How To Read Political Election Polls

Real Clear Politics is an aggregation of many of the election polls, whether present or past. They do offer a link to each poll that they show the results from, but you have to dig a little deeper to determine:

  • who was asking the questions
  • who was answering the questions
  • what questions were being asked

Also, it’s important to note that the candidates are not necessarily listed in order of voter approval.

For example, take this image that often shows Elizabeth Warren listed under Joe Biden, when Bernie Sanders clearly is outperforming.

polls

The first poll listed, the Emerson Poll, when you click on the link says:

A new Emerson Poll finds a very competitive primary shaping up for Super Tuesday 2020 in Colorado with Sen. Bernie Sanders at 26%, former VP Joe Biden at 25% and Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 20%. Sen. Kamala Harris was the only other candidate to break double digits at 13%. Colorado Senator Michael Bennet is polling at 1%. The data was collected August 16-19, n=403, +/-4.8%.

But Real Clear Politics have Bernie Sanders as third on the list in the Colorado poll. If you click to read the whole poll you will see that Bernie Sanders is either tied or beating Trump and Biden.

You can also see that the demographics of the poll, listed at the very end are:

The Colorado Emerson College poll was conducted August 16-19, 2019 under the Supervision of Emerson College Polling Director and Assistant Professor Spencer Kimball. The sample consisted of registered voters, n=1,000, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3 percentage points. The data was weighted by a 2016 voter model on race, age, gender, party affiliation, education and US congressional district. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown, ethnicity and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using both an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines only (n=656) and an online panel provided by Amazon MTurk and Dynata (n=344).

In other words, most of the people polled were on a landline responding to a computer. The other 344 were through an online panel provided by a Jeff Bezos company, Amazon. Just imagine what the results would be like if they were a realistic sampling of the voting public.

The second poll listed from Gravis Marketing, described their methodology and respondents as:

Gravis Marketing, a nonpartisan research firm, conducted a random survey of 926 registered voters in Nevada (382 Democratic caucus voters). The poll was conducted from August 14th through the 16th and has a margin of error of 3.2% (5.0% for the Democratic caucus question). The survey was conducted using interactive voice responses and an online panel of cell phone users. The results are weighted by the voting demographics. The poll was paid for by GMI.

Notice how they don’t break down how many were landlines and how many were cell phone users of an online panel.

The third poll listed is Fox News and they describe their methodology and respondents as:

Interviews were conducted August 11-13, 2019 among a random national sample of 1,013 registered voters (RV). Landline (222) and cellphone (791) telephone numbers were randomly selected for inclusion in the survey using a probability proportionate to size method, which means phone numbers for each state are proportional to the number of voters in each state.

Results based on the full sample have a margin of sampling error of ± 3 percentage points.

The Fox News Poll is conducted under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) (formerly known as Anderson Robbins Research) and Shaw & Company Research (R).
Note: In 2019, the firm Anderson Robbins Research changed its name to Beacon Research; the Fox News bipartisan polling team remains unchanged.

 
Fieldwork conducted by Braun Research, Inc. of Princeton, NJ. Fox News Polls before 2011 were conducted by Opinion Dynamics Corporation.

PERSONAL NOTE: I could not find a website for Shaw & Company Research.

The Fox News poll that is linked devotes a great deal of time and questions as to the job approval rating of Donald Trump and how people feel about guns and mass shootings. Fox News is one of the more thorough in the description of their audience and their questioning.

To get to how Donald Trump compares to other candidates, one must search. One must also pay attention to how the questions are worded.

Fox News Poll

Fox News Poll

Fox News Poll

 

This doesn’t have to do with the Democratic Candidates directly but I thought it was an interesting result for one of the questions in their poll:

Fox News Poll

 

The fourth poll, from SurveyUSA has a broader sampling of participants–over five times as many people as the previous polls. Their methodology and respondents are as follows:

In a hypothetical nationwide general election today — which approximates the outcome of the USA popular vote but not necessarily the outcome of the Electoral College — Democrats Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders defeat by 8 points Incumbent Republican President Donald Trump, according to research conducted by SurveyUSA. Trump runs effectively even against Democrats Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg.

