19 January 2012

Another HACK pollster - they are so unbelievably transparent

There is a new polling organization on the scene and it has just put out some eye popping numbers for some states vis-a-vis November 2012, numbers that even die-hard GOP bloggers are doubtful of.

"GSSG", January 13, 2012:


Many things to note, very few of which are good:

1.) In five of the six states that GSSG published, they show Romney ahead of President Obama. In NM, it is a tie. These states are all listed as swing states, although Obama won NV, NM and WI with massive landslides and they were in no way swing states in 2008. However, I am willing to cut this pollster a break on this one. He probably meant that conventional thinking is that all of these states are swing states. And maybe they all will be in 2012, maybe not.

2.) It is interesting that this pollster publishes the numbers to a tenth of a percentage point, which I find good, but a little silly in this case when you consider that the survey group for each poll is comparatively very small:


3.) In the polling for the state senate recall races in WI in 2011, PPP had larger survey groups for a much smaller electorate than GSSG has used for these states. 600 LV for a survey group in a state like Florida, with 11.2 million RV, is just plain old ridiculous. And with such a small polling group, the geography of the group is now critical. That is a detail that GSSG has not published.


4.) Notice also that the margin of error is larger than most pollsters will accept today: +/-4.9% for NV and NM, +/-4.38% for OH, VA and WI, +/-4.0% for FL. Go check out some of PPP's polling numbers for 2011: check out the survey size and the margin of error - and you will see that those MoEs are much lower than these. Here the exact numbers from PPP as compared to the actual results from 2011:

DateRaceDEMGOPINDTotalDEM %GOP %IND %MarginMar %MoE
2011-11-008
NoYesundecidedTotalDEM %GOP %IND %MarginMar %

OHIO Issue 221450421352366
349740861,33%38,67%0,00%79267622,66%

PPP Poll 11/065936510059,00%36,00%5,00%2323,00%+/-3.1%

Diff:NANA
02,33%2,67%-5,00%
-0,34%












2011-10-004
TomblinMaloneyGrn/TeaTotalDEM %GOP %IND %MarginMar %

WV-GOV (Spec)1507321428901009830372049,63%47,05%3,32%78422,58%

PPP Poll 10/034746710047,00%46,00%7,00%11,00%+3.2%

Diff:NANA
02,63%1,05%-3,68%
1,58%












2011-08-016
Holperin (Inc)Simac








WI SD 12303212481305513455,00%45,00%0,00%55089,99%

PPP-Kos Poll 08/155541410055,00%41,00%4,00%1414,00%+/- 2.60

Diff:NANA
00,00%4,00%NA
-4,01%












2011-08-016
Holperin (Inc)Simac








WI SD 12303212481305513455,00%45,00%0,00%55089,99%

WAA 08/155149010051,00%49,00%0,00%22,00%+/- 2.62

Diff:NANA
04,00%-4,00%NA
7,99%












2011-08-016
Wirch (Inc)Steitz
TotalDEM %GOP %IND %MarginMar %

WI SD 22265211966204618357,43%42,57%0,00%685914,85%

PPP-Kos Poll 08/155542310055,00%42,00%3,00%1313,00%+/- 2.90

Diff:NANA
02,43%0,57%NA
1,85%












2011-08-009
CowlesNussbaum (Inc)
TotalDEM %GOP %IND %MarginMar %

WI SD 021803927543
4558239,57%60,43%0,00%950420,85%

NO POLLS


0#DIV/0!#DIV/0!#DIV/0!0#DIV/0!none

Diff:NANA00#DIV/0!#DIV/0!NA
#DIV/0!












2011-08-009
PaschDarling (Inc)
TotalDEM %GOP %IND %MarginMar %

WI SD 08340963947107356746,35%53,65%0,00%53757,31%

NO POLLS


0#DIV/0!#DIV/0!#DIV/0!0#DIV/0!none

Diff:NANA00#DIV/0!#DIV/0!NA
#DIV/0!












