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Tue Apr 13, 2021, 08:02 AM

Dem pollsters acknowledge 'major errors' in 2020 polling

Source: Politico



Five of the biggest Democratic firms have signed onto a joint statement that seeks to explain what went wrong in last year’s election.

By STEVEN SHEPARD

04/13/2021 04:31 AM EDT

A group of top Democratic Party pollsters are set to release a public statement Tuesday acknowledging “major errors” in their 2020 polling — errors that left party officials stunned by election results that failed to come close to expectations in November.

In an unusual move, five of the party’s biggest polling firms have spent the past few months working together to explore what went wrong last year and how it can be fixed. It’s part of an effort to understand why — despite data showing Joe Biden well ahead of former President Donald Trump, and Democrats poised to increase their House majority — the party won the presidency, the Senate and House by extremely narrow margins.

“Twenty-twenty was an ‘Oh, s---' moment for all of us,” said one pollster involved in the effort, who was granted anonymity to discuss the process candidly. “And I think that we all kinda quickly came to the point that we need to set our egos aside. We need to get this right."

That’s about where the answers end. The collaboration’s first public statement acknowledges that their industry “saw major errors and failed to live up to our own expectations.” But the memo also underscores the limits of the polling autopsy, noting that “no consensus on a solution has emerged.”

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/04/13/dems-polling-failure-481044

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Reply Dem pollsters acknowledge 'major errors' in 2020 polling (Original post)
DonViejo Apr 13 OP
Lonestarblue Apr 13 #1
gab13by13 Apr 13 #3
infullview Apr 13 #10
Lonestarblue Apr 13 #15
aeromanKC Apr 13 #21
mjvpi Apr 13 #26
CrispyQ Apr 13 #47
Funtatlaguy Apr 13 #53
LiberalArkie Apr 13 #42
speak easy Apr 13 #49
Jose Garcia Apr 13 #48
bullimiami Apr 13 #6
CommonHumanity Apr 13 #14
wysimdnwyg Apr 13 #18
KPN Apr 13 #24
wysimdnwyg Apr 13 #32
Deminpenn Apr 13 #2
kimbutgar Apr 13 #27
question everything Apr 13 #43
Deminpenn Apr 13 #50
NewJeffCT Apr 13 #4
BeyondGeography Apr 13 #5
gab13by13 Apr 13 #12
BeyondGeography Apr 13 #13
FM123 Apr 13 #7
Ford_Prefect Apr 13 #8
inwiththenew Apr 13 #9
Rebl2 Apr 13 #17
KPN Apr 13 #25
LymphocyteLover Apr 13 #28
KPN Apr 13 #40
dsc Apr 13 #37
KPN Apr 13 #41
question everything Apr 13 #11
LymphocyteLover Apr 13 #29
Elessar Zappa Apr 13 #39
question everything Apr 13 #46
AZProgressive Apr 13 #52
cinematicdiversions Apr 13 #54
question everything Apr 13 #55
AZProgressive Apr 14 #56
TomCADem Apr 13 #16
LymphocyteLover Apr 13 #30
FakeNoose Apr 13 #19
bucolic_frolic Apr 13 #20
LymphocyteLover Apr 13 #33
bucolic_frolic Apr 13 #35
AZProgressive Apr 13 #51
andym Apr 13 #22
Deminpenn Apr 13 #36
LymphocyteLover Apr 13 #38
BadGimp Apr 13 #23
Gaugamela Apr 13 #34
Gaugamela Apr 13 #31
marble falls Apr 13 #44
LiberalLovinLug Apr 13 #45
AZProgressive Apr 14 #57

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 08:11 AM

1. Polling was wrong in 2016 as well.

What polling will never compensate for is Republican cheating. How could Jaime Harrison, who was tied in the polls with Lindsey Graham, lose by 12 points?

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Response to Lonestarblue (Reply #1)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 08:21 AM

3. Exactly,

Was the polling off in areas that used ES&S voting machines? How do pollsters explain away exit polling being wrong? When exit polling is off that always meant that something isn't right.

I believe Kentucky used ES&S voting machines, as well as Maine and Florida.

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Response to gab13by13 (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 09:11 AM

10. +1

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Response to gab13by13 (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 09:47 AM

15. That would be an excellent study for an investigative journalist.

Which states/cities use ES&S voting machines, what were the polls close to the election, and how did the results differ? Also study the areas using Dominion or similar machine with a paper trial, and then compare the two. Start with Kentucky. I think we would see some close correlation between polling failures and specific voting machine use. No one should forget that ES&S is formerly Diebold, infamous for election cheating in Ohio that gave the state to Bush in 2004.