At this hour, in interviews with 5,459 registered voters nationwide, it’s:

Former Vice President Biden 50%, President Trump 42%.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders 50%, Trump 42%.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren 46%, Trump 44% — too close to call.
California Senator Kamala Harris 45%, Trump 44% — too close to call.
Trump 44%, South Bend IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg 42% — too close to call.

About: SurveyUSA interviewed 7,000 adults nationwide 08/01/19 through 08/05/19. Of the adults, 5,459 are registered to vote and were asked the hypothetical head-to-head pairings you see here. The research was conducted online.

 

The fifth poll shown was SurveyUSA in North Carolina. There is certain criteria, explained in detail in the linked survey, to be included. Some of that reads:

A total of 2,600 NC adults were interviewed online 08/01/19 through 08/05/19. Of the adults, 2,113 are registered to vote in NC. Of the registered, 534 passed all 5 SurveyUSA screening criteria and were counted as a “likely” NC Democratic primary voter and asked, “Which Democrat would you vote today?” All NC registered voters were asked the hypothetical, general-election Head-to-Head match-up questions. All registered voters, as indicated, were asked the questions about healthcare, patriotism and racism.

During the field period for this survey, 31 individuals were murdered in 2 separate mass shootings. SurveyUSA’s best estimate is that approximately 72% of the interviews for this survey were completed before news broke midday 08/03/19 of the 1st mass shooting in El Paso TX and approximately 78% of the interviews for this survey were completed before Americans woke up Sunday 08/04/19 to news of the 2nd mass shooting in Dayton OH. In 2020, North Carolina’s presidential primary is 7 months from today, 03/03/20. 110 convention delegates will be awarded proportionately, so the relative strength of those candidates finishing in 2nd, 3rd or 4th place is significant.

 

You can see that each poll is reaching different people and that Biden does best when the respondents are older people answering their landlines. As of 2017 only 47.5% of American households had landlines. I’m sure it’s far fewer today.

I hope this information was helpful to you in understanding that even polls can be biased based not only on who is asking the questions, how the questions are asked, and who the respondents are.

If something makes you question it, dig deeper.

 

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The Establishment Is Afraid Of Bernie Sanders Creating A Government FOR THE PEOPLE

The establishment, the DNC and the Corporate media are repeatedly asking Bernie Sanders and his supporters if we will support whomever gets the DNC nomination.

They don’t do that with any other candidate. They don’t ask other voters if they will support Bernie if he gets the nomination.

They badgered Bernie for ten years of tax returns. He produced them. Boring AF, just like he promised.

Where are Joe Biden’s tax returns? Who even cares? Why is he even running other than he’s a Corporate tool, all bought and paid for and will ensure the status quo. (hint: that is NOT for The People). Biden says straight up that if he’s elected nothing will change.

Not true with a President Sanders. With a President Sanders the gravy train ends for the uber wealthy, Wall Street, the Corporations and their paid-for stooges and tools. That’s why The Establishment fights Bernie so fiercely and misleads the public daily. Bernie will bring CHANGE for The People.

The Establishment can #FeelTheExistentialThreat

Day after day I see questionnaires and polls asking users their opinions on the candidates and day after day I see more or less the same responses as you see below. Short answer NO ONE WANTS BIDEN.

And she’s not the only one:


Which begs the question: “How can Joe Biden be the front runner?”

He isn’t. If you look at the fine print on the polls he is leading among older people with landlines and most of the time the polls are conducted by IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems. In other words, machines not humans. Because they are older people answering computerized calls on landlines, the sampling size is very small. Usually just a few hundred people.

The most reliable pollsters are over at Morning Consult. Their sample sizes are usually thousands of people:

Methodology

About Morning Consult Political Intelligence

On a daily basis, Morning Consult surveys over 5,000 registered voters across the United States. Along with 2020 presidential election data, Political Intelligence tracks the approval ratings for all governorssenators, House members, the President, and more at the national, state and congressional district level.

