Sunday, September 28, 2008

Eligibility Rules Make Polls Misleading

"The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls." ~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Over at Lone Ranger's blog, he points out that Nobama might be in trouble even though the polls show Nobama leading McCain. He mentioned the Bradley effect, which, according to Wikipedia, "refers to a frequently observed discrepancy between voter opinion polls and election outcomes in American political campaigns when a white candidate and a non-white candidate run against each other... the Bradley effect refers to a tendency on the part of white voters to tell pollsters that they are undecided or likely to vote for a Black candidate, when, on election day, they vote for his/her white opponent.

One theory for the Bradley effect is that some white voters give inaccurate polling responses for fear that, by stating their true preference, they will open themselves to criticism. This effect is similar to people refusing to discuss voting choice at all. If you state you are undecided, you can avoid being forced into a political discussion with someone highly partisan. The reluctance to give accurate polling answers has sometimes extended to post-election exit polls as well. The race of the pollster conducting the interview may be a factor into voters' answers. Some pollsters believe that they do not receive deliberately false answers from white voters. The Bradley effect, these pollsters believe, is caused by pollsters' failure to account for general political leanings among voters who are undecided between Democrats and Republicans."

I understand how the Bradley effect can skew poll numbers. I, myself, am reluctant to make the point that polls may be skewed because of the number of blacks polled and say they support Nobama, when there is a sizable percentage of blacks who statistically are not allowed to vote due to previous felony convictions.

Here are some facts to consider:

Polls indicate over 92% of blacks support Barack Hussein Nobama for President.

Anyone who has ever been convicted of a felony in this country is ineligible to vote.

According to Bureau of Justice statistics, at midyear 2007, "Blacks were almost three times more likely than Hispanics and five times more likely than whites to be in jail."

There is no way to make that point without sounding racist, even though there is sound statistical evidence that makes one ask these questions:

Are blacks who are being polled being asked if they are eligible to vote? If they poll ineligible voters, and eligible voters who won't vote, it would significantly change the results of the poll numbers, wouldn't it?.

I think these are important questions.

The other day, while exiting Walmart, I saw several young black men next to the exit with voter registration forms stopping people and urging them to register to vote.

This is a worthy thing to do. Except for one thing:

They were only approaching blacks.

I stood and watched for some time and not one time did they approach me, nor did they approach any other white person. There is no doubt they are counting on the fact that blacks overwhelmingly favor Barack Hussein Nobama for President. The reasoning is sound. The more blacks they get to register, the more votes for Nobama. They don't even have to say, "Vote for Obama". They know the numbers are in their favor.

But, will the push to register more black voters make a difference? How many of the registrations will eventually be invalidated because of past felony convictions?

If one takes the same polls that indicate Nobama is leading by 9-10%, and throw out nearly 13 percent of the results because black men nationwide have lost the right to vote, one gets a totally different finding.

I think McCain has more of a chance than we are being led to believe.


Anonymous said...

almost all of them poll registered voters and/or likely voters, not ineligible voters. i believe that these professional polling firms know how to factor in voter eligibility.

"Anyone who has ever been convicted of a felony in this country is ineligible to vote." untrue. only 2 states deny the right to vote to all ex-offenders who have completed their sentence. some allow felons in prison to vote. some allow felons on parole to vote, others don't.

Tonto said...

Hi Mark,

I am leaving a comment here about an old post you had re abortion. I owe you an apology on something.

I was recently involved in a discussion with women and a man who are highly was a lawyer like me. They actually argued that a baby is still a fetus in the third trimester and the babies feel no pain during an abortion so pictures of abortions showing the babies screaming are not REAL!!

I am apologizing because I honestly did not think PRO CHOICE people still argued this kind of crap!

Given viability of babies in the second trimester I cannot believe they can defend that position anymore.

I am just stunned. So I wanted to tell you that I understand the point of your former post.

I thought these arguments were outdated but I am the one that was wrong.

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

While I enjoy following the polls to watch the pundints play off of them, the ONLY poll that actually counts is the one taken at the voting booth on election day.

When it comes to the polls the internals are far more revealing to the truth and the accuracy than the actual published poll. But even internals are scewed and like I said only the voting poll counts!

Mark said...

