June 27, 2022
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Political Polling: The New Psychological Warfare

Political Polling: The New Psychological Warfare

Mitt Romney

Did you know that President Obama has already wrapped up the race in Pennsylvania on this 26th day of September? How do I know this?  Because CBS radio news made the declaration at 2 p.m. The announcement went something like this:

Apparently, President Obama has  assured victory for himself in Pennsylvania.

There was no attempt to explain why this was true, but the announcer did add that Obama was up five percent over Mitt Romney in Ohio. I can only assume (and with the national media, any assumption is foolhardy) that this proclamation was based upon the latest poll.

For weeks now we have been bombarded with poll results that seem to indicate that Obama is probably going to win the election. Only rarely is there a national poll that shows Romney with a lead, and even then it is razor thin.

This leads conservatives to scratch their heads and wonder how this can possibly be true. Here we have an incumbent who has a horrific record, and it looks as if he is going to win? Are you kidding me? Unemployment has been above 8% for nearly his entire term, the debt is rocketing past 16 trillion, household income continues to decline at a rapid rate, middle-class Americans have seen their net worth slip by 40%, 46 million Americans are on food stamps, gas prices are twice what they were when Obama took office, the Middle East is in turmoil, Iran either has a nuke or will have one shortly, and Israel may have to go to war in order to avoid annihilation. And Obama is going to easily win re-election? I feel as if there has been a transporter malfunction on the starship Enterprise, and I have ended up in a parallel universe where everything is just the opposite of what it should be. How can this discrepancy between the polls and the President’s obvious incompetency be explained?

The answer comes from Peter Kirsanow of National Review. He points out that the majority of polls are skewed in such a way as to practically guarantee a positive outcome for Obama. This is accomplished by using voter samples that have a higher percentage of Democrats. The pollsters justify this because they project the Democrat turnout to surpass that of 2008, in which they enjoyed a 7.6 percent advantage over Republicans. Kirsanow gives as an example the most recent Ohio Newspaper Association poll. The result indicated Obama ahead of Romney in Ohio by five points. But the voter sample gave the Democrats a six-point advantage over Republicans. Kirsanow adds that most major polls automatically give Democrats a 6-7 point advantage. He then identifies perhaps the most egregious example of this bias. Last week the Washington Post poll of Virginians gave Democrats a twelve-point advantage over Republicans. The result? Obama leads Romney by eight points.

Kirsanow explains the depth of this polling deception:

But here’s the thing: The most recent Rasmussen party identification poll has Republicans with a 4.3 percent advantage over Democrats nationally. At the same point in the 2008 election cycle Democrats had a 5.7 percent advantage. That’s a 10 point swing, a swing that began to manifest itself in the 2010 midterms, when then the Democrats’ fell to just 1.2 points–and they suffered an epic blowout.

In a follow-up article, Kirsanow turns to a recent Gallup three-week running average of registered voters and their support for Obama. Kirsanow compares these percentages to the actual percentages Obama garnered in 2008:

In every category except Democrats, Obama has lost support. Kirsanow adds that when it comes to voter enthusiasm, Republicans have a three-point advantage. So if we combine the national biased polling, the loss of support from almost all voting groups and areas of the country, and the Republican enthusiasm advantage, one could conclude that Romney’s chances are much better than what the mainstream media would have us believe.

Why does the media continue to publish skewed polls? Because it’s a form of psychological warfare. The purpose is to discourage conservatives,  moderate Republicans, and independents. The message is, “Look, the race is virtually over, and Obama is going to win easily. Americans love this president and are obviously rejecting Romney and his policies. Why volunteer to help the Romney campaign? Why waste your time waiting in line to vote? On election day, when the outcome is already decided, you can find something better to do with your valuable time.”

Will this ploy work? Time will tell. Informing the public about these duplicitous polls will go a long way toward mitigating the media’s influence. As for those conservatives and other Republicans who want to abandon ship, let them recall the beginning of Thomas Paine’s The Crisis, written in 1776:

These are the times that try men’s souls.  The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.  Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. 

I’d say it’s time for all those timid souls out there to “man up,” stop being negative, and fight the good fight.

Let me close with a word of encouragement. Two weeks before the 1980 election, polls showed Jimmy Carter with a 5-7 point lead over Ronald Reagan. How did that turn out?

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Written by
Thomas Addis

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