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Response to gab13by13 (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 11:05 AM

21. Exit polls seemed to be more accurate before electronic voting machines.

Odd isn't it..??

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Response to aeromanKC (Reply #21)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 11:56 AM

26. This is the one fact that always sticks in my tin foil hat.

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Response to aeromanKC (Reply #21)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 02:04 PM

47. This. So. Much. This.

My state has paper ballots that are scanned & the results fed into a tabulator. It's nice that we at least have paper ballots for re-count, but why can't we have real people count the ballots at the county level, & then feed them through the tabulator? Use the tabulator to verify the human results, not just trust the tabulator results.

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Response to aeromanKC (Reply #21)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 07:27 PM

53. Absofrickinglutely.

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Response to gab13by13 (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 01:50 PM

42. I believe that all the R states use ES&S machines

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Response to LiberalArkie (Reply #42)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 02:59 PM

49. *cough* GA uses Dominion.

How could you have forgotten that?

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Response to gab13by13 (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 02:40 PM

48. This is the same unhinged conspiracy theory that the pillow guy is pushing

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Response to Lonestarblue (Reply #1)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 08:28 AM

6. Yes. The pollsters are either as dumb as dirt or deliberately have their heads in the sand.

There was/is nothing wrong with the polling.
It represents what voters intend to do.
Suppression and other cheating skews that.

If they are saying they need to compensate for expected cheating, well F that.

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Response to bullimiami (Reply #6)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 09:47 AM

14. Truth! Truth! Truth!

What the hell is this bullshit. Unexpected results due to GOP cheating.Going on from at least 2000.

Really?! This has to be deliberate ignorance or pathologically insane wishful thinking.



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Response to bullimiami (Reply #6)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 10:34 AM

18. "If they are saying they need to compensate for expected cheating, well F that."

Until we can fix the problem of the cheating, yes, the polls need to compensate for it. The cheating (whether we're talking about voter suppression and gerrymandering or full on vote counting issues) is not going to stop just because we hold the White House and both chambers of Congress. It MAY be reduced if we can get laws passed. But until ALL of the cheating has been stopped, the polls must adjust to account for it. Otherwise they'll never get close to predicting the actual outcome.

That said, the polls should be more upfront about what they take into account. Tell us that they adjust because one party is better at GOTV. Tell us that in State A, the Republicans have gerrymandered the hell out of the districts, while in State B the Dems did it. And yes, TELL US that they're adjusting their numbers to reflect the extreme Jim Crow laws Republicans are putting in place to make it harder for minorities (aka Dems) to vote.

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Response to wysimdnwyg (Reply #18)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 11:44 AM

24. Huh? Obscure cheating by factoring it intoi polls? Why would we want to do that? So thast we're

more comfortable with vote results?

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Response to KPN (Reply #24)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 12:38 PM

32. More comfortable? No

Knowing what to expect? Hell yes!

Fixing the laws that allow the cheating is not the job of pollsters. It's the job of politicians. The job of pollsters is to understand why direct polling is not giving accurate results compared to voting results, and adjust for that. Doing that blindly also tells the wrong story, though, as then everyone thinks conservative ideals (as they exist today - i.e. Trumpism) are more popular than they really are.

I'm not suggesting they obscure anything. I'm openly saying pollsters need to understand everything that goes into the delta between poll results and election results, tell us why they are different, and give realistic expectations for future elections. If they don't account for the reasons why the results are different, we end up with a close election when we expect a Dem blowout like we had last year - or worse, what happened in 2016 where some voters went third party or stayed home because they didn't expect it to be close.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 08:13 AM

2. Trump has a Rasputin-like hold over his voters

They came out because he was on the ballot and for no other reason. In the process they also voted for down ballot Rs. It's my belief that many, if not the majority, were sporatic or new voters and heeded Trump's call to vote. They are voters most pollsters would consider "unlikely" to turn out. I was skeptical Trump could turn out more voters than he did in 2016, but have no doubt that's exactly what happened. I saw this myself when talking to the voters in line ahead and behind me in line at the poll.

If you look at polls and results from elections in non-presidential or special elections, I'd bet there's a good correlation. I think the polls for the GA senate runoffs were accurate for example.

Where the pollsters missed was their turnout model, but I believe that was a 1 off due to Trump's name on the ballot.