Each week, we will release a report with the most important findings on the 2020 election. Sign-up to receive that report in your inbox here.

Results from the most recent update

This page was last updated on July 15, 2019.

Our Democratic Primary results are reported using 16,504 interviews with registered voters who indicate they may vote in the Democratic primary or caucus in their state. For those who say don’t know or no opinion, they are asked to pick a candidate they are leaning towards. Results are reported among first choice and those who lean towards a candidate. The interviews were collected from July 8-14, 2019 and have a margin of error of +/- 2%. The “Early Primary State Voters” demographic consists of 685 voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina.

In the case of a tie, candidates are ordered alphabetically by last name.

While Morning Consult shows Joe Biden leading in the actual primary polls, they are only polling in states that vote early, because we are so early in the campaign.

For overall favorability, however, Bernie leads. And if the DNC and the media weren’t feeding doubts about Bernie’s “electability” (and if creepy Uncle Joe weren’t a factor in the equation) then Bernie would be in a completely different stratosphere than any other candidate. All it takes for Bernie to be elected is our votes. Plain and simple.

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NO, California Should NOT Be Split

Why is this even on the ballot? California has far more serious (let alone REAL) issues to deal with and there are so many other things that should be on the ballot way before something so ridiculous (gerrymandering on a grand scale, really) is presented to the voters.

For example:

  • Universal Healthcare – while the uninsured rate in California is at an all time low, millions of people are still uninsured, or while they have insurance still don’t get treated because the costs over and above (rising) insurance rates still makes it cost prohibitive for many to adequately care for themselves.
  • Cost Of Housing – Many households spend MORE than half their income just on housing. The average household income in California hovers somewhere around $60,000, netting just under $3900 per month, and their housing payment is likely around $2500 per month OR MORE. And that is JUST housing. (Don’t get me started on the utility companies, their rising rates, and their ability to cause disasters like the worst wildfires in historyKILLING AND DESTROYING WITH IMPUNITY.
  • Homelessness – There are over 135,000 homeless people in California, which has risen by 16% in the past two years. Just for perspective, there are 58 counties in California. If we average that out it’s 2327 homeless people per county. And many of these people are homeless because of the cost of housing (see paragraph above). There is and has been money budgeted to assist with this but it’s been tied up courts because, well, California.
  • Poverty – 15% of all Californians (about 6 million people) live at or below the poverty level. The “poverty line” in California is ridiculously defined as $24,000 per year FOR A FAMILY OF FOUR. That’s $6,000 per person per year, or $500 per month.
  • Hunger – Even though California produces about half the fruits and vegetables consumed in the United States millions of Californians are “food insecure” which has been defined as “limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.” One in four (25%) of children in California go to bed hungry.
  • Safe Drinking Water – Yeah, it’s not just Flint, Michigan that’s getting poisoned. Last year California legislators overturned the law that limits the amount of toxic chemicals that are allowed in the drinking water. Because, corporate profits. This is just one example of why public services should not be privatized: they put profits over people. I’m sure California isn’t the only state, but this article is about California.
  • Pollution – California has 8 out of the 10 most polluted cities in the United States. The air quality in some parts of the state isn’t just unhealthy, it’s actually deemed hazardous.
  • Minimum Wage – If minimum wage does increase to $15 per hour and you work full time your take home pay will be about $2100 per month. As illustrated in previous paragraphs, that will get you… next to nothing. Even a studio apartment is likely to run you about $1500 per month. So good luck living on $600 for everything else you need.
  • College Education – Why are college degrees required to be gainfully employed? Why are they valued more than ingenuity, experience or even willingness to work hard? Why is it even allowed that they be required? Honestly… it’s discrimination. As evidenced in the paragraphs above working full time at $15 per hour, much less the currently minimum wage is not enough to put a roof over your head and feed yourself. So you’re going to have to have more than one job just to literally survive. So that makes obtaining a college education a bit challenging. BUT WAIT, you can’t get a decent paying job or (ever increasingly) even a job with shitty pay, without a degree. Of course, if you weren’t born in any kind of wealth you see where I’m going with this: in circles. Circles of poverty.
  • Student Loans – Students. People who are gaining an education so they can get work. In other words people that probably don’t have any money. It’s called predatory lending.
  • Non-Sufficient Fund Fees – And not just banks. If one is late on their bills because they don’t have the money in time, or they don’t have enough to cover the basics, then they are charged MORE of what they already don’t have enough of. Why is this legal. Especially when utility companies, banks etc. are raking in BILLIONS in profits. Not just revenue, but PROFITS. In 2016 THREE banks, Chase, BofA and Wells Fargo, collected $6.4BILLION in overdraft fees alone. Now, that’s nationwide, not just California. But why is that legal?

