Nov 2, 2007
The networks continue to denigrate the results of their own post-debate polls-
Last night, Chris Matthews mentioned on MSNBC's Hardball that Barack Obama won the poll that MSNBC conducted after the Democratic Presidential debate on Tuesday-
To which Chuck Todd, MSNBC's "official" pollster replied - that poll was done with cell phones, via which Obama's supporters could keep pounding the call keys...
To which Matthews responded - like in the 1936 Literary Digest poll...
To which I would respond:
No, Chris, not like that 1936 poll at all, which was supposed to be a poll of a randomly selected part of the voting population, but was skewed or biased because it was conducted from lists of automobile owners and people who had telephones in their homes, and only very rich people had those luxuries in those days, so the Literary Digest poll wrongly showed the Democrat FDR losing...
Which has nothing in common with MSNBC's post-election poll - except that it, too, was conducted by phone. But it was never designed as a randomly conducted poll.
What Chris should have said to Chuck Todd was: wrong, callers can't cast votes more than once on the same phone... Or, if by some bizarre chance they could, then simply install a program on your vote-reception software which would make it impossible for anyone to cast a vote more than once on the same cell phone.
Very easy, really - and certainly preferable to encouraging viewers to vote in your poll, and the undercutting the results.
Well, at least Ron Paul now has company - now Obama's supporters, like Ron Paul's, are discounted because they participate in a poll that a network conducts, and then expresses no confidence in because they don't like the results.
My 50-minute lecture about network after-debate polls and the media's misreporting of Ron Paul, delivered to my class at Fordham University