scratching the surface of the problem. First you have to educate the voting public on just how blind this faith in a strong leader is.  The journalists who inform us on politics cannot be held responsible for the failure of the education system in the US to actually educate the population to the dangers of dictatorship.  As college educated people they of course discarded the idea that the average American would fall prey to a demagogue like Trump.  It’s obvious he’s lying and has no clue what he’s talking about.  Why would anyone take this orange hate-monkey seriously?
…Unless of course you believe that a strong leader is what we need, in spite of the obvious fact that a system as complex as the US government cannot possibly be run by one person. Then all bets are off and the people who want a guy who pretends to have all the answers have control of the mechanisms of statecraft through the selection of the next head of state.
We’ve been so busy propping up dictators in other countries that we’ve forgotten we might be subject to one ourselves.  That fate is now just the flip of a coin away. 

Obama and McCain; a Real Horse Race?

We have come to that part of the campaign season again. The part where those responsible for “putting on the show” of American politics, tries to convince you that there is a real question of who will be the next president.

A national Associated TV/Zogby International poll1 finds Republican Sen. John McCain taking a barely distinguishable 42%-41% lead over Democrat Sen. Barack Obama in the race for the U.S. presidency. The difference between the candidates is statistically insignificant, but nonetheless indicates a notable turn-around for McCain.

read more | digg story

Forgive me if I don’t just buy into the hype here.

I have a hard time believing polling data that says this is a real horse race. All you have to do is compare the two candidates in the average American fashion (television presence) and it’s obvious that Obama is the better candidate. The only way you get to a dead heat is if you compare McCain’s total lack of understanding when it comes to the cost of unending war, with Obama’s total lack of understanding of economics in general. In other words, the only way there is a real race for the White House is if the American people are paying attention to the issues. A completely unprecedented turn of events.

Americans have never (NEVER) returned the same party to power when an economic downturn occurs on their watch. Never mind that the sitting president has squat to do with the value of a dollar these days, other than his military adventurism; and historically, war has not been something the electorate punishes a president for. Taxes (Read my lips) yes; war, no. Massive home foreclosures, inflation, etc, all point to the election of the opposition to the presidency; making this election virtually unloseable for the Democrats.

At least in the presidential field.

So, why the anomalous polling data? Could be the way the questions are asked. Could be the average American is suspect of a President who appears to be more popular overseas than he is here. But don’t pretend that Americans care about issues. That never happens.

If Americans cared about issues, Ron Paul would be the Republican nominee. If Americans cared about issues, Bob Barr would be polling at least on the same level as Obama and McCain. They both talk about issues, and can back up the talk with facts.

No, issues don’t drive American politics. Americans care about good hair and teeth, and the right soundbites. Obama has that in spades. I’m sure they’ll come around to the right way of looking at things soon enough, and the polls will once again reflect the True Will of The People.

No really, Mary Ruwart for President

Another Polling Point poll today. They still can’t figure out that politics, like reality itself, isn’t confined to a single plane of opinion. Left/Right, Liberal/Conservative definitions of political views will only serve to keep the citizens at each others throats. If you can narrow the range of opinion down to two valid views, then everyone who doesn’t agree with you is wrong, obviously.

The “Who would you vote for as President” questions were at least not a total waste of time. Given a range of 5 options, including other and not voting, they asked us to pick which candidate we would vote for contrasting first Barak Obama and John McCain, and then Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

My choice, in both instances? Mary Ruwart. I might feel a bit of ambivalence about Barack Obama and his goals for the presidency; but ambivalence isn’t informed opinion. I’ve read enough of Ms. Ruwart’s writings to know she would make a better candidate than any of the chosen front runners.

Neither Hillary Clinton or John McCain can be trusted to run the country; their behavior in the campaigns so far has proven this.

And while I’m a supporter of Ron Paul, I can’t see the Republicans giving him the nomination over McCain, no matter how much the conservatives within the party despise McCain. Dr. Paul has stated repeatedly that he has no intention of running as a third party candidate.

So it’s Mary Ruwart for President, hands down.

Paul: Fox News is ‘scared of me’

Yet another attempt to exclude minority opinions, even when those opinions carry the name of a major party:

PLAISTOW, N.H. — Ron Paul said the decision to exclude him from a debate on Fox News Sunday the weekend before the New Hampshire Primary is proof that the network “is scared” of him.

“They are scared of me and don’t want my message to get out, but it will,” Paul said in an interview at a diner here. “They are propagandists for this war and I challenge them on the notion that they are conservative.”

Paul’s staff said they are beginning to plan a rally that will take place at the same time the 90-minute debate will air on television. It will be taped at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown.

“They will not win this skirmish,” he promised.

