Saturday, September 18, 2004
THE STORY IS THE FORGED DOCUMENTS
Cartoonist Tom Toles is one of those lefties who still thinks the real story is Bush's national Gurad Service.
Tom, for SeeB.S., it's like this.
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Friday, September 17, 2004
GALLUP POLL IS NOT INACCURATE
In my comments section, Hesiod writes:
In any event, Gallup's GOP-HEAVY Poll was conducted at about the same time as the second phase of the Pew poll. Bottom line, Gallup oversamples Republicans, a lot, and all the other polls have the race within 4 points. Thus, Gallup is useless and inaccurate.
To back up the assertion that Gallup over-samples Republicans, he points to this post by the Left Coaster:
[T]he Gallup Poll, despite its reputation, assumes that this November 40% of those turning out to vote will be Republicans, and only 33% will be Democrat. You read that correctly. I asked Gallup, who have been very courteous to my requests, to send me this morning their sample breakdowns by party identification for both their likely and registered voter samples they use in these national and I suspect their state polls. This is what I got back this morning:
Likely Voter Sample Party IDs – Poll of September 13-15Reflected Bush Winning by 55%-42%
Total Sample: 767GOP: 305 (40%)Dem: 253 (33%)Ind: 208 (28%)
While I have no doubt that is indeed the Party ID breakdown, it appears that Left Coaster neglected to ask where in the poll Gallup asks the Party ID question. I did ask that, for an article in the Spectator, in September 2003. At that time, Bush’s approval rating had slipped to the 50% mark. What had a lot of people crying foul was that 48% of the respondents Gallup surveyed identified themselves as Democrats.
When I asked Frank Newport at Gallup about that, he said that they asked the Party ID question at the end of the survey, after all of the other questions, such as ones about Bush’s approval rating, who the respondents intend to vote for, etc. Newport told me that how Bush is doing will effect whether people identify themsleves as a Republican or Democrat. When respondents perceive that Bush isn’t doing well, more of them identify themselves as a Democrat. Gallup treats Party ID this way because it believes that Party ID is relatively fluid. (For more on that, see the second paragraph in the Spectator article.)
Thus, the Gallup poll reflects that more people now perceive that Bush is doing well, and, if the election were held today, would vote for him. As a result, more people are now identifying themselves as Republicans. Gallup did not over-sample Republicans, nor did it assume “that 40% of those turning out this November will be Republicans.” It only assumed that 40% of respondents identify themselves as Republicans because more of the respondents currently support Bush.
Sorry to burst Hesiod’s bubble (well, no not really) but the Gallup poll isn’t inaccurate.
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DOES ANYONE BOTHER TO READ THE DETAILS OF POLLS ANYMORE?
Citing two new polls from Harris Interactive and Pew Research Center, yesterday Andrew Sullivan concluded that for Bush “The Bounce Declines.” Naturally, much of the media has jumped on these two polls. (And if you want a lefty-induced laugher about this matter, go here.)
However, a Gallup Poll released on the heels of the aforementioned polls has everyone in a bit of confusion (or in Al Hunt’s case, a fit of nerves.) Gallup shows Bush opening up a 13-point lead over Kerry.
Watching this I have to wonder, does anyone bother researching these polls anymore? Why can’t they take a look at the methodology involved, or the questions asked? Too much work, I guess.
First, let’s look at the Harris Poll, which show Kerry leading Bush 48-47%. It isn’t very good evidence that Bush has lost his bounce because it has never shown one to begin with. The last Harris Poll before this one was from August 10-15, which showed both candidates at 47%. Harris can only compare itself to other polls, as it does in its press release. Could Harris’s methods be leading it to get this result? Perhaps. It does “weight” for various demographic characteristics, and I’ve noticed that the polls that do that often show much tighter races (Zogby is another example of this.) As to why weighting does that, I haven’t a clue.
But at least the Harris one seems honest. I really have to wonder about the Pew Poll though. It breaks its poll into two phases, from September 8-10 and from September 11-14. In the first phase, Bush is up 52-40% over Kerry, but in the second there occurs a dramatic swing with both candidates ending up dead even at 46%. In the Pew the follow question is asked:
Now I will read a list of some stories covered by news organizations this past month. As I read each item, tell me if you happened to follow this news story very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely.
This is followed by questions about how closely the respondent is following events in the election, Iraq, etc. What Pew fails to mention in its press release is a very significant change that occurred in that section midway through the poll. This was the change:
ASK ALL SEPTEMBER 10-13 [N=1069]:[Have you been following] questions about President Bush's service in the National Guard during the Vietnam War?
Now, keep in mind that this comes before the question asking people about their vote choice. So, in the second phase of the poll, for three days respondents were being reminded of the Bush National Guard controversy, but were reminded of it for only one day in the first phase.
Think that might—just might—have a little something to do with the disparity in the results?