These are things that need to be addressed. These are things that people care about, that affect their daily lives. Honestly, we need to do a better job of voting for people that actually give a fuck about us. And make the criteria for ballot measures to be that it’s not an insane idea.

/rant

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In 2018 Having Children Is Cruel And Unusual Punishment

When sanctimonious anti-abortion folks cry (and they are the minority) about the unborn children not having a choice, they’re right. How do you know these children ever wanted to be born? Especially when they are helpless and far too many of the adults around them do everything in their power to prevent them from having happy, healthy, worthwhile lives?

In 2012 7 million people died from breathing polluted air. Until adults get their act together and get serious about nurturing the planet, no more children should be born. Without a healthy planet no one will have a good life. Until adults stop poisoning the entire planet for the profits of a very few, no more children should be born. Until adults are willing (and that’s all it is: the will) to provide clean air and water for everyone on the planet, no more children should be born.

In the United States alone, in 2011, nearly half (45% or 2.8 million) of the 6.1 million pregnancies in the United States each year were unintended. Until adults stop meddling in other people’s lives, forcing women to have children that they don’t want, or can’t properly care for, no more children should be born.

3.1 MILLION children die of starvation each year. And 45% of deaths of children under 5 years old are caused by poor nutrition. (6.3 million children under age five died in 2013, nearly 17,000 every day.) Until adults are willing to provide food and shelter for ALL children, for their entire lives, no more children should be born.

Poverty is the leading cause of hunger, but poverty also results from hunger.

— World Hunger Notes

263 MILLION children worldwide are not receiving any education. In the United States alone more than 20 MILLION children do not have access to essential health care. Until adults are willing to provide ALL children with all the tools they need for a happy, healthy, worthwhile life — basics like education and health care — then no more children should be born.

I don’t understand how anyone would think that having children right now is a good idea, especially when so many children that are already born are being abused and neglected. About 20% of children are raped or abused, usually (75% of the time) by someone they know. Until adults stop raping, abusing and neglecting children, no more children should be born.

It’s not safe to be a child, because adults are sick and reckless. Approximately 46 children are shot EVERY DAY, just in the United States. EVERY DAY in the United States 4 children are murdered. Until adults stop making killing machines available to anyone and everyone that wants one, no more children should be born.

Adults need to be more responsible about this planet and bringing more people onto it. If we are going to bring more people onto the planet, then we need to make sure that those people get to have an enjoyable life.

Otherwise, why would a child want to be born?

There is enough food for everyone, but not everyone has enough food.

–Enough Food for Everyone Campaign

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In 2018 Having Children Is Cruel And Unusual Punishment

When sanctimonious anti-abortion folks cry (and they are the minority) about the unborn children not having a choice, they’re right. How do you know these children ever wanted to be born? Especially when they are helpless and far too many of the adults around them do everything in their power to prevent them from having happy, healthy, worthwhile lives?

In 2012 7 million people died from breathing polluted air. Until adults get their act together and get serious about nurturing the planet, no more children should be born. Without a healthy planet no one will have a good life. Until adults stop poisoning the entire planet for the profits of a very few, no more children should be born. Until adults are willing (and that’s all it is: the will) to provide clean air and water for everyone on the planet, no more children should be born.