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Response to Deminpenn (Reply #2)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 11:57 AM

27. +1 You are spot on with the Rasputin like hold thing

It’s like his supporters are hypnotized by his rhetoric like under his spell.

His supporters show how many weak brained people there are out there!

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Response to Deminpenn (Reply #2)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 01:52 PM

43. The flip side is that Biden won because many wanted Trump out, but did not carry this further down

ballot.

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Response to question everything (Reply #43)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 05:46 PM

50. Believe that also to be true

Jmho, but 2020 was a unique set of circumstances over which pollsters should not spend execssive time agonizing.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 08:25 AM

4. The racists crawl out from under their rocks to vote Trump

which they did in 2016 and 2020, but since he was not on the ticket in 2018, that's why Dems made big gains in the House and also why they won the Senate via the special elections in Georgia.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 08:27 AM

5. This was basically a re-run of 2016

Amazing that they have any ego left at all.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Reply #5)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 09:18 AM

12. Biden won Pa. pretty handily,

I suspect one reason was because Pa. for the first time allowed mail in voting, which I immediately took advantage of.

Already Pa. is making it harder to vote by mail. This year I got my request for a mail in ballot and this year I had to provide my driver's license number.

As far as the down ballot races, gerrymandering took care of that. Every year in Pa. more people vote Democratic and every year more Republicans are elected.

How about we start calling it like it is; minority rule.

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Response to gab13by13 (Reply #12)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 09:21 AM

13. He won by 1.5 points and most polls had him up by much more than that

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 08:36 AM

7. Very interesting article.

This stood out to me:

"Some Democrats believe these errors are a direct Trump effect — that he is a singular force in politics, engendering extreme opinions on both sides — and it will fade if he’s no longer a candidate."

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 08:46 AM

8. Here we go again...pollsters explaining how they blew a game that was rigged by the GOP.

As much as they may have presumed and erred I doubt they can account for the nature and degree of genuine vote manipulation and ballot access mangling done by the GOP and its allies high and low. I'll also say here and now they won't discuss that element, either.

There can be no consensus on a solution when the degree of interference in the outcome is not acknowledged or understood. Such research presumes an accurate scan of all the relevant data along with a correct accounting of the possible vote tallies in favor of your candidate. They had neither to work with and still do not. No more than they did in 2000, 2002, 2004, and so-on until 2016.
I will also say they habitually underestimated the effect of the RW propaganda machine on GOP voters.

I don't mean that they did not try their best to do the job, or that they are unqualified to attempt it, or that in other circumstances they would likewise fail. I am saying that the Democratic leadership along with the MSM and conventional professional political analysts do not account for wide-scale coordinated bending of all the rules such as we have seen by the GOP.

Ipso facto S.1 bill must pass or none of this chest beating will matter.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 08:52 AM

9. I don't know that we'll ever have the accuracy in polling we once had

If you go to the right wing hangouts they brag about giving intentionally bad information to pollsters when they are polled and encourage others to do the same.

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Response to inwiththenew (Reply #9)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 10:24 AM

17. That's my

thought as well. I believe a lot of people lie when they talk to pollsters.

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Response to inwiththenew (Reply #9)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 11:49 AM

25. In 2018, I worked GOTV canvasing where I live. With a list of registered Ds and their addresses, I

set out to knock o n doors in my and surrounding neigborhoods. Can't tell you how many times I knocked on a door only to be met with the obstinate response, "I'm not a Democrat. I only register as one so I can vote in Democratic primaries." Just another one of their strategies.

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Response to KPN (Reply #25)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 12:02 PM

28. Ugh, what state?

hadn't heard this though I'm sure this happens

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Response to LymphocyteLover (Reply #28)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 01:05 PM

40. Oregon ... rural area.

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Response to KPN (Reply #25)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 01:02 PM

37. I would imagine you are in a largely Democratic area then

my grandmother was registered as a Republican (though she voted for every Democratic candidate from FDR's 1st reelection until Obama's election) because she was in an area that was so Republican than in order to have any say in local governance she had to vote in that primary.

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Response to dsc (Reply #37)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 01:08 PM

41. Yes, but I feel confident in saying that after meeting the people, and in one case knowing the

person, they were definitely Rs. In fact, I was very surprised the person I kknew was registered Dem, and should have known better than knocking.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 09:13 AM

11. Leave the research behind and go talk in the streets

“Defunding the police,” daily riots in Portland destroying government buildings, “Medicare for all” - when many view it as taking away their favourite plan, concerns about so-called radical left taking over the party and the results were not surprising. Clyburn expressed it the best.

