I glance at those little opinion polls on the front page of Yahoo! from time to time. This one caught my eye, but not for the poll. It was the hyperlink under it that made me shake my head. The poll asks, “Are you better off now than four years ago?”
Well, I clicked on my answer and got the above results. Then, right underneath it there is a hyperlink to a story, telling me my answer (Obviously NO, duh?) may be a matter of ‘perspective’. (After you read the article below, check out the comments for some fun.)
That hyperlink took me to this hatchet piece by the NY Times, which has this opening:
For Americans, Being ‘Better Off’ Is a Matter of Perspective
“This president cannot tell us that you are better off today than when he took office,” Mitt Romney said as he accepted the Republican presidential nomination. Since then, “Are you better off?” has become a central theme of the campaign, and is likely to surface next week at the first presidential debate.
Are Americans better off? By one important measure, that depends on who you are. Unfortunately for Mr. Romney, the group most likely to answer with a resounding “no” — those who should be most receptive to his message — appear to be the least likely to vote for him.
A matter of perspective? Give me a freaking Obamaphone break.
Stewart hints at the “47%” bit here but doesn’t actually come out and use it until the wrap up paragraphs at the end. He then spends the bulk of the article telling you that if you said no, it doesn’t matter. Stewart details in the next several paragraphs after these telling you that the numbers (unemployment, inflation, GDP and household income) that are atrocious and that have really not gotten better, but instead remained at steady atrocious levels under Obama, are why no one will vote for Romney. Wait… what?
Do you see what was done there? Just in the opening 4 paragraphs, this NY Times writer has placed Romney in the incumbent role and Obama in the challenger role.
The hackery continues as he goes on to quote a Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS poll from ‘earlier this week’. Stewart means this one. The polls have been over-sampled Democrats heavily in almost every single model, this one is no different with Dem over-sampling as Sweetness and Light explains:
According to their own data, in Florida they oversampled Democrats by 7% (Dem/Rep/Ind = 43/36/1%.) And in Pennsylvania they oversampled Democrats by a whopping 11% (Dem/Rep/Ind = 48/37/1%.)
In Ohio they claims the party affiliation was ‘NA’ meaning we suppose, ‘not available.’ Which is pretty suspicious, if not outright laughable.
Well, one outfit is correcting for such party affiliation: UnSkewed Poll.com. UnSkewed posts a compilation of other national polls. — But it removes the news media’s oversampling to reflect party affiliation according to Rasmussen. And by their measure, Romney is up nationally by 7.8%.
So all is not lost. Despite what the New York Times and the rest of the Obama campaign would have you believe.
This poll and others like it are running on the assumption voters will outperform 2008 turnouts. Voters might, but I don’t think in the direction Democrats would like. (Related: Hot Air – CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac swing-state polls show Obama hitting 50% …)
I don’t think the current polling data is even remotely reflective of what is really going on across this country My husband, Mr. Liberty, has been theorizing all Summer that the polls are skewed not because of the models necessarily (even though they are indeed flawed) but because Americans are skewing them via non-participation. In other words, they aren’t answering the phone or are lying to pollsters when they do. Zombie at PJ media put up this piece yesterday which pretty much agrees with my husband:
You read that correctly: In any attempted poll or survey, only 9% of attempted contacts come back with an actual response.
That means 91% of sampled households are NOT having their opinions recorded by pollsters.
Breaking down the numbers a bit, we can see that this is due to two reasons: 38% of the households contacted were unreachable in the first place, leaving only a 62% “contact rate.” But among that 62%, only 14% “cooperated” with the pollsters; the remaining 86% of contactees presumably slammed down the phone or simply refused to answer. Since 86% of 62% of the population are non-cooperators, that leaves us with the astonishing conclusion that…
53% of Americans actively refuse to answer poll questions.
The real breakdown chart should look like this:
38% could not be reached
53% were contacted but actively refused to answer
9% cooperated and answered the polling questions
Or, put another way:
Out of every 7 people contacted by pollsters, only 1 will answer the polling question, while the remaining 6 refuse to answer.
Six to one, people; six to one. Think about that for a second.
What are those 53% thinking — and why would they purposely refuse to cooperate with pollsters?
In answer to Zombie’s question in the last sentence, I may have some insight. As a likely voter, my husband and I are uncooperative with pollsters. When we do get caught by one on the phone – we lie. Yep. That’s right – WE LIE. I bet a lot of people reading this right now are saying out loud, ‘so do I’. We’ve made our choice. We made it many moons ago and now we just want November to get here.
We watch the price roll over $50 or $60 bucks to fill our gas tanks and know that’s $50 or $60 that won’t be going into food for our families or into our retirement or school saving for our kids. Most of us haven’t been able to save anything since Obama came into office.
We’ve watched prices on everything rise and stay high while our bank balances fall and stay low — and that’s speaking for those of us who still have jobs. This President’s answer to our every day problems has been to demonize those who have wealth; to hold them up as something to despise instead of something to aspire to. Somehow it’s the fault of the rich that his policies have taken what was a troubled economy and turned it into a full-fledged disaster.
Back in 2008 when he was campaigning, Obama when remarking on the economy, said that the Republicans put the car in reverse and ‘drove the car into a ditch’. Well, Obama took that car out of the ditch alright. He ignored all the road signs, blew off the police and floored it. He drove that car right into an abutment. We will be lucky if it still starts but if he gets a second term, he’ll make sure he totals it.