In the United States alone, in 2011, nearly half (45% or 2.8 million) of the 6.1 million pregnancies in the United States each year were unintended. Until adults stop meddling in other people’s lives, forcing women to have children that they don’t want, or can’t properly care for, no more children should be born.

3.1 MILLION children die of starvation each year. And 45% of deaths of children under 5 years old are caused by poor nutrition. (6.3 million children under age five died in 2013, nearly 17,000 every day.) Until adults are willing to provide food and shelter for ALL children, for their entire lives, no more children should be born.

Poverty is the leading cause of hunger, but poverty also results from hunger.

World Hunger Notes

263 MILLION children worldwide are not receiving any education. In the United States alone more than 20 MILLION children do not have access to essential health care. Until adults are willing to provide ALL children with all the tools they need for a happy, healthy, worthwhile life — basics like education and health care — then no more children should be born.

I don’t understand how anyone would think that having children right now is a good idea, especially when so many children that are already born are being abused and neglected. About 20% of children are raped or abused, usually (75% of the time) by someone they know. Until adults stop raping, abusing and neglecting children, no more children should be born.

It’s not safe to be a child, because adults are sick and reckless. Approximately 46 children are shot EVERY DAY, just in the United States. EVERY DAY in the United States 4 children are murdered. Until adults stop making killing machines available to anyone and everyone that wants one, no more children should be born.

Adults need to be more responsible about this planet and bringing more people onto it. If we are going to bring more people onto the planet, then we need to make sure that those people get to have an enjoyable life.

Otherwise, why would a child want to be born?

There is enough food for everyone, but not everyone has enough food.

–Enough Food for Everyone Campaign

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How Life Would Be If Auto Or Home Insurance Was Like Health Insurance (VIDEO)

The idea that insurance companies dictate what type of health care we receive, how much and when is totally ridiculous. Health insurance companies are in the business of providing insurance, not health care. They are not medical professionals. No medical training whatsoever. So why are they calling the shots?

Before the Affordable Care Act (also referred to as Obamacare) was implemented health insurance companies were actually allowed to deny you health insurance altogether–especially if you actually needed care. If you were perfectly healthy, no problem! You can have all the insurance you want–for cheap too!

Kind of like lenders… if you need money, it’s next to impossible to get it. But if you have lots of money, then they will lend you some of theirs. But I digress…

With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act more and more people are insured, and paying premiums, than ever before. Which means that the health insurance industry is seeing record profits. BUT because people are actually using their insurance now–now that insurance policies actually provide coverage instead of just collecting premiums–and dust–the health insurance industry is not seeing the profits they anticipated. Record profits, mind you, but not what they forecasted.

Therefore, they are increasing premiums and reducing benefits, trying everything they can to get out of complying with the law for the sole purpose of increasing their profits.

Can you imagine if you got in a wreck and your auto insurer said, “You know, the car still drives, so we are denying the claim to repair your vehicle.” It would look something like this:

or this:

or this:

And if home insurance did the same, if they simply told homeowners that they didn’t feel that the repairs they were requesting were something the insurance companies deemed necessary or covered. How would that look?

After all this person should have known better than to want to live on the coast:

sandy-homes-725x510

And this person… what they hell were they thinking when they bought a house near a tree??? After all, trees can fall!!!

tree-house

And this Alabama homeowner… hell, they were probably gay and the lord wasn’t having any of that, so your insurance claim? DENIED!

alabama

Insurance for THINGS is more readily available, less expensive, with better coverage than it is for people and their health. How fucked up is THAT?

And this is all perfectly legal!

 

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Intimidation Of Voters: U.S. Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 29, § 594

Whoever intimidates, threatens, coerces, or attempts to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose, or of causing such other person to vote for, or not to vote for, any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, at any election held solely or in part for the purpose of electing such candidate, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 720; Pub. L. 91–405, title II, § 204(d)(5), Sept. 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 853; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(H), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

Source: Cornell University Law School, Legal Information Institute

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