2011-08-009
MooreHarsdorf (Inc)
TotalDEM %GOP %IND %MarginMar %

WI SD 10272503709906434942,35%57,65%0,00%984915,31%

PPP-Kos Poll 08/084254410042,00%54,00%4,00%1212,00%+/- 2.70

Diff:NANA-4-40,35%3,65%NA
3,31%












2011-08-009
ClarkOlsen (Inc)
TotalDEM %GOP %IND %MarginMar %

WI SD 14243652655405091947,85%52,15%0,00%21894,30%

PPP-Kos Poll 08/084750310047,00%50,00%3,00%33,00%+/- 2.80

Diff:NANA-3-30,85%2,15%-3,00%
1,30%












2011-08-009
KingHopper (Inc)
TotalDEM %GOP %IND %MarginMar %

WI SD 18288172693705575451,69%48,31%0,00%18803,37%

PPP-Kos Poll 08/084849310048,00%49,00%3,00%-1-1,00%+/- 2.70

Diff:NANA
03,69%-0,69%NA
4,37%












2011-08-009
SchillingKapanke (Inc)
TotalDEM %GOP %IND %MarginMar %

WI SD 32331922672405991655,40%44,60%0,00%646810,80%

PPP-Kos Poll 08/085443310054,00%43,00%3,00%1111,00%+/- 3.40

Diff:NANA
01,40%1,60%NA
-0,20%












2011-07-019
Hansen (Inc)Vanderleest








WI SD 30220521105403310666,61%33,39%0,00%1099833,22%+/- 2.60

PPP-KOs Poll 07/186234410062,00%34,00%4,00%2828,00%

Diff:NANA
04,61%-0,61%NA
5,22%












2011-07-014
HahnHuey
TotalDEM %GOP %IND %MarginMar %

CA-36470003862408562454,89%45,11%0,00%83769,78%

PPP-KOS Poll 07/115244410052,00%44,00%4,00%88,00%+/- 3.90

Diff:NANA
02,89%1,11%NA
1,78%












2011-05-024
HochulCorwinGrn/TeaTotalDEM %GOP %IND %MarginMar %

NY-26 *52713471871143811133847,35%42,38%10,27%55264,96%

PPP Poll 05/2342362210042,00%36,00%22,00%66,00%+/- 2.90

Diff:NANA
05,35%6,38%-11,73%
-1,04%

*tallied w/o „blank and void votes: 259









2011-05-024
HochulCorwinGrn/TeaTotalDEM %GOP %IND %MarginMar %

NY-26 *52713471871143811133847,35%42,38%10,27%55264,96%

Siena Poll 05/2142382010042,00%38,00%20,00%44,00%+/- 3.90

Diff:NANA
05,35%4,38%-9,73%
0,96%


WeprinTurnerGrn/TeaTotalDEM %GOP %IND %MarginMar %

NY-0933656373422287122647,25%52,43%0,32%36865,18%

PPP Poll 09/1141471210041,00%47,00%12,00%66,00%+/-3.80

Diff:


06,25%5,43%-11,68%
-0,82%



5.) GSSG either deliberately left out or did not poll NC, which was one of the two most bitter battlegrounds in 2008. Why? NC has more electoral votes than NV and NM combined, also more electoral votes than VA or WI. Hmmmm....

6.) GSSG polled only Romney/Obama matchups, but the third GOP primary contest of the season has not even come and gone. Why did GSSG not also poll matchups against Gingrich and Paul, at least? And since the polling was done after Iowa, where Santorum tied with Romney, which not an Obama/Santorum matchup?

7.) GSSG is the only pollster who provides  internals that show a Republican candidate getting 11% of more of the Democratic vote in any competitive state matchup thus far. In NM, the state with the largest minority-majority population (Hispanics alone closing in on 49% of the population) and polling showing Obama with upwards of 70% of the hispanic vote, how can Romney be getting 11.7, almost 12% of the Democratic vote? This is HIGHLY unlikely. The moment I saw NM as a tie between the two, I knew that these numbers are skewed wildly to the right.

8.) Also, such incredibly low numbers for both candidates in a state like WI (Romney 44, Obama 42.6), where both candidates really do have 100% name recognition among voters, especially among likely voters, which means that there are WAY TOO MANY undecided voters - is highly unlikely and a sure sign that someone is trying to keep the numbers artificially low in order to advance a narrative. There was a Democratic fly-by-night pollster who put out such a poll from WV shortly before the GE 2008, called Rainmaker Media Group, showing the race as McCain 42 / Obama 41, and everyone in the world knew that this poll was junk. In the end, McCain won by 13 points, just as Obama won WI in 2008 with by 14 points. In 2008 on my politics blog and also on uselectionatlas.org, I lambasted this pollster as being absolutely hackish. So, you see, my criticism is not just for Republican pollsters who may be playing tricks, it is for ALL pollsters who play tricks.

