Tuesday, July 19, 2011

There Are Lies, Damned Lies, and CBS

My article is up at Big Hollywood! Go take a look: (Link)! I’ll wait right here for ya. :-)

Did you know the American people back Barack Obama on the current debt negotiations? It’s true. . . if you believe CBS. And why shouldn’t you believe CBS? I’ll tell you why.

According to the CBS poll 43% of the public approves of Obama’s handing of the debt ceiling crisis (48% don’t), but only 21% of the public approves of the Republicans (58% disapprove). Hence, Obama is winning the PR war.

But there's a catch. As is CBS’s history, the sample CBS uses is heavily skewed to the left. Indeed, CBS includes 11 percentage points more Democrats than Republicans in its final results (35% Democrats to 24% Republicans). If we back that out, Obama’s approval falls to 32%. That’s hardly resounding.

But there’s more. The poll doesn’t actually give us enough information to determine how valid their independents are. Specifically, there are no baseline questions that let us determine if these people lean left or right. All we know is they have self-identified as independents. And, frankly, we have no reason to think that CBS's collection methods were any less skewed for independents than they were for Democrats and Republicans. Thus, we have no reason to think the independents aren’t equally skewed 11% to the left because CBS's methods were clearly left-biased. And looking at the responses given by the independents, they mimic the Democratic responses far too closely for any set of genuine independents I’ve seen in a poll in the last three years.

Nevertheless, even if we accept them at face value, only 37% of independents approve of Obama’s handling of the debt ceiling crisis (52% disapprove). Those aren’t numbers that win you re-election. In fact, they are damning.

What's more, CBS is billing this as “just 21 percent backing the Republican resistance to raising taxes.” But that’s not the question that was actually asked in the survey. The survey asks whether people approve or disapprove of the Republicans’ “handling” of the negotiations. It never asks if they support raising taxes or not. Indeed, the “handling” question is meaningless as it will capture both those who want a stronger stance and those who want a weaker stance. That’s why you need to ask more (or different) questions to get useful results. Of course, CBS didn't do that. Can you guess why?

Now in truth, the Republicans don’t fare well with any group in this poll. So that is a concern. But there are two problems with drawing any conclusions from that. First, the poll never asked why people are upset at the Republicans. According to the poll 51% of Republican respondents disapprove of the Republicans, but does anyone really think that’s because average Republicans want tax hikes? Or is it more likely a response to a leadership that keeps undercutting each other and doesn’t seem to have a game plan? We can't say from this poll. But I can tell you that Rasmussen reports that 55% of the public (Democrats, Republicans and Independent combined) oppose tax hikes as part of the debt ceiling deal (only 34% disagree). Republican opposition is in the 80% range. So it’s more likely people are upset about Republican weakness than their opposition to taxes.

Also, none of the other polls out there support CBS's results. The Republicans lead the generic Congressional poll 44% to 38%. Obama’s approval ratings are a horrible 45% approval to 54% disapproval, with only 38% approving of his handling of the economy. Even in a Presidential race, TOTUS loses 48% to 43% to a generic Republican. That's really bad. And none of that is consistent with CBS’s findings.

So why were we supposed to trust CBS again?

69 comments:

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: In other words, Obama lies and the MSM swears to it. LOL

AndrewPrice said...

Actually, I'd go one further and say the MSM is making up evidence.

LawHawkRFD said...

But Andrew, isn't that just a patriotic thing to do, helping our Dear Leader in his time of troubles?

T-Rav said...

I don't know, Andrew. Bill O'Reilly said yesterday there's no good reason not to trust this CBS poll, and his credentials are unquestionably conservative in every way, so maybe we should take it seriously.

Meanwhile, I think I'll set up my own little poll here. How should we, as conservatives, refer to the President from now through next November?

a) TOTUS
b) Jugears
c) Teleprompter-in-Chief
d) F@#$ing Idiot
e) all of the above

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, LOL! It is absolutely patriotic to deny reality to help our Dear Leader!

Tennessee Jed said...

three points here, Andrew.

1) again, congrats on the BH post. Move visability for you and this website :-)

2) Polls - are the weapon of choice for most "news" media to try and impact "the conversation" (to use that sickening buzzword) Polls are pushed, although this may be sinking to new lows of skewing.

The one show I enjoy on t.v. news is Brett Baier, particularly with the panel. People actually don't talk over each other which is refreshing. Bit, this very topic was put out there and my conservative guys let it somewhat slide. The DID mention the under-representation of Republicans, but failed to mention how totally damning the whole poll was. For shame. I think there was a Gallup and Rasmussen poll with results that were quite different.

