The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Pseudo-Skepticism, Institutional Propaganda and Cultivated Ignorance

A Word About Polls

Pollsters and those who fund them, you have to ask yourself: If 59 to 70% of the population in any given year believes that your media outlet pushes biased/corrupt propaganda† – would that not mean that ANY poll conducted in your name will automatically contain extreme levels of skewed collection data? A scientist might think so; might think so for nine specific reasons listed herein. But a deluded political group, might strategically use such an effect to their advantage. They might want to even swing an election by means of exploiting, but not acknowledging, such a bias effect. This reality exemplifies the nature of the new poll and electorate gaming underway in American politics.

70-year-old-white-femaleBelieve it or not, I actually had the nine points inside the critical redress of this blog post written a week before the 2016 US Presidential Election. However, I had not yet gathered all the material I wanted to elucidate and support each point. So, with risk of appearing to provide predictive power through having 20/20 hindsight, I want to point out several factors which notoriously influence, especially political polls, into reflecting unanticipated or purposeful bias. Pew Research has provided an excellent outline of the dangers of collection and analytical bias here. While most of this material is derived from sampling bias I have observed over the years, it does align well with, and is supported by, the Pew Research principles defined herein and in the footnotes. (1, 2, 3, 4 Pew Research)

If there existed any question about the political goals entailed inside the Agenda of Social Skepticism, let’s dispense with that notion now – a direct observation by millions of scientists and persons as a result of the 2016 US Presidential Election. It became poignantly clear in the aftermath of this election that Social Skepticism is not by any means a democratic movement.  The same tactics which Social Skepticism applies inside enforcement of their pretend science dogma (and wild claims to consensus), are the same exact tactics employed inside the election poll taking and the fake protests ongoing across the US right now. They both bear features of manipulation by agenda bearing forces and hate-based paid protests against a race, a gender, and a people. These are the same tactics employed by the shills who infest social media and are paid to push dogmatic pseudo scientific messages, all relating to one set of political goals and one single religion. These are tactics, tradecraft, signature practices developed and implemented by the same minds behind these various expressions of tyranny.

Employing that segue into pseudoscience, let us examine one tactic of social manipulation which is practiced by Social Skepticism. This tactic is the art of poll and consensus manipulation. Polls in American politics notoriously skew to the left, towards the hate and talking points agenda of Social Skepticism. They also claim to incorporate ‘science’ in their collection and statistical protocols – no surprise there. The astute American citizen has learned that nothing could be further from the case. Here are ten specific reasons why polls are notoriously unreliable, especially polls generated for the sole purpose of effecting and influencing the outcome of an election.

Poll Skewing Factors

Well known in industry, but ignored by ‘statisticians’ in highly contested or manipulated public polls:

I.  Means of Collection – bias-infusing polls use exclusively land line phones as their channel and means of respondent communication – a tactic which is notorious in excluding males, mobile professionals and the full time employed. (2 Pew Research)

II.  Regional Bias Exploitation – call sampling is conducted in the New England states or in California, reflecting a bias towards tax oriented businesses, such as healthcare, insurance, government offices, and the corporations who work and contract with such agencies. (4 Pew Research)

III.  Bradley Effect – people have a tendency to express opinions and intent which fit a social pressure model or keep themselves out of the ‘bad guy’ bucket when polled on polarizing issues. This tends to skew polls notoriously to the left. (1 Pew Research)

IV. Crate Effect – impact of persons who purposely give the opposite response as to what they really think because of animosity towards the polling group (especially if non-free press) and/or their perceived history of bias, and/or animosity towards the circus around elections or the elections themselves. This false left leaning bias is generated most often inside groups who believe media outlets to be left-leaning and unfair. (5 Political Hay)

V. Crate/Bradley Power Effect – the misleading impact of the Crate and Bradley Effects falsely convinces poll administrators of the power they hold to sway the opinion of ‘undecideds’ and misleads their sponsors into funding more and more polls which follow the same flawed protocols and traps. (5 Political Hay)

VI.  Trial Heat – the overall pressure which is placed on respondent results based on the structure of or questions inside the poll itself (1 Pew Research)

a.  Leading preparatory questions – employing questions which are pejoratively framed or crafted to lead the poll respondent, in order to skew undecided voters, prior to asking the core question, and

b.  Iterative poisoning – running the same poll over and over again in the same community and visibly publishing the desired results – akin to poisoning the jury pool.

