Every time McZogby releases one of his (inevitable) outlier polls, every MSM outlet in America trumpets it in glaring headlines. To hear the MSM, you’d think that McZogby was THE poll, because no other pollster gets the kind of attention McZogby gets. And the screaming headlines aren’t limited to the MSM and their wingtard comrades; in blog after blog on the left side of the web, I see these poll numbers flashed as a sign for great alarm.

Maybe, if McZogby hadn’t been at this for awhile now, I’d get alarmed too. But given his constant offering of outlier polling, I am not all that confident that he’s telling us the truth. I have my own theory as to what is happening here which I’ll explain a bit later. Right now let’s look at another analysis of McZogby’s outlier polling.

All pollsters, it seems, eventually find themselves with what Andy Kohut once referred to as “loopy” results. His comment was about the Gallup polls in the 2000 election, though in September 2004, Pew experienced such results itself, and of course several polls this campaign season have produced inexplicable or “wrong” numbers, as indicated by the subsequent primary election vote counts.


This time, it’s Zogby’s turn to confuse the masses. His latest Reuters/Zogby poll, based on a sample of 1,089 “likely voters” drawn from listed telephone numbers, conducted Aug. 14-16, 2008, shows McCain over Obama by 46% to 41%.


Two days earlier, Zogby reported substantially different results. His online poll (of self-selected people who want to be part of his Internet polling sample) of 3,339 “likely voters,” conducted Aug. 12-14, showed Obama with a three-point lead, 43% to 40%.


By Zogby’s own calculation of the margins of error of each poll, the difference between the two polls in McCain’s support (46% in the later telephone poll vs. 40% in the earlier online poll) is statistically significant. The difference in Obama’s support (41% vs. 43% respectively) would not be statistically significant. Still, the 8-point difference in the margin of McCain’s lead would be significant – a McCain 5-point lead vs. an Obama 3-point lead in the earlier poll.


If we believe both polls, the period of Aug. 13-14 must have been a real bummer for Obama and an electoral high for McCain. Whatever it was that caused millions of voters to “change” their minds and gravitate toward the Republican candidate in the two-day period, however, escaped my notice. Perhaps others have been more observant.


Of course, there are reasons to discount both polls. Zogby has long been known for refusing to use sound methods in designing his samples. The use of only listed telephone numbers, and the self-selected samples of voters in his online surveys, are the two most salient problems. Still, his last pre-election polls often come close to the actual election results, and many news media outlets regularly publish his results.


Regardless of how loopy are Zogby’s results, or his sampling methods, his polls contribute to what Kathy Frankovic, in her AAPOR presidential address in 1993, referred to as the “noise and clamor” of the polls. Thus, they’re worth noting, if only in disbelief.

See, I don’t think that McZogby is coming to his numbers by some faulty statistical method. I think McZogby is arriving at precisely the numbers he seeks to arrive at. Every time McZogby trumpets a lead for McCavein, the MSM falls all over itself to repeat his assertions. This, no doubt, drives up things like McZogby’s clientele, especially Gopper clientele. This also undoubtedly winds up being lucrative for McZogby in whatever agreements he has in place with MSM organizations. We all know that the MSM has been twisting itself up in knots trying to avoid presenting McCavein as he actually is, while at the same time trying to discourage enthiusiasm for Obama, and broadcasting McZogby’s outlier poll numbers is almost certainly done for the purpose of discoraging Obama supporters. If you can keep them away from the polls, you might be able to get a demonstrably incompetent, bought-off dolt past the post.It’s pretty important to the corporate entities that own the American mainstream media to get themselves a dolt into office that is just as corrupt and hapless as the one who occupies the office now. If McZogby can help out with that, then treating his numbers like they mean something would be the thing to do, if you’re one of the CEOs who doesn’t want the gravy train to come to an end.

Don’t allow yourself to be sucked in by McZogby, or any of the other MSM tricks. Rest assured that they have quite a few more tricks up their sleeves that they will deploy between now and November. Register as an absentee, fill out your ballot, and mail it in. Or if absentee balloting isn’t an option, do not let yourself be talked into staying home. The last chance America has to stay together is coming up, and it is going to be up to us to see to it that greed and stupidity aren’t allowed to finish off the United States of America.

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