Anon, Thanks for the input. You are correct that many states allow cureent and former convicted felons to vote, however, your own link says 13% of black men are disenfranchised due to felony convictions which is what I said.

Some pollsters may poll only registered voters, and some may not, but there is no doubt that one cannot take any poll as Gospel.

Mark said...

No need to apologize, Tonto. It does defy logic for anyone to persist in making those unscientific statements. However, since Liberals are not constrained by morality it is no wonder they persist in using illogical and thoroughly refuted arguments.

Erudite Redneck said...

Wait -- are y'all actually not blogging about the fact that the entire basis of the non-religious -- that is, the actual -- foundation of the Republican Party, the financial basis of the "free" market, is imploding before our very eyes?

You don't get it? Really?


Ronald Reagan and the lies he parroted, and a generation of lies about the way the markets actually work that followed, are being shown for the evil that they are, AND -- LOL -- even the remnant of the hardcore GOP in the House -- LOL -- are going to whore out their own fundamental faith for a bowl of porridge -- and STILL y'all are talking about POLLS?!?



Trader Rick said...

Is that guy insane or what? I get a vision of the guy eating flies in the film Frankenstine..

Mark said...

ER, I am the first to admit I don't know very much about financial matters. Heck, when this whole thing started, I had to turn around and ask my wife, who has worked in related occupations, to help me understand it all.

You have spent the last several years reporting on this stuff. I specifically remember a post you wrote predicting the bursting of the "housing bubble", which I didn't even understand at the time. I didn't know if your prediction was a good thing or a bad thing.

Now, all that said, it seems to me you are a little too gleeful about this mortgage industry problem and ensuing bail-out. Doesn't it effect you as much or more than many of the rest of us? Do you own a mortgage? Aren't you in at least a little debt? Isn't this more serious than you are treating it?

And, more importantly, how is it that you, with all your knowledge and education in these matters, don't seem to understand that there are individuals to blame, and that these same individuals who caused the problem are now the same individuals who are trying to convince us that they know how to fix it without actually having to admit their involvement or repealing the very laws that led to the collapse?

As I mentioned, I am no expert, but you don't have to be head mechanic down at the Jiffy Lube to see that overregulation and passing Federal laws to insure that people who can't afford to own a home can procure mortgages has caused this mess.

In a nutshell, the Democrat sponsored legislation forced the mortgage industry to approve loans to high risk clientele, in defiance of common sense lending practices.

This is the common sense to which I refer: You don't loan money to people who can't afford to pay it back!

Look, my credit is horrible. I can't get a credit card, let alone a mortgage. But I know that! If any Mortgage company offered to finance a home for me in spite of my credit rating, I'd be very skeptical of their motives.


I've already been down this road once (in 1993) and I lost my house because of this moronic legislation that insured poor people should be allowed to get mortgages they can't afford.

Sure, it's my fault for not educating myself about the downsides of an adjustable rate mortgage, but at the same time, if the mortgage companies weren't forced by law to allow me to get financed in spite of my inability to pay, I (and millions of others)wouldn't have been approved.

After all, would a starving man turn down a free sandwich?

Mark said...

I don't agree that the "We the people" should bail them out, either. I think we should let them clean up their own mess.

Mike's America said...

I wouldn't bank on the Bradley effect to guarantee a McCain-Palin victory.

I clung to the hope that a lot of the voodoo of election predicters were wrong in the 2006 elections.

I don't want to repeat that lesson.

Gayle said...

ER should watch the video I just posted. Absolute proof that the Democrats are lying through their teeth! I would add that if Obama wins, not only Republicans will be screwed, so will everyone.

Hi, Mark. I agree with you and with Mike. The polls are extremely deceptive, which is why I don't believe in any of them. It's only the election day results that count.

Mark said...

Gayle, I'll watch it, but I doubt ER would buy it even if the truth hit him between the eyes.

blamin said...


Are you actually sugesting the “free market” is a fault? BWAaaaaa…aha..aha.. Hardee, har, har,…

Jeez, man the whole fault of this mess is government interference, what part of gov’t interference don’t you understand?

OK, ER is going to come back with some kind of populist pap which would be fine, if it didn’t totally ignore the realities of the situation.

Point – Republicans, Fault Democrats, Double Fault Democrats, Game Republican.