VII.   Form of Core Questionasking different forms of THE CORE question than is implied by the poll, or different question by polling group. 1. Who do you favor, vs. 2. Who will you vote (will vote) for? vs. 3. Who do you think will win? (3 Pew Research)

VIII.   Follow Through Effect – only 35 to 55% of people who are polled, on average, will actually turn out to vote. (6 2016 General Election Turnout)

IX.  Oversamplingdeclaring a bias to exist in a population a priori, in the larger S pool from which an s sample is derived. Then further crafting a targeted addition of population members from S, to influence sample s in the opposite signal (direction and magnitude) from the anticipated bias. (1, 4 Pew Research)

X. Influencing Effect – the tendency of a polling group to exaggerate polling results in favor of their preferred outcome during the influencing stage of polling, only to subsequently retract such collection/analysis tampering at the end of a polling period so that their final tally aligns more in sync with the actual outcome, or anticipated final results (fictus scientia – see at end of this article).

democracyIronically, item IX above, Oversampling is typically addressed in the Notes section of the polling analytical reports. However, such oversampling signal compensation typically only is practiced as a means to address prima facia and presumed S-pool biases, and rarely reflects any adjustment attributable to items I – VIII above.

Until polls are conducted by low profile, scientific, unbiased collection and analytical groups, and not these agenda-laden parties listed below, they will continue to mislead – and to be used as a lever in this pretense to effect a political end-game. For the record, below are the polls indicating both the retraction-back-to numbers the day before the election (reflecting the shock of the early voting results which had them pare back their wild landslide victory they had predicted for Clinton). In other words, the poll models never actually resulted in the final November 7 differential – as that was a manual intervention in panic – so that the models did not look so badly errant in the end.

A note about models and prediction:  If you adjust and tweak your model or its parameters, so that it now results in numbers which are more in concert with actual early return data – you have not increased the predictive reliability of your model. Simulation and modeling professionals get this – poll statisticians do not.

Enjoy a laugh, but remember – these are the same people and the same methods, which are employed to advertise to you what it is indeed that scientists think. (7 Real Clear Politics). But such conclusions are derived with much less confidence bearing methods of data collection, as are even election polls. Also, for the record, as of Feb 16th 2017 at 11:03 am PST, the final outcome of the popular vote was Clinton 65,853,516 – Trump 62,984,825; a 2.2 percentage point Clinton edge, with respect to the number conventions used below. So no one below really got the final results right, with the exception of the conservative IBD/TIPP tracking poll for a Trump Clinton race only. (Source: CNN Election Results Update, 2/16/2017 Election update).

The average Clinton skew (below right column) was 6.7% in favor of Clinton during the course of the polling and election influence timeframe. The final poll results then un-skewed back to 3.3% by the time of early returns voting. Where the poll ended does not count since, that is a display to save scientific face (fictus scientia). It is where the poll resided during its influencing timeframe, which counts. What is clear, is that the polling firms were exaggerating their Clinton lead results by a 2:1 magnitude during the critical opinion influencing period. Then subsequently retracted to a 1.1 point actual unacknowledged bias or 2.6% end state methodological bias.

Actual Final 2016 Election Result                                                               Clinton +2.2             (average skew = 4.5 points left bias or a 8.7% error rate or bias)

skewed-polls

TES Signature


†  The 2015 State of the First Amendment Survey, conducted by the First Amendment Center and USA Today; 7/03/2015

1  Pew Research: U.S. Survey Research, Election Polling; http://www.pewresearch.org/methodology/u-s-survey-research/election-polling/

2  Pew Research: U.S. Survey Research, Collecting Survey Data; http://www.pewresearch.org/methodology/u-s-survey-research/collecting-survey-data/

3  Pew Research: U.S. Survey Research,, Questionnaire Design; http://www.pewresearch.org/methodology/u-s-survey-research/questionnaire-design/

4  Pew Research: U.S. Survey Research,, Sampling; http://www.pewresearch.org/methodology/u-s-survey-research/sampling/

5  Political Hay: How Poll Bias Obscures Trump’s Likely Election; https://spectator.org/how-poll-bias-obscures-trumps-likely-election/

6  2016 General Election Turnout Rates; http://www.electproject.org/2016g

7  Real Clear Politics http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/

November 11, 2016 - Posted by | Institutional Mandates, Tradecraft SSkepticism | , ,

No comments yet.

Comment (Moderated)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: