October 29, 2008

Buck Up Little Campers.

If you follow the news and read the polls you are probably convinced that this thing is over. Well its not! The Media does not have your republican (small r) interests at heart. If the poll has been generated by a media outlet and they are telling you that Obama is ahead by thirteen and Michelle O. is loaden up the U-haul and you believe it, then you must be a Democrat.

First of all the Newsies have heard their own death rattle. They built a $450 million Temple Unto Themselves, then rather than quietly shuffling off to the elephant grave yard they went to the Oracle of Newseum and were instructed to push all in on the new messiah, journalistic ethics be damned.

Journalism Sacrificed for Power and Pensions by Michael S. Malone

The traditional media is playing a very, very dangerous game. With its readers, with the Constitution, and with its own fate.

The sheer bias in the print and television coverage of this election campaign is not
just bewildering, but appalling. And over the last few months I’ve found myself slowly moving from shaking my head at the obvious one-sided reporting, to actually shouting at the screen of my television and my laptop computer.

But worst of all, for the last couple weeks, I’ve begun — for the first time in my adult life — to be embarrassed to admit what I do for a living. A few days ago, when asked by a new acquaintance what I did for a living, I replied that I was “a writer”, because I couldn’t bring myself to admit to a stranger that I’m a journalist.

Secondly, if you were nodding off in stats class The Iowa Hawk explains why the polls are just soooo much BS.

Because, in this case, so-called scientific "sampling error" is completely meaningless, because it is utterly overwhelmed by unmeasurable non-sampling error. Under these circumstances "margin of error" is a fantasy, a numeric fiction masquerading as a pseudo-scientific fact. If a poll reports it -- even if it's collected "scientifically" -- the pollster is guilty of aggravated bullshit in the first degree

Thirdly, Big Lizards made this polling observation.

Nothing could more perfectly illustrate my point -- that we have two completely
different elections, depending on which pollster you ask -- than a pair of polls released today:
First, we have the Gallup tracking poll with its traditional test for likely voters, in which Barack H. Obama's lead over John S. McCain has shrunk to 2%... well within the margin of error (not even counting general biases in favor of Democrats, particularly with most of the poll conducted over the weekend).
And on the same day, covering nearly the same period, we have the Pew poll... which finds Obama's lead over McCain ticking up to fifteen points!

I believe that this race is close. Close enough that there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth next Wednesday morning and it won't be the Republicans. Several weeks ago a Political Science Professor who specializes in political forcasting predicted that it would be 50 -49 Obama. Close enough that McCain would win the Electoral College. Now wouldn't that be a hoot?

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