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This was great--sharing so all of us “information warriors” as you call us, can get the word out.
Not so long a post . . . when it’s music to my ears!
The frightening thing about polls is that they show that there are Republicans in the world--Republicans are pure evil to the very marrow of their bones.
It's not that long and makes complete sense!
Thank you for the rigorous analysis.
Always appreciated! It's nice to read something that isn't pushing gloom and doom. If you listen to the mainstream press, the election is all but over and done with.
Simon, I appreciate your detailed analyses! I hope you will analyze the recent CNN poll being reported today with Biden's approval below 40%.
Simon, my understanding is that the 2020 polls were way off and erroneously favored Biden by several points. If that was really true are we still dealing with that now which would mean a “tied” poll really means Biden is underwater by 5-10 points? After 2020 people kept talking about how Trump supporters don’t answer polls so they were overly optimistic for Biden. Is that a concern now?
I appreciate the length. You packed a lot of encouraging information in there.
I have written and conducted numerous consumer polls throughout my consulting career. I really applaud your explanations about how to interpret any give poll result.
Also, the increased variability using crosstabs is a serious statistical issue journalists should be sensitive to.
There is an additional problem bias within any poll which results from how accurately the participant groups are created. A pollster can always tip the results one way or another by overweighting any particular group of participants. When I looked at the terrible NYTs Sienna Oct poll which has sadly become gospel across the journalist world, it was clearly overweighted with Republicans. Nate Cohn noted this in the polls footnotes and claimed the polling company applied various "smoothing" algorithms to the data in order to rebalance the results..of course, makes the results less valid. Then a week later, the NYTs printed a correction notice explaining that the initial participant groups were not overweighted with Republicans and no algorithms were applied to the final results..
So, why did the Times rush out poll results they knew were questionable at best??
Many of us who truly admire and deeply appreciate the great job Biden has been doing are gravely disappointed in the Times and have sent in many letters to express our disdain for such partisan behavior on the papers part.
We are working on ways to pressure the Times editorial board to get back into reality..if Trump is an existential threat to Democracy, a message the Times had benn trumpeting loud and clear, the Trump is a threat to the existence of the NYTs in equal measure.
Wake up NYT and get on the Biden bandwagon. It's your best chance at saving democracy in America.
Simon - this kind of deep dive explanation from someone who has been doing this their entire adult career (and was one of the lone wolves who "called" it in 2022!) is SO helpful for those of us who work in other industries and don't have expertise in political polling. I value this kind of post immensely! Thank you!
Lickspittle suck-a-zoid Kash Patel says the loud part even louder
LUCIAN K. TRUSCOTT IV
READ IN APP
Hours before I described in my last column how Donald Trump plans to take this country down the fascist rabbit hole, his top recipient of the Failed Upwards Award, Kash Patel, was on Steve Bannon’s podcast detailing Trump’s plans to investigate, detain, and indict members of the media, chiefly those from MSNBC and its parent company, NBC, for “crimes they said we have always been guilty of but never have.”
As Patel patiently explained to Bannon, “We will go out and find the conspirators, not just in government but in the media. Yes, we’re going to come after the people in the media who lied about American citizens, who helped Joe Biden rig presidential elections. We’re going to come after you, whether it’s criminal or civilly, we’ll figure that out. But yeah, we’re putting you all on notice and Steve, this is why they hate us. This is why we’re tyrannical. This is why we’re dictators because we’re actually going to use the Constitution to prosecute them.”
Those with long memories will remember Kash Patel as an aide to California Republican Congressman Devin Nunes at the time of the Midnight Snipe Hunt early in 2017 when Nunes jumped out of one Uber and called another to take him to the White House so he could “find” secret documents “proving” that the Obama administration had spied on Trump’s campaign. The documents proved no such thing, and Nunes midnight Snipe Hunt led to his recusal from the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of the links between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence. Nunes had two friends on the Trump National Security Council, Ezra Cohen Watnick and Michael Ellis, a former committee counsel to Nunes, who just happened to be waiting for Nunes in the White House with the so-called top-secret documents he was searching for.
Patel went on to bigger and better things, failing upward into such jobs as Senior Director of the Counterterrorism Directorate of the National Security Council and Principal Deputy of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Patel was involved in the infamous “perfect phone call” between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy when Trump threatened to withhold aid to Ukraine unless Zelenskyy announced an investigation of Joe Biden. Patel was also involved in the firing of Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and the subsequent firing of Alexander Vindman, an Army colonel on Trump’s national security council who listened in on Trump’s call with Zelenskyy.
Two months before leaving office, Trump tried to appoint Patel as acting director of the CIA. When that failed, Trump appointed Patel as chief of staff to Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller. Patel got the job after accusing former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper of being disloyal to Trump for refusing to deploy active-duty American soldiers to put down the protests that followed the murder of George Floyd.
Busy, busy, busy was Kash Patel, huh? Get this: he’s at the top of Trump’s lists for a cabinet appointment in a new administration if Trump is elected president in 2024. More recently, Patel was appointed by Trump as his representative to the National Archives for Trump’s papers. He claimed to have been present in the room when Trump allegedly declassified all the boxes full of top-secret documents that Trump stole from the White House and took to Mar a Lago. Patel was questioned by the grand jury investigating the Mar a Lago stolen documents case. He was represented for that appearance by a lawyer paid for by Trump, Stanley Woodward, who also represents Walt Nauta, the Trump employee at Mar a Lago who moved boxes of top-secret documents from storage room to bathroom to ballroom stage in a sort of whack-a-mole fashion to keep them from another of Trump’s attorneys, Evan Corcoran, who was given the unenviable task of “searching” for documents in response to a DOJ subpoena in May of 2022.