Maybe this is McConnell's strategy? He knows the lame streams will hand a p.r. "victory" to B.O. regardless. He probably knows the majority is actually on the side of the angels, so rather than make a bid deal of it now, let our ballots do the talking in 2012

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Bill O'Reilly said that? Well, then I stand corrected!! Seriously, who am I to look at the actual numbers.... something O'Reilly's staff should have done. Oh well, Obama's right. ;-)

On your poll, that's an easy one -- "e". Though I suspect I will use "d" most often.

We should have a "Rename Obama" contest! :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Jed,

Thanks! I'm really enjoying the BH thing, though responding to so many people is rather difficult.

On the polls, I agree. They have been turned into a tool for "making news" rather than reporting news. And the fact CBS would skew their sample so far left and then mislead people about what they asked is a classic example that this is all partisan politics and not genuine reporting.

I like Brett Baier's show too. I have gotten so sick of the Crossfire format where they just yell at each other, so I appreciate that they actually get to speak.

I am not sure what McConnell is thinking. I am afraid that this is really the only option they have left because they weren't able to come up with a single game plan. That's always the problem of team dynamics and why you really should send only one negotiator and they should only go when the team is ready.

What I'd like to see now is the Republicans just sending budget after budget to the Democrats and Obama and see them veto or vote against each one. At some point, this will turn into farce and the Democrats will pay a huge price.

TJ said...

Congratulations on the BH article, Andrew.

T-Rav - I love your poll and my answer would be "e" with the option to use any of the others depending on my mood that day.

rlaWTX said...

E (in usual order: A, D, D, D, D, A)

My g'pa still calls him BamBam or Bama.

My college poli sci stats prof used to say, "Figures lie and liars figure."

I don't watch the MSM news, so did they make a big deal about Cantor/Boehner walking out of negotiations? And did they talk up Obama's "eat your peas" moment of "grown-up-ness"? Or anything else that might influence people against the way R's are handling this?
One of the things that @#$%'s me off about the "news" polls is that they go around making points on TV (R's are obstructionists; The O is TRYING his best; R's are having hissy-fits; O is the only grown-up) and then ask people if they agree with these points they've been chattering about - and then ACT surprised when the polls show that the "masses" agree with the chatter!!!!!! Are you kidding??? When you have defined the conversation, it really should be unethical (don't laugh - it's a real word!) to go around asking if people who swallow your hook agree with the line you're spouting.
< rant off >

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks TJ! I'm thrilled about the article and the response has been tremendous! :-)


I like T-Rav's poll too. It's got some excellent choices! :-)

AndrewPrice said...

FYI, for anyone who can't get to BH (like if you have dial up) or if you want to comment but you can't get Intense Debate to work, I've posted the article at the film site too.

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew- I think McConnell is being realistic when he realizes without the WH and Senate, we won't see any real reform on entitlements, just demagoguery. By letting Obama get "credit" for lifting the debt ceiling (which most polls I read is not a popular thing) he is trying to keep Republicans from getting so obviously painted with a bi-partisan raising of the ceiling. The only vote that counts is the 2012 election.

Your thinking (and mine) seems to be the same as Krauthamer on this point. Put out a bill for spending cuts and make the senate and/or B.O. veto it.

T-Rav said...

Yeah, Andrew, there'll probably be a lot (more) of option d going around.

Glad to see the BH article is going well. I wouldn't worry about getting back to everyone, though, since it's now at like 300+ comments. I'm mainly just amusing myself with the "moderate" troll.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX,

First, nice list. I think I use "D" the most as well! LOL!

Secondly, that is exactly what the MSM has been selling -- Republican infighting, mature Obama trying to reach a deal, the Republicans acting like kids, the public firmly behind Obama. It's total garbage, but that's what they've been selling.

They even tried to sell us on the idea that Pelosi was making a comeback and was now an important player in the negotiations -- she's not, even Obama said that.

On your rant, you're 100% right. That is exactly what they are trying to do. They are trying to get a theme going and then run out and capture polling data that supports that theme. Then they use that polling data to tell people "see what everyone else is thinking? You should think this way too!"

It's despicable!

My father says it as "Figures don't lie, but liar can figure."

Ed said...

CBS is the absolute worst. I think they're worse than MSNBC even. Nice take down!

T-Rav said...

