Sunday, September 28, 2008

Poll Errors You Can Believe In

At this point, I'm really thinking I need to change the title of this blog to "And Doctor Biobrain's Response to RedState Is..." because I just can't help myself. I keep telling myself that I can write stuff that isn't mocking RedState, but then I get bored, click over there, and BAM!, my next blog post writes itself.

This one is in regards to Jeff Emanuel's post: Obama Campaign Lies About Post-Debate Poll in Order to Claim Victory. In this one, Emanuel attempts to demonstrate that Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe lied to us in a campaign email regarding the instant poll results of yesterday's debate. But as usual, he had to get everything wrong to do so.

Take this example of idiocy:
Those numbers look very good for the Obama campaign and very poor for John McCain -- that is, until you look at (a) the fact that the numbers Plouffe claims from the CBS poll (66% for Obama, 42% for McCain) actually add up to 108%, and (b) the actual CNN report on its own poll, which shows that the entire statement above from Barack Obama's campaign manager is pretty much one big lie.

But of course, Emanuel got both parts of that wrong. The CBS poll wasn't asking which of the two you trusted more, nor did Plouffe's email suggest it did. It just asked if you trusted the individual candidates. As Plouffe wrote, "When it comes to the economy, 66% say Barack would make the right decisions versus 42% for McCain." And so the reason it could add up to 108% is because respondants could say they trusted both candidates if they wanted to, and clearly some did.

And as another example of the Conservative Double-Down Theory of Mistakes, one commenter was astute enough to point this out, but rather than admit his mistake, Emanuel wrote "The way Plouffe couched it, it *was* either/or...Just more dishonesty." That's right Jeff. It was Plouffe who did that. Dumbass.

CBS-CNN Confusion

And regarding his second part, he screwed up by combining the two polls that Plouffe referenced. Plouffe referenced a CBS poll of uncommitted voters, and then a CNN poll that was a random sample of debate-watchers, which leaned Democratic. And so when Plouffe referenced "uncommitted voters" in the CBS poll, Emanuel wisely grabbed CNN's statement that their poll had more Democrats in it as a way of showing that Plouffe lied. Hey, they both start with "C". Anyone could make that mistake.

And Emanuel made a HUGE deal of this. All he had were these two "lies," which he bases his entire post on, and ends his rant saying "Plouffe's email was, top to bottom, typically and shamelessly dishonest, and he should come clean about that fact to all of the people he lied to by sending this note."

And again, a commenter pointed this mistake out, but I guess Emanuel hasn't figured out how to blame Plouffe for this blunder yet. I mean, it was the first comment anyone made and Emanuel responded to a later one, so I imagine he read it. But perhaps he was too blinded by the smoke coming out of his ears to be able to type his response.

Again, his entire post was based upon what a sham Plouffe's email was, yet didn't get one point right. Not one. Not a single point. His post was, top to bottom, one giant mistake. Embarrassing.

Commenters Count Too

And oh, if the commenters at RedState serve any purpose, it's to make the bloggers there look intelligent. Like Adel the Mystic, who believes the CBS poll must be a sham because it was done after calling hours. He also insisted that this is bad for Obama because the poll leaned Democratic, yet Obama didn't win by a bigger margin and suggests this must be due to "McCain Democrats." But of course, the CNN poll was 41% Democrat, and Obama got over 50% in each of the three questions Plouffe listed, so this makes no sense at all. But again, this came from a dude with "the Mystic" in his name, so I guess we must make allowances for fantasy math.

Another thing to note is that a big part of the reason CNN's poll had more Democrats than Republicans is because there are more Democrats than Republicans. Here's a Pew Research poll from earlier in the year that has 36% Democrats and 27% Republicans, which is only slightly different than CNN's poll, which had 41% Dems and 27% Repubs. Yet the wingnuts are insisting that this is proof of bias and that CNN's poll is useless. I guess that would be reality's liberal bias rearing its ugly head again.

And then we have Tbone, who actually suggests that the poll at Drudge Report is a better indicator than CBS or CNN. No seriously, he did. As he wrote: "I think most rational observers would go with the Drudge results as being the best general population indicator." This is based upon Tbone's own assertion that "everyone uses" Drudge, and therefore it splits evenly among left and right readers. Of course it does, Tbone.

And if that's not enough, let me remind you that this was an online poll. You know, the less than scientific kind that mean absolutely nothing. That's what Tbone imagines "most rational observers" would go with. But I guess rational is a relative term. Commenter Rod Patrick says that he likes these numbers better and states that this is proof that CNN is as partisan as Fox News. Oddly, I just checked Fox News' online poll, and they only show that 52% favored McCain, while Tbone says Drudge's poll showed McCain at 68%. I guess that shows Fox News' liberal bias. Will the madness ever end???

Anyway, that's my news from RedState. It's just like any other state, but crazy.

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