If we are to believe the most recent public opinion polls, this has been
a very bad week for the Obama/Biden ticket.
According to Gallup, the Democrats’ consistent eleven to fifteen point
advantage since January
dropped to three points this week. Newsweek, CNN, NBC/WSJ, and
CBS all report a tie.
But should we believe the most recent public opinion polls?
Today’s “dead heat” seems inconsistent with other statistics. Among
New registrations are overwhelmingly Democratic:
The AP reported, just last week (September 7) that during the
primary season, “more than two million Democrats [were added] to
voter rolls in the 28 states that register voters according to party
affiliation. The Republicans have lost nearly 344 thousand voters in
the same states.”
The same AP article reported that nationwide,
registered Democrats outnumber Republicans, 42 million to 31
As recently as September,
Gallup reported that the Democrats had a ten percent lead in
party affiliation among voters: 47% to 37%.
And 80% of the American public is “dissatisfied with
the way things are going in the United States.” (Gallup,
August 23, 2008).
And yet Gallup chooses to survey an even number of
Democrats and Republicans. Why? In addition, the pollsters contact users
of land-line phones and exclude cell phone users. Presumably, younger
and more liberal voters are more inclined to use cell phones. Both
factors would surely inflate the GOP numbers.
Moreover, some of the recent alleged shifts in public opinion strain
credulity. For example,
Jonathan Freedland in
The Guardian notes that last week, “the
ABC News-Washington Post survey ... found McCain ahead among white women
by 53% to 41%. Two weeks ago [before the Democratic convention!], Obama
had a 15% lead among women.”
That’s a shift of 27%. And what could account for it? We can only assume
three days of GOP bombast from Minneapolis and the introduction of a
new, pretty, face, convinced a quarter of those white women voters to
change their minds.
Sorry, but that’s more than I can swallow.
Somehow it just doesn’t add up.
So, should we believe the polls?
Frankly, I can’t offer a simple answer. But I most assuredly have a few
First of all, why wouldn’t the polling organizations publish results
that are as accurate as reasonably possible? After all, their
reputations, and therefore their profitability, depends upon proven
records of accuracy. The fate of the Literary Digest poll, which
predicted the overwhelming defeat of FDR in 1936, is indelible in the
institutional memory of all polling organizations. Soon after that
election, the Literary Digest ceased publication.
But an “accurate prediction” of an election presupposes honest
elections. Thanks to “paperless” electronic voting, on machines
operating with secret software, manufactured and programmed by private
firms with Republican affiliations,
elections are “faith-based.” Are our elections honest and
accurate? Unknown and unknowable. And the corporate media, both
political parties, and the Congress are spectacularly uncurious and
unperturbed about the insecurity of U.S. elections.
Furthermore, we now know that the corporate media print
and broadcast lies (Saddam’s alleged WMDs and involvement in 9/11, Al
Gore’s “invention of the internet”) and fail to report essential truths
(Bush’s AWOL from the national guard, election fraud, John McCain’s
involvement with embezzler Charles Keating). So why assume that the same
media publishes accurate opinion polls? And if the polls are not
scrupulously accurate, this does not necessarily mean that their numbers
are simply “made-up” on the spot. Deliberate sampling bias will suffice
to yield the “desired” results.
So might it not just be possible that the covert function of opinion
polls is not to “track” public opinion or to predict the outcome of
elections, but rather to validate the predetermined outcome? Likewise
unknown and unknowable.
If the major national polls are “in on” another fixed election, it would
not be their task to report actual public opinion. Rather it would be to
publish a “prediction” close enough to the outcome to make the theft
plausible. (See my
“The Fix is In,
essays on election fraud).
In the meantime, absent legal, legislative, and journalistic diligence,
it is up to individual citizens and citizen organizations such as these
here) to raise the question
of election integrity, and to cite the abundant and growing evidence –
anecdotal, circumstantial, and statistical – that during the past decade
at least, the “will of the people” has not always prevailed in our
national elections. As Republican Congressman Peter King carelessly
blurted out on election night, 2004: “It’s all over but the counting,
and we do the counting.”
Contrary to these dire, and possibly paranoid, suspicions, is this plain
fact: There are numerous polling organizations, independent of each
other. Some of these are affiliated with and sponsored by the Democratic
Party. Thus it is highly unlikely that all of them would be complicit in
a grand conspiracy to lie to the American public.
As I said at the outset, I have many questions, some suspicions, but no
But these are questions that all concerned citizens should be asking,
even though the corporate media are not.
And if these questions indicate that the polling organizations have lost some of their former
credibility, along with the media that publish them, they have
only themselves to blame.