Patel’s interview on the Bannon podcast followed statements by Trump about what he would do if elected president next year. In June of this year, Trump said, “I will appoint a real special prosecutor to go after the most corrupt president in the history of the United States of America, Joe Biden, and the entire Biden crime family.” In a September rant on his social media platform, Truth Social, Trump wrote, “I say up front, openly, and proudly, that when I WIN the Presidency of the United States, they and others of the LameStream Media will be thoroughly scrutinized for their knowingly dishonest and corrupt coverage of people, things, and events. Why should NBC, or any other of the corrupt & dishonest media companies be entitled to use the very valuable Airwaves of the USA, FREE?” Continuing his rant against the media, Trump wrote, “They are a true threat to Democracy and are, in fact, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE! The Fake News Media should pay a big price for what they have done to our once great Country!”
Patel’s appearance on the Bannon podcast followed a rant on Twitter (X) last month against MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan by a prominent Trump lawyer and MAGA pundit who many, including Donald Trump Jr., Bannon, Tucker Carlson, Michael Flynn, and you guessed it, Kash Patel have been pushing to be Trump’s hit-man attorney general if Trump wins election. On his MSNBC show, Hasan named Davis as one of Trump’s “Dream Team” as a possible leader of a weaponized Trump DOJ and reminded his viewers that Trump “has pledged to round up protesters with the military and suggested using the Justice Department to go after his political enemies. These are plans that should terrify each and every single one of us.”
Davis fired back on Twitter (X) that Mehdi Hasan was on his own Trump “Dream Team” of targets, noting that he, Davis, is being considered by Trump for attorney general. Hasan, Davis wrote, “is on my lists to 2 (indict), 4 (detain), 6 (denaturalize), and 3 (deport). I already have his spot picked out in the DC gulag. But I’ll put him in the women’s cell block, with @Timodc” That last was a reference to conservative never-Trumper Tim Miller, an openly gay writer for The Bulwark and a former spokesman for the Republican National Committee. Closing out his rant, Davis explained that he would send Hasan and Miller to the “women’s cellblock” of the DC gulag “so these whiny Leftists won’t get beat up as often.”
Closing out a very active day of planning for a new fascism, Trump appeared last night at a town hall in Iowa hosted by Sean Hannity. When pressed by Hannity about whether he will seek “retribution” as a dictator against his enemies, as Trump has claimed he will on multiple occasions, Trump replied, “Except for day one. I want to close the border and I want to drill.”
“That’s not retribution,” Hannity said.
Trump chuckled and said to great applause from the crowd, “I love this guy, he says, ‘you’re not going to be a dictator are you?’ I said no, no, no, other than day one.”
That’s like asking a kid if he had three wishes that would come true, what would his first wish be, and the kid answers, “that all my wishes would come true.” Trump has already promised to invoke the Insurrection Act “on day one” and use active-duty soldiers to put down demonstrations against him around the country. He’ll issue an executive order to close the border and after that, sit in the Oval Office all day and sign so many executive orders, it will take a truck to deliver them to the White House. Saying “I want to drill” is promising to open Bears Ears National Monument to mining and oil drilling, which President Biden shut down by executive order. Trump will reverse every Biden executive order, go after the Dreamers immigration policy, and begin his appointments of “acting” heads of every cabinet post in the government, by-passing the need for Senate confirmation, thus allowing him to put Trump loyalists throughout his government to carry out every executive order he signs.
Attorney General Jeffrey Clark, anyone?
How about Secretary of Defense Kash Patel?
CIA Director Devin Nunes? Secretary of State Rudy Giuliani? Director of White House Office of Budget and Management Harlan Crow?
Trump has already said he won’t accept the results of the election if he doesn’t win. He’s promising a coup and telling us what he’ll do when he forces his way into the Oval Office.
This is what fascism looks like, folks, and they’re telling us how they’re going to do it right out in the open.
Make these as long as you want Simon. I can read this information all day long.
Simon - thanks for taking the time to explain some of the key ins and outs of polling. Especially useful information on the error margin and the steep decline in the value of assertions based off of small survey samples- and even less accurate, those based off of even smaller sub groupings based on demographics like ethnicity or age. Really useful stuff. Keep it coming!
Hey Simon, I have not seen you mention it but it might be worth adding to your list that Biden is currently on tract to have the fewest Layoffs and Discharges of any Presidential term since the Fed started keeping records. (At least as far as I can tell) I know that some people point to insecurity in the job market long term, as a reason for economic uncertainty. I also think it might be one that if people knew more about they could understand and feel. This might be worth looking into.
Always appreciate your wisdom and insight, Simon.
Agree - We have to get loud, pumping out Biden's actual record and reminding people of the disaster of Trump years. (One easy way: facebook.com/groups/613417987640841 - for shareable content daily)
Nothing MAGA does is possible without disinformation, misinformation and misdirection. They rewrite history.
What can we do about this? Maybe simply saying 'they're lying again' when a new false narrative starts. 'they lied about COVID, they lied about the election, they're lying now '
The MAGA lie machine is a deadly enterprise. We have to get serious about it. Any ideas are welcome!
Hi Simon, Did you happen to see Liz Cheney and Charlie Sykes on The Bulwark? She said something disturbing about how the Biden administration has done some wrong things like the border. The messaging needs to cover this. I always wonder why the GOP doesn't do anything about this issue then remember that they need some talking points at election time. Will this have traction?