October 17, 2006

Why “The Polls” Consistently Get It Wrong

This is why (7th para at this link):

The October 2006 Battleground Poll shows sixty-one percent of Americans consider themselves “conservative” or “very conservative” and thirty-four percent of Americans consider themselves “liberal” or “very liberal.”

(If on the home page, click “more” for Ohio-specific evidence and impact)

Yet, almost invariably, polls are “balanced” with conservatives liberals, and moderates, and all too often imbalanced in a liberal or Democrat direction.

This is why you get Ohio poll v. actual results like this (56-point swings [no kidding] in two of the four Reform Ohio Now initiatives) and this (22- and 18-point swings in the US Senate primary winners’ victory margins). All of these errors are in the “conservative” direction.

There can be little doubt that most polls are consistently missing conservative voters, especially in Ohio. Just 5 months ago, the Dispatch missed 40% of the vote of Mike DeWine’s more GOP conservative challengers, AND 40% of the vote Sherrod Brown’s much-less-liberal challenger.

Given this, anyone who acts (as Ohio’s 527 Media does) as if the idea that Ken Blackwell is in reality “trailing badly” and “Down in the polls and running out of time,” or that Sherrod Brown is actually leading Mike DeWine, are irrefutable facts, is either seriously deluded or engaging in unsupportable spin. It’s especially interesting to note that neither Strickland’s campaign nor (much more telling) his media shills are exuding anything resembling the confidence you would expect if he really had the “commanding” lead he allegedly posseses.

In light of the history, and regardless of whether it’s intentional or unintentional, the continued reporting of Ohio polls without a hint of skepticism by Ohio’s 527 Media is nothing short of an effort to suppress the conservative vote.


UPDATE: The University of Cincinnati just released a poll (link is to release index; actual poll is a PDF; HT Pullins Report) showing Strickland up by 14 and Brown up by 7. Both are within May’s poll vs. actual margins of error of 22 and 18 points noted above.

UPDATE 2: “Libs are nervous” indicator? — The Athens News ran their 5,000-word Strickland tribute disguised as a news story on October 12. My theory is that they were saving this for November 2, or perhaps a few days earlier, but that they moved it up. If I’m right, I wonder why?



  1. Thanks for the positive poll news. I’ll admit that over the last few days I’ve wavered in my optimism. Seemed like every time I followed a link or watched a news show another House or Senate seat is in danger. I usually discount the reports as mostly media hype, but the volume of negative news was getting to me. What I take away from the Battleground Poll is if Blackwell and DeWine can get past the media to let people know how liberal Strickland and Brown are these races can still be won.

    Comment by LargeBill — October 17, 2006 @ 6:19 pm

  2. Just checked out the poll. Can it be possible that African American Blackwell would be getting less of the black vote than Mike DeWine? The polling numbers say that Blackwell is getting only 16% of the African American vote, while DeWine gets 19%. That seems strange to me.

    Comment by Stephen — October 17, 2006 @ 7:17 pm

  3. #1, these people put out polls that are proven to be bogus in the past and act like they get a clean slate to start with the next time around. Not here.

    #2, that is a VERY pertinent observation.

    Comment by TBlumer — October 17, 2006 @ 8:05 pm

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