9.) Alone the preface paragraphs from the poll report read like GOP talking points:

"Romney vs. Obama:

 President Obama has a higher unfavorable than favorable rating in each of the states. 
 Voters overwhelmingly disapprove of the job President Obama is doing, and that disapproval 
jumps to staggering levels among voters who are most concerned about economic issues. 
 Despite winning these six states by an average of nearly 9% in 2008, Obama enters 2012 trailing in 
five states and tied in one. 
 Republicans are united behind Romney’s candidacy. Romney is actually stronger among 
Republicans than Obama is with Democrats.
 Romney is winning independents in all six key swings states, making it very difficult for Obama to 
win.
President Obama’s Message Problems:
 President Obama’s message strategy has been to blame Wall Street for America’s problems and 
demagogue Republicans as beholden to the Tea Party.
 These surveys show that by overwhelming margins, voters believe government in Washington, 
DC is a bigger source of America’s problems than banks on Wall Street.
 The results also show the Occupy Wall Street Movement that President Obama has personally 
embraced is much more unfavorable than the Tea Party.
Economic Concerns:
 Voters are clearly fed up with the Democrats handling of economic issues.
 When it comes to improving the economy and creating jobs, as well as reducing government  spending and debt, voters decisively favor the Republicans’ approach over the Democrats’ approach.

These surveys clearly show that President Obama’s message is not resonating with voters in key swing states and they have lost confidence in the job he is doing. That accompanied by Mitt Romney’s strength  on the ballot, leave the former Governor positioned to defeat President Obama in these swing states in November."


You do not see Dean Debnam of PPP (D) polling using this kind of rhetoric. Even Rasmussen, which was WAY off in 2010 and in the few races it polled in 2011, did not use this kind of rhetoric in it's polling publications.

10.) To it's credit, GSSG does not claim to be a neutral polling firm; it also does not identify itself as a Republican firm. However, it is.

The two co-owners, Brooks Kochvar and Greg Strimple, are both long-time GOP operatives.

Here is the payroll list for Brooks Kochvar, going back to 2001.

He has worked as legislative assistant for Randy "Duke" Cunningham, former Representative from CA-50, who is now a convicted felon and still serving jail time (see link). He was chief of staff for Chris Chocola from 2003 through all of 2006 and made $467,126.88 as a chief of staff over three years time. For about 1/2 year in 2007, he was Chief of Staff for Michele Bachmann and then worked for Gordon Smith through the end of 2008. Since then, he is receiving a paycheck for working on the "Senate Resolution and Reorganization Reserve", first as Deputy Chief of Staff and now as Senior Advisor. In other words, Brooks Kochvar is an absolute GOP insider.

In Greg Strimple's bio at the website for GSSG, he lists that he was a founding partner of Mercury Public affairs and that "Greg has held numerous positions in presidential, congressional and state legislative campaigns across the country, including as the senior advisor for polling and advertising in Senator John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid. More recently, Greg had a similar role with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in his upset victory of 2009, and Senator Mark Kirk’s successful campaign in 2010.".... ....  In 1996, he was the director of polling and deputy political director at the National Republican Senatorial Committee.


Of course, all of these things about the polling firm itself are ok. Everyone has the right to work where and with whom he or she wants to work with. But, it also means that with this many years involvement deep, deep deep in the GOP scene, this pollster is in no way neutral.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


FACIT:  
If national polling were to correspond with these numbers, I could almost believe them. But national polling is showing a close 2 to 5 point race, with the majority of the pollsters still showing advantage Obama (including, amazingly, Rasmussen). So, in light of the national landscape, these numbers are even more questionable.

I have included GSSG's numbers in the entire polling that I am collecting, but am 100% sure that when the election is over with and I analyse the pollsters performance afterward, that GSSG will come out at the bottom of the pile. And you can be guaranteed that I will be reminding of these numbers when the election is over with. These are the kind of pollsters that give polling a bad name, one that it does not deserve!


GSSG is located at: 350 N. Ninth Street, Suite 550   Boise, ID 83702 (208) 342-1545



FACIT: Of course, all of these things about the polling firm itself are ok. Everyone has the right to work where and with whom he or she wants to work with. But, it also means that with this many years involvement deep, deep deep in the GOP scene, this pollster is in no way neutral.
I have included GSSG's numbers in the entire polling that I am collecting, but am 100% sure that when the election is over with and I analyse the pollsters performance afterward, that GSSG will come out at the bottom of the pile. And you can be guaranteed that I will be reminding of these numbers when the election is over with. These are the kind of pollsters that give polling a bad name, one that it does not deserve!

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