The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

AP/GfK Polls Have Fetidness Of A Right-wing Survey Authority

While watching MSNBC's Alex Witt, over the weekend, I heard her say that there is a poll (I missed the authority) indicating the GOP was leading in 'grabbing' the full US Congress as we move towards this November.  Witt went on to say the numbers indicated an erosion of Democratic prospects this fall; the data follows below. The words piqued my interest almost as much as the prospect of being stranded an uninhabited Island with, comfortable shelter, food, water and Halle Berry or Sandra Bullock.

Isn't it interesting as we move further into 2014, mid-term election year, polling is picking up in level and scope. Well, not really, it is actually expected to pick-up in election years.  Polling can be a political tool. 

Polling in modern American politics is an effective tool for swaying the minds of the less informed. There are millions who simply go with the flow, the popular and "what everybody else is doing."  How many times have you heard or read the erratic and eroding John McCain say, "the popular, its popular, everybody......". Well, if you live in America and subscribe to the John McCain school of 'join the flow, be a good sycophant," you are a polling authorities dream.  You follow their results, you assimilate to the message and like a robot, you vote accordingly. And, there-in lies exactly why millions ($) are spent polling in election seasons. Heck, I admitted recently to not being aware there are polling authorities that pay survey respondent; some with gifts and some with money. A dynamic that is purely troublesome.  

Hypothetically, If I am a paid respondent (often called members), what is the best way to ensure that I continue to receive survey calls. Now, let's take that question a step further, how long do you think I will be paid by a polling authenticity that pools for conservative clients, if my answers always show me as a flaming liberal? OK, if we have come this far, let's take the consideration to the next level. How long do you think my hypothetical survey company will remain a service provider for a conservative political organization if I consistently report results that tells them my paid survey takers are not yielding the results they seek? 

Conservatives, by paradigm, do not modify their thought processes or belief systems to come in-line with respondent results. They will find a polling authority that will yield results to fit their paradigm and political strategy. I posit, some surveys are providing desired results to clients who are in-turn using the results to feed greedy media. Especially television media since it reaches millions with instant shots of information with no opportunity for follow up. I will revisit the point in a bit.

Have you noticed your Caller Id showing a call from a polling authority? Some can be identified via their phone listing. While, most certainly are not identifiable, a few come through as such. I ask you have noticed a caller Id'd polling authority for a specific reason? Now, has the caller held the phone for a few seconds before summarily hanging-up on you? It happens to me too often to be a coincidence or a simple wrong number. When you receive a call from a polling authority and are subsequently hung-up on without one word from the caller, it sends a message. Obviously, the caller did not want to speak with the person who answered the phone. Well, you ask, if the caller has no idea who answered the phone, how could that be?  Ah, you may reveal your naivete! The caller could well have instruction to discern the voice as that of a Caucasian or that of a non-Caucasian? Seems preposterous? Well, think of another reason to simply hang-up on a person after holding the phone a few seconds?  

Ah, you might come to this conclusion. The phone caller hung-up and completed the survey form themselves, since they are probably paid by the completed survey. Possibly. However, I also receive calls Id'd as research or polling and the call is discontented even before I acknowledge via answering with a  protocol "Hello." That may be your crafty form completer.

Now for the words from Alex Witt. It took just a moment and a Google search to determine the pooling authority behind the GOP is overtaking the Dems regarding taking over both Houses of Congress. The survey is the AP/GfK survey.

There-in lies a problem!  


AP-GfK Poll: Election Indicators Suggest GOP Edge

Linked, here
A few items related to AP/GfK, specifically GfK.

Apparently, GfK was founded in 2008. Now, that is intriguing in and of itself. The following links will provide you perspective on GfK, if you wish. I recommend saving the linked review until after a bit of reading about a past survey published by GfK.

The culprit revealed!

The AP/GfK website links above are full of survey results detrimental to the Obama Administration the ACA and all things progressive.  In fact, the AP/GfK web page "More Headlines" Button tabled just above navigates to surveys over the past two years  You will find poll results literally predicting the doom of the ACA.  