Incidentally, speaking of polls and debt ceilings, I wonder if anyone in DC has paid attention to this one, and by "anyone," I mean "The White House."

http://www.gallup.com/poll/148562/Americans-Including-Republicans-Debt-Compromise.aspx

Punchline: a majority of Americans want a compromise on the debt ceiling, but by a wide margin--55 to 35 percent--they want it to include deep spending cuts. I suspect that's more likely than (do we have a winner?) "option d"s contention that 80% of Americans want tax hikes.

Mike Kriskey said...

333 comments so far! Dare I read them?

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I think that is what McConnell is probably doing. My concern is that it's the wrong way to look at this. They are hoping to shift the responsibility to Obama for lifting the debt ceiling. I am concerned that the public will see this as Republicans giving up and letting Obama raise the debt ceiling.

BUT that may be all we can get? I just hope this isn't the beginning of a serious surrender by the Republicans that hurts their chances in 2012.

We definitely agree on the last point -- they need to send up vote after vote and expose the Democrats as unwilling to make any cuts. That's the best way to raise the pressure on them. Hopefully they'll do that.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I honestly wanted to reply to everyone, but it was just impossible with that many people! I'm still trying, but there is just no way.

Still, I'm glad it struck a nerve. There were some really cool comments toward the end from people who really liked the article. I was rather flattered let me tell you!

Yeah, I love the "moderate" troll. He's about as moderate as Keith Olberman. "I am so moderate... so moderate indeed... you people are like far out Nazis... but I'm just a simple moderate." LOL! Give me a break!

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, MSNBC at least is somewhat open about what side they are on -- they don't pretend to be impartial. CBS has long been far, far left, but they hide behind the idea they are impartial. To me, that's worse.

CrispyRice said...

Congrats on the BH article, Andrew! We can say we knew you when, LOL!

And to quote Casablanca, "I'm shocked, SHOCKED! to find out that CBS is skewing polling data." Or something to that effect...

rlaWTX said...

yeah, that troll (congrats of the troll, BTW, they are the accessory of the season!) was something else... what's an "uberconservative"????

T-Rav said...

rla, I posited that it was someone who prays to both Jesus and Adam Smith at night. He hasn't confirmed yet.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I think from now on I'm going to call him "Option D"! LOL!

That Gallup poll, by the way, is virtually identical to a Rasmussen poll. I think it's obvious that about 60% of people want spending cuts plus no taxes. And Option D refuses to deliver that.

I just hope the Republicans don't get too cute in this debt ceiling thing. I hope they get something to show for it and then can take their case for the rest to the public.

AndrewPrice said...

Mike, It's been a huge response! AND most of the comments have been great. People are really taking this seriously and debating. There have even been side-debates about things like conservatism v. libertarianism.

There's even a troll who tried to suggest a Nazi movie as a "conservative" film and people jumped on it. It was fun to watch!

I've got to tell you, I was concerned that the article was too dry and people would skip over it. This is a much better response than I expected! :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, An excellent and useful quote indeed! I'm not surprised that CBS skewed their results either. I am surprised that apparently (according to T-Rav) O'Reilly never questioned it?

In any event, it's just more proof why we should never trust the MSM. Always verify everything they do and say!

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Thanks!

"they are the accessory of the season" -- LOL!

I was expecting more trolls, but one will do.

What's an uberconservative? Well, I would think according to this troll it would be anyone to the right of moderate Karl Marx! :-)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I need to go check out the latest. The last I read from him, he seemed to be concerned we were planning to turn America into a Theocracy.

rlaWTX said...

T-Rav - love that definition!!! although I think that's just the regular conservative.
Don't YOU have an icon of Adam Smith???? ;)

T-Rav said...

rla, absolutely, it's right there on my shelf next to my snippets of von Hayek's hair and that piece of toast with Chuck Norris' image in it. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Don't make fun of Chuck Norris! He rules the world! LOL!


(P.S. thanks for the info about Drumline, I didn't know that about the main actor.)

Ed said...

Andrew, It looks like a huge success over there. I love the first caption too! Congratulations!

rlaWTX said...

I had skimmed through the BH comments earlier and just now got to go back...

that libertarian vs conservative conversation was pretty good. I think I need to re-read that section...

Congrats, Andrew, on triggering the intended conversation as well as other deep, meaningful ones!!
oh, and the troll.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Ed. Several people have said that. I thought it was fitting. LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Thanks! I think it worked out well as there was a lot of good discussion.

And of course, the troll is a bonus!

The one thing I was expecting and didn't get was some liberal to tell me that they are the ones who really believe in the individual and we're the ones who want to force things on people. That's nonsense, but I was expecting it.