The Fox debate occurs less than 24 hours after two back to back Republican and Democratic debates on the same campus sponsored by ABC News, WMUR-TV and the social networking website Facebook.

Paul, the Republican Texas Congressman, was wrapping up his final day of campaigning in New Hampshire until the Iowa Caucuses on Thursday.

He spent much of the day campaigning at diners in Manchester and Plaistow and downtown walks in Derry and Exeter.

read more | digg story

Those who prefer to exclude opinions they disagree with will cite poll numbers as the reason that Dr. Paul does not rate inclusion in the debate; but polls are representative of what respondents thought of the questions asked; nothing more and nothing less. When the polls are unbiased and inclusive, Dr. Paul ranks much higher than the 3 to 4 percent that is often cited. Fox has no business excluding him for any reason other than fear of what he represents, a groundswell of revolt against the current system.

As a corporate representative of that system (as all publicly held corporations are) they have every right to be afraid; but their fear shows their bias, and it also shows just how much “fair and balanced” is worth at Fox Noise.

Not very much.

It is the opinions that are being excluded here (anti-war Republican, Austrian economics, limited government candidate) not the person of Dr. Paul. If these are your values as well as Dr. Paul’s, then you need to get behind him and show your support.

Change is coming in this country, make no mistake about that. Make sure it’s the right kind of change.


I’m beginning to think that the inhabitants over at digg are just a bunch of children. There’s a flag on the first message I stumbled across questioning the accuracy of the information.

…And yet, even Ron Paul’s website acknowledges the truth as far as they know it:

Press Releases: Has Fox News Excluded Ron Paul?

December 28, 2007 10:39 pm EST

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – According to the New Hampshire State Republican Party and an Associated Press report, Republican presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul will be excluded from an upcoming forum of Republican candidates to be broadcast by Fox News on January 6, 2008.

“Given Ron Paul’s support in New Hampshire and his recent historic fundraising success, it is outrageous that Dr. Paul would be excluded,” said Ron Paul 2008 campaign chairman Kent Snyder. “Dr. Paul has consistently polled higher in New Hampshire than some of the other candidates who have been invited.”

Snyder continued, “Paul supporters should know that we are continuing to make inquiries with Fox News as to why they have apparently excluded Dr. Paul from this event.”

read more | digg story

So, what’s up digg? Are you vying to be as biased as Fox Noise?


The second press release on the subject:

December 30, 2007

Has Fox News Excluded Ron Paul? pt. 2

On December 27, the Associated Press reported: “The New Hampshire Republican Party is sponsoring a forum for Republican presidential candidates on Jan. 6, two days before the state’s first-in-the-nation primary.” Later in the article, the AP stated: “Participating in the forum will be Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson.”

On the evening of December 28, Jared Chicoine and Jordan Brown of our New Hampshire campaign staff met in person with Fergus Cullen the New Hampshire GOP chairman to discuss whether or not Dr. Paul would be invited to participate in the forum. Mr. Cullen confirmed there will be an event on January 6, but he could not confirm whether or not Dr. Paul would be invited. We also learned the event would not be a debate with an audience, but instead would be a forum in a closed studio with the candidates questioned only by Chris Wallace of Fox News.

A few hours after that meeting, we contacted Fox News seeking clarification. Later that night, we issued a press release while waiting to hear from Fox News.

On December 29, the Baltimore Sun featured a report by Jason George. Mr. George reported, “Calls and emails to Fox News spokespersons by the Tribune were not returned Saturday evening.

“An official at the New Hampshire GOP, which is co-sponsoring the event with Fox, said that Paul might still be included, but the planning for the debate was still coming together and it was ultimately Fox’s call.”

As of late afternoon today (December 30), we have nothing more to report.

Kent Snyder
Chairman, Ron Paul 2008

read more | digg story


The third press release:

December 31, 2007

Has Fox News Excluded Ron Paul? pt. 3

Fergus Cullen, chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party, issued a press release this afternoon about Fox News’ presidential candidates forum scheduled for January 6. His release is below.

We thank Mr. Cullen for his statement today and for his efforts with Fox News.

*****
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: December 31, 2007

Contact: Fergus Cullen, Chairman, New Hampshire Republican Party

NH REPUBLICANS: DON’T LIMIT DEBATE PARTICIPANTS

CONCORD – New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Fergus Cullen releases the following statement regarding primary weekend debates:

“Limiting the number of candidates who are invited to participate in debates is not consistent with the tradition of the first in the nation primary. The level playing field requires that all candidates be given an equal opportunity to participate – not just a select few determined by the media prior to any votes being cast.”

“Therefore, the New Hampshire Republican Party calls upon all media organizations planning pre-primary debates or forums for both parties to include all recognized major candidates in their events.”