"For my money," the most interesting and ridiculous survey published by AP/GfK was published on October 27, 2012; a mere week before the 2012 General Election.  First, allow me to state. GfK also polled with Romney pulling ahead with women voters mere days before the election. Well, we saw how that turned out!  The real kicker, however, was this.....extracted from a late March 2014 piece

Read more after break below

My askance and curiosity took me a few steps farther. The following is an except from a piece I wrote after reading the October 2012 headline posted above. The TPI AP/GfK piece is long. Out of respect for your time and possible lack of deep interest in the genesis of the headline, I am posting a Awesome Screenshot Capture & Annotate image below the table box (below). 
TPI (October 2012)
If you never ever review poll data, you have to give a look at the AP/GfK Poll  data released just a few days before the November 6th Elections. The poll's major tickler was, a "Majority harbor prejudice towards blacks".   [See Link above]
Page 33 of the Growth for Knowledge (GfK) poll reads like this:

The TPI Link provided in the table will take you to even more startling and ridiculous survey findings related to perceptions of candidate religion. The 1,071 survey respondents (predominately white and from the South) seem to have been comprised of a potential respondent pool stacked for achievement of desired results. The headline: "Majority harbor prejudice towards blacks," was both indicative of what many should consider flawed survey administration via GfK, and indicative of the dangers of subsequent headlining via media or political operatives.

A bit more regarding AP/GfK. AP/GfK uses methodology resembling that identified by the Washington Post as, in my words "suspect."

I believe it necessary to provide additional perspective on a polling authority that will surely receive wide quoting from the Right and conservative pundits as we move into next week. 

But more than two-thirds distrust polls conducted by political parties or candidates and automated telephone surveys. Media polls fall in the middle, with somewhat more distrusting than trusting. Note: the "News media" category below.

2013-09-04 Which polls do people trust
Nate Silver looked at which polls scored best coming out of the 2012 elections. His review also included look and reporting of poll bias. If you look about midway through the imagine below you will find AP/GfK; you will quickly notice the AP/GfK poll has a strong bias to the Republican Party. You may also notice GfK uses the very survey methodology shown by Silver as biased towards the Republican Party with moderate margins of error.
The New York Times 538 Blog  
"Which Polls Fared Best (and Worst) in the 2012 Presidential Race"Excerpt
We can also extend the analysis to consider the 90 polling firms that conducted at least one likely voter poll in the final three weeks of the campaign. One should probably not read too much into the results for the individual firms that issued just one or two polls, which is not a sufficient sample size to measure reliability. However, a look at this broader collective group of pollsters, and the techniques they use, may tell us something about which methods are most effective.

You Gov Dot Com
Figure 1 below shows the point estimates (and reported margins of error) for final national polls from different polling organizations for the Obama share of the national major party vote. The final YouGov poll, released on Sunday November 4, based on 36,472 interviews of likely voters between October 31 and November 3, had Obama at 48.5 percent, Romney at 46.5 percent, other candidates at 2.3 percent, and the remaining 2.7 percent of voters undecided. This translates into a 51.1 percent share of the national major party vote for Obama. As of this writing, the Associated Press reports that the Obama share of the national two party vote was 51.0 percent, so the YouGov estimate had an error of less than 0.1 percent. Two other polling organizations also pegged the Obama lead at two percent.

 AP/GfK seems to have a purpose and it seems to serve that purpose well. It's obvious Right lean contributes to my suspicion of a mission to advance Right-wing strategy and certainly seems to garner attention with each poll release.  As I have often stated, I frequently hear CNN Hosts mention Pew Research and Quinnipiac as Left-leaning. I have never heard one cable of network news host mention AP/GfK as Right-leaning. 

If an MSNBC host is compelled via her writers and producers to mention a "GOP gaining edge" survey, one would think the producer would qualify the results. It doesn't; take much to ascertain AP/GfK is a right-wing poll. 

AP/GfK founded in 2008 and accepts member survey takers!!!!!  INTRIGUING. 

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