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Response to question everything (Reply #11)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 12:04 PM

29. to me, it just shows the power of rightwing propaganda

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Response to question everything (Reply #11)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 01:05 PM

39. Riots in Portland weren't left wingers.

They were anarchists and criminals looking for an excuse to cause destruction. The left had nothing to do with that.

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Response to Elessar Zappa (Reply #39)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 01:57 PM

46. Portland government is Democratic. It showed the helplessness and incompetence of

Democrats controlled government.

Also, we no longer hear about these riots but I think that they are still on.

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Response to question everything (Reply #46)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 06:08 PM

52. It is all because of Trump

When there were right wing anti-lockdown protesters Trump was praising them and tweeting things like "LIBERATE MICHIGAN". When it comes to Oregon that is a safe blue state so Trump was willing to stir shit there because he didn't need their votes. Trump very clearly treats states that vote for him very differently than state that didn't. A lot of his tactics didn't work that well in the Midwest like campaigning against Ilhan Omar backfired on him in the state of Minnesota.

If Trump wasn't so divisive we wouldn't had so much chaos but we are lucky we didn't have any political assassinations and it was Democratic lawmakers most at risk. Threats against lawmakers have increased by 93% in the 2 months following the right wing insurrection.

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Response to question everything (Reply #11)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 07:46 PM

54. Telling a bunch of people living below the poverty line that they are privileged

And should be ashamed of the color of their skin, isn't a good look either.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Reply #54)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 07:48 PM

55. Yes, interesting observation

And welcome to DU

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Reply #54)

Wed Apr 14, 2021, 12:29 AM

56. I actually don't see that on the left

If you're talking about white privilege that is easy for me to understand. There is definitely a class privilege but there are other privileges. Someone born in the United States are afforded a lot of privileges than people born in developing countries. Someone that isn't disabled has more privileges than someone that is disabled. There is also privileges when it comes to gender. I definitely don't see they should be ashamed because of their skin color.

I do know I will never vote for the Republicans because of the racism and Trump really only did well with white voters. I don't take things personal to the point where I vote Republican and that would only prove their point.

Im sick of the left bashing when there are 23 voter suppression bills in my state from the GOP and they DID A GODDAMN INSURRECTION WHERE THEY TRIED TO CANCEL MY VOTE. THEY STORMED THE CAPITOL WHILE THEY OBJECTED TO ARIZONA'S ELECTORAL VOTES!!!!

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 10:10 AM

16. Is it errors or evidence of voter suppression?

With all of the efforts by Republicans and Trump supporters to intimidate or inconvenience voters such as Gov. Abbots move to restrict Harris County to just one ballot drop box despite having 3 million residents, you have to think that these voter suppression efforts have to have some impact. Otherwise, Republicans would not be doin it.

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Response to TomCADem (Reply #16)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 12:07 PM

30. many factors can explain it and voter suppression is a big part of it

another part of it is conservatives are less likely to answer phone calls from pollsters, outright lying to pollsters, ratfucking efforts like giving out voting disinformation and some level of electronic vote manipulation may occur too

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 10:39 AM

19. ChumpHumpers are gleefully lying to pollsters

... just to screw-up their polling results. Don't they understand that? What is wrong with these guys?

Random phone calls (robo-dialing) to unidentified or misidentified American households is not a good way to get political opinions. In fact it's asking for trouble - and getting it.

Online polls are terrible too. Stop doing those.

If you can't do focus groups with reliable, believable Americans who give honest opinions, then you shouldn't be in the political polling business. You're just wasting time and money, and you're giving everybody bad information.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 10:55 AM

20. Rooted in the 1950s, polling is torpedoed by social media, church and business affiliations

MAGA World is not sitting by their landline or their cell. They're in church, in the bank and insurance brokers, in pyramid networks, in the health clubs and golf courses. These pollsters failed to connect with them.

And again I'll offer: Republicans overperformed because Trump shook their trees, and moderates such as TLP shook the same trees to vote for Biden-Harris. Republican turnout was over the top. While at the polls, most all voted Republican. So Joe got Republican votes, but down ballot these same Republicans voted (R).

The challenge is not to poll well. Pollsters did well enough. The challenge is to reach voters and convince them to reject fascism.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #20)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 12:41 PM

33. "moderates such as TLP"?

Who?