“The New Hampshire Republican Party has notified FOX News of our position, and we are in ongoing discussions with FOX News about having as many candidates as possible participate in the forum scheduled for January 6.”

read more | digg story

Bizarre Polling Point Poll

I’ve gotten onto several polling lists of late; probably because I have time to respond to them these days. Polling Point sent me a weird one the other day. Mixed in with the usual “Who did you vote for last election?” and “What party are you affiliated with?” type questions (as well as race and other questions that I routinely abstain from answering if I can) was a little gem that went something like:

“Should an illegal immigrant be able to apply for citizenship if he has graduated a U.S. High School, has had no major convictions, and has enrolled in the Military or College?”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t understand how anyone who has lived in the U.S. for long enough that he can graduate High School shouldn’t be considered a citizen just on basic principles. Much less if he plans to attend college or join the military.

“You graduated High School? Hell that’s better than a good portion of the children of citizens around here. Come on into the clubhouse!”

Never mind the legal fiction that is the concept of illegal alien in the first place. If you live in a place, you are a citizen of that place. The ability to document your residency should be irrelevant. How many white skinned people get deported back to Europe because they can’t produce documentation to prove they are here legally? I rest my case.

In Polling Points defense, in most polls they offer a comments dialog so that you can give them your opinion of the poll after you’ve taken it. I wrote this on the poll today:

Like all ballot issues, the description of the bills I would vote on go beyond confusing. Clear and plain English should be the requirement.

Ron Paul should be listed as a candidate in the Republican party. It is an !outrage! that he is not.

Left/Right does not accurately describe political views; http://www.theadvocates.org/ check out the World’s Smallest Political Quiz for more info.

Race is an illusion. There are no separate races inside the human race. ‘None’ should be an options for those of us who do not claim a race as an identifier.

Atheism is not a religion.

I could go on, but I think I’ve said enough.

Yes, I do rant just about everywhere I go. It’s a burden, let me tell you.

A year before voting, a discontented nation

Not that I pay too much attention to polls, but:

In all, 72% of those surveyed in a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Oct. 12-14 say they are dissatisfied with how things are going in the USA while just 26% are satisfied. Not since April have even one-third of Americans been happy with the country’s course, the longest national funk in 15 years.

…the current landscape is the sort that in the past has prompted political upheaval and third-party candidacies. The last time the national mood was so gloomy was in 1992, when the first President Bush was ousted from the White House and H. Ross Perot received the highest percentage of the vote of any third-party candidate in 80 years. Bill Clinton was elected amid economic angst.

read more | digg story

…But don’t worry. The politicians have arranged it so that those messy and scary third party candidates will not appear on the horizon this time, to draw attention away from the all-important choice between American socialism, and American fascism.

You can rest assured of only two candidates on the debate platform when ‘left’ meets ‘right’ next year, no real (non-government) solutions to problems, and lots of promises that will never be remembered after election.

One might say, now that meaningful minority voices have been silenced politically (or will be soon) that the next revolution is well and truly started.

…But then I’ve been predicting that for years. Still don’t see much change occurring. Good change, that is. Plenty of bad change on the horizon.

Polling Point – More Point Than Poll

Got an invite to do a Polling Point poll again a few days ago. This one, while more in depth than most, was still as infantile as most of the previous ones have been. So I decided to wax poetic in the “what can we do to improve this poll” dialog box.


Political views cannot be accurately expressed on a left-right line. It is a basic mathematical principle that it takes (at least) two bits of data to place something on a graphical scale. The only logical political scale that has ever been created is this one: World’s Smallest Political Quiz

Additionally, there are far more than two candidates for the office of governor in Texas. There are at least 5, including two independents and a Libertarian. Everyone even slightly tuned into the news knows this. There are three candidates for house district 25, as even the Wiki shows http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas’s_25th_congressional_district.

I have grave doubts as to the nature of this poll, and strongly suspect (as I have for many other Polling Point polls) that the questions are weighted in an attempt to skew the results.

When I responded to the question of party affiliation that I was “Other:Libertarian” I was presented with two pages of wheedling, a transparent attempt to skew my views into one of the left-right camps. I am in neither camp, I am a libertarian; a free-thinking, tax hating, liberty loving individual; and I resent the juvenile approach to politics that insists there is only one right answer to a problem, and two parties are enough to cover all answers.

If you can’t construct polls that attempt to take all views into account, then you devalue the worth of your own polls. It only makes good business sense, from a pollster’s standpoint, to create the most unbiased polls possible.

That would be an unprecedented improvement in my history of taking polls at Polling Point.


2017; There is a game theory explanation as to why any choices other than the top two are irrelevant in standard plurality voting methods; but addressing that here would just be clouding the legitimate complaint as to why the polls would not include minority view candidates.