Pollsters know from experience that the order in which questions are asked can affect the responses to questions. For example, if you ask a question like “Should the Government Cut Taxes?” it will effect the outcome of a subsequently asked questions like “Does the Government Tax Too Much?” Thus, by suddenly including a question that reflects negatively on Bush, it should be no surprise that Bush’s numbers go down while Kerry’s go up.
Shouldn’t Pew mention that fact up front? It seems a bit disingenuous that Pew doesn’t.
So to answer my initial question, I suspect that much of the MSM no longer does check the details of opinion polls. And so Pew thought nothing of leaving out that little detail.
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Thursday, September 16, 2004
MORE BIAS AGAINST CHARTER SCHOOLS
New post over at Oh, That Liberal Media
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WHO IS BILL BURKETT?
Cyber Happy has some answers.
UPDATE: Thanks to the reader who pointed out that David Van Os was once the attorney for Bill Burkett. Van Os is running for Texas Supreme Court.
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YEAH, PRETTY MUCH
Hat tip: Bad State of Gruntleness
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PUTTING MORE BS IN CBS
My latest at the Spectator.
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Wednesday, September 15, 2004
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING ENTIRELY DIFFERENT
If you are looking for a break from RatherGate, well I’m here to help.
I love Walter Williams, but every once in a while, he has an idea that makes me go, “Hmmmm…”
Today’s column he laments the fact that,
Removing so many Americans from federal income tax liability contributes to the political problem we're witnessing this election: class warfare and the politics of envy.
When 122 million Americans are outside of the federal income tax system, it's like throwing chum to our political sharks. These Americans become a natural spending constituency for big-government politicians. After all, if you have no income tax liability, how much do you care about how much Congress spends and the level of taxation? Political calls for tax cuts fall upon deaf ears.
I’m not entirely sure I agree with that, but that’s a post for another day. One has to concede that William’s scenario is at least plausible. What makes me go “Hmmmm…” is his solution:
So here's my idea. Every American regardless of any other consideration should have one vote in any federal election. Then, every American should get one additional vote for every $10,000 he pays in federal income tax. With such a system, there'd be a modicum of linkage between one's financial stake in our country and his decision-making capacity.
Now, William’s solution has about as much chance of becoming reality as there is that Dan Rather will vote for President Bush. But just because an idea isn’t viable doesn’t mean it isn’t good. In this case, though, it isn’t.
The main problem is what I think is William’s underlying assumption, that people who pay lots of taxes will be inclined to vote for tax cutting politicians. Unfortunately, we know that many wealthy people, especially the super-rich, often support tax hikers. Hollywood has more than enough dollar bills to snort all the cocaine in Columbia, but I’ll bet that you don’t think of it when you think of Bush Country. In fact, if you look at campaign donations this election year, Wall Street looks increasingly like the Kerry Cheerleading Squad. Many of these people already make so much money that a hike in their taxes is insignificant to them. Indeed, they probably subscribe to the Pay More Taxes=Fund More Government Programs=Do More Social Good=Feel Morally Superior school of thought.
If you favor lower taxes, do you really want to give a bunch of extra votes to the likes of Warren Buffet or John Corzine? I don’t even need to ask that question in regards to Michael Moore or George Soros. Ultimately the super-rich would benefit enormously from William’s vote-weighting scheme, the result being a stacking of the deck in favor of tax increases.
Like I said earlier, William’s idea has no chance of becoming policy. And I’m thankful for that.
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SEPARATED AT BIRTH?
Bidinotto has a good one.
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I will be on the Geoff Metcalf radio show this morning at 9:15am EST.
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GOD BLESS AMERICA!
We now know where the dumbest voters in America live.
P.S. Well, there goes any serious discussion of statehood for at least the next four years.
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Tuesday, September 14, 2004
ANDRE THE NOT-QUITE-GIANT
Some thoughts on Agassi's tennis career at Blogcritics.
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Is it schadenfreude to take some joy in seeing someone hoisted by his own petard? If so, I guess I’m guilty.
I hate to admit it, but I do take a lot of satisfaction in seeing a major news organization finally have its liberal bias (bias which the mainstream media almost never admit to) get it into trouble.
Can there be much doubt that SeeB.S. would have gone through hell and highwater to verify the authenticity of the memos had they held potentially damaging information about John Kerry? (“Are you sure these memos are genuine, Mr. GOP Operative? Would you like us to tighten the thumbscrews a bit more?”)
Because it was about President Bush, SeeB.S. did about as much research as Jayson Blair did for most of his articles.
And now, SeeB.S. is paying the price for its bias.
This best expresses how I feel.
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Monday, September 13, 2004
REVEALED! CBS's EXPERT INVESTIGATOR!
“Of course I know what I’m doing! I’m French!”
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Sunday, September 12, 2004
HOW DO YOU SPELL DENIAL? C-B-S
Tonight on 60 Minutes!!! Absolutely nothing about the memos!!! And in the promo spots for the Evening News and 60 Minutes II!!! Nothing there either!!!
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