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Response to LymphocyteLover (Reply #33)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 12:48 PM

35. The Lincoln Project

They got something like 7% more Republicans to vote for Biden, or an additional 7% to vote, or whatever their statistics said.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #35)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 05:56 PM

51. 93% of Republicans voted for Trump in 2020

Which is a higher percentage than Trump got in 2016.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 11:31 AM

22. Article conclusions: GOP distrust of polling, low propensity voters, not at home, late movement

Last edited Tue Apr 13, 2021, 12:46 PM - Edit history (2)

Democratic pollsters aren't sure which of these are most important, but the following possibilities are discussed:
Republicans are more likely to
1) distrust polling and so not participate--exacerbated by Trump. --previously the so-called "shy" GOP voter--not literally shy mind you, just are not public-minded and distrust polling organizations.
2) Trump induced many low propensity GOP voters to come out and vote
3) Democrats more likely to be at home following Covid restrictions than Republicans, so more likely to be polled
4) late movement toward the GOP.

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Response to andym (Reply #22)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 12:55 PM

36. Reason 2 is what happened

And it was exactly the same way in 2016. What do these two things have in common? Donald Trump's name on the ballot.

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Response to andym (Reply #22)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 01:04 PM

38. Yes, great points

so depressing there was such a surge in votes for the shitbeast

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 11:31 AM

23. HAVA

The Help America Vote Act post Bush V Gore gave the GOP precisely what they needed to steal a large percentage of votes using the voting machines and tabulations systems put in place all over the country.

I am not talking about Dominion. I am talking ES&S and some others

This is all only my opinion of course. I have no evidence and am making no accusations against anyone.

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Response to BadGimp (Reply #23)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 12:45 PM

34. I suspect you're right. During the Bush years the Republicans targeted and replaced the governors

of New York and California, two of the largest Democratic states in the country. In California it was a well-coordinated plan to game the electrical power system (Enron was behind it), and cause the power rates to skyrocket. This put into motion the recall election that put Schwarzenegger into office. The whole thing was accurately predicted in an article by Greg Palast. The Republicans were about to adopt the black box voting machines (I think it was either Deibold or ES&S) but a new state attorney general was elected who was a very progressive Democrat. One of the first things she did was to stop the implementation of the voting machines.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 12:30 PM

31. Most of the people I know do not answer calls from an unknown number. I don't. Many have their

phones automatically filter these calls. People who are economically stressed and fear calls from creditors especially will not answer, and they make up a large percentage of the population and the working class. I frankly don’t know why pollsters think that this kind of polling would be effective anymore.

I agree that exit polls should be more accurate. I suspect that the Republican war on mail-in voting is about more than just voter suppression. They’re not against it because it can be rigged. They’re against it because it’s extremely secure.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 01:54 PM

44. The error is taking polls more seriously than a snapshop of a small sample of people are feeling ...

... at a specific moment, with all sorts of variables thrown in: size of sample, uniformity of sample, honesty of the sample, how the questions were loaded, how well the samples understood the questions etc.

It's not a magic mirror capable of naming the fairest of them all.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 01:55 PM

45. There's a reason why Trump was so pushy about claiming victory

Like Karl Rove was so sure in '12.
Trump was assured that the fix was in. No way it could go wrong.

The only threat was mail in voting because it opened the door for more voters to exercise their right to vote. But they weren't counting on a pandemic, which only boosted mail in voting, and the demand for it.

But it was like Trump had been convinced enough other measures of voting suppression and disinformation had already been established, on top of his own lies, and like a spoiled child (like?), he couldn't let go of HIS candy, even way after it was clear that all the adults had voted that he had to share, and hand over his half eaten candy bar to the other boy. Because....dammit!......they said he could have it all!!!!

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Apr 14, 2021, 12:52 AM

57. The GOP has been waging a war on voting since I have been alive

I have only seen the Democrats scapegoat others why they didn't do so well in whatever the election is and there have been scapegoats since 2000 so I don't think it is recent issues that has much to do with why the Democrats aren't undefeated.

I voted for President in Arizona since 2008 but my vote has never counted because the Republican has won all the electoral votes. The first time Arizona voted for a Democrat for President the far right stormed they Capitol while GOP lawmakers were objecting to Arizona's electoral votes. Now there are 23 voter suppression bills in my state all initiated by the GOP. Not even the people concerned about "cancel culture" gives a shit they tried to cancel my vote.

If the GOP is even more successful with the war on voting I hope we can stop looking for scapegoats when Democrats lose future elections.

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