T-Rav said...

Obviously Andrew, why else would I have such a relic in my possession? :-)

More seriously, congratulations on the success of your article. It was a good discussion; I thought of adding to the conservative vs. libertarian debate, but I got involved in so many of those at BH I'm a bit tuckered out.

T-Rav said...

Oh, and in yet more polling news, another recent poll has Obama losing to "Generic Republican" (why isn't this guy in the race?) by five points, 49-44. That poll, incidentally, was conducted by Daily Kos.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav,

Wow, when Daily Kos has a Democrat losing, you know times are bad! :-)

Now we just need to find a generic Republican.


It's only going to get worse too. The June jobs report said that only 18,000 jobs were created. Now Borders is closing (10,500 jobs) and CISCO just announced they are laying off 11,500 employees. So that means -4,000 jobs in a month that should be soaring jobwise. Those aren't re-electable numbers.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Thanks on BH! It was a good discussion and I'm thrilled that people enjoyed it!

And honestly, I didn't have the energy either to jump into that debate. I was already doing too much responding.

Now I need to come up with another article to match the success of this one... no pressure... no pressure. LOL!

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

It is like old home week at BH. I have not seen that many people I have followed respond to the same article in months. The conversation has morphed into an interesting discussion of the Constitution. The few Trolls are being trounced politely, intelligently and soundly.

Oh, and you are one of the "few" authors who "deign" to comment with the lowly readers/commenters. Nice job.

Joel Farnham said...

On the CBS poll, when I saw it, I knew in my heart it wasn't correct. Just another push poll from Obama-centric followers. Nothing to see there so I moved along.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Joel!

I had that very thought -- I haven't seen a lot of these people at BH in a very long time!

I think the discussion took some really interesting twists and turns as people started debating the nature of conservatism v. libertarianism, etc. And you're right, the trolls were politely shown the error of their ways and the door! It reminded me a lot of how BH was two years ago.

As for responding, I don't know why more people don't respond? I would love to respond to everyone, but it's just not possible with this many people. But it's still worth answering questions and throwing in the occasional comment. I kind of feel that's what people expect?

Joel Farnham said...

As a suggestion on a "new" Article? Do Pontypool. I know you did it here, but there is no reason to not go over it one more time and submit it to BH.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I had the same feeling -- that doesn't make any sense. But several of the news outlets were pushing it, so I decided to check their backup data to see what the deal was. That's something a reputable reporter would do -- it only takes a couple clicks.

But apparently I'm mistaken in that belief. Sadly.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Believe it or not, I've been thinking about that exact article! I probably won't do it next, but I'm thinking about doing it after the next article. I think that's a movie that deserve to get a little notice.

Joel Farnham said...

BTW .. Did you know, all of Star Trek, the original series, is on NetFlix now? Complete and uncut, with no commercial interruptions. I have been reacquainting myself.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, don't I know it. Being a bookworm, the Borders thing just broke my heart; last night I substituted my usual Facebook war over gay marriage, Obama etc. for a Facebook war with Kindle users, who I blame for this. Crap, there are probably people here who use Kindles. Oh well.

AndrewPrice said...

Excellent! I love those. I've got the whole set somewhere on DVD, but it's buried from my last move. I'll have to check those out at Netflix instead!

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, I got a kindle recently and I have to say I love it. But the death of the book store is a tragedy. It's just too hard to compete with 0% overhead.

I'm sorry for your (our) loss.

Joel Farnham said...

T-Rav,

I think it has more to do with the economy than anything else. The price of a new book in Kindle format is approximately $15.00. The price of a new book to put in your hands is over twice that. And I can never find my conservative books at Borders, but I can always find it at Amazon.

I should have held out for an i-pad though. The software to use kindle books is free for PC as well as i-pad and i-phone/i-pod. The kindle basically is only a reader. The i-pad has other uses and apps.

Joel Farnham said...

T-Rav,

Two more things, with Kindle you get your new book at home a few minutes after you buy it. With Borders, I always had to go there and walk, and walk, and walk to find a book I might like and then drive back home. At Amazon, a program recommends similar books. At Borders, you have to find a sympathetic customer service rep (read a liberal with no conservative prejudices). I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

Now, if this was brought to Obama's attention, he would find a way to outlaw Kindles or have Amazon redistribute its wealth to Borders just to make it fair.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Isn't that the truth! A "you are too successful" tax.

I just discovered the free section at the Kindle store and I'm having a great time getting classics I always wanted to read, but just never purchased. All the HG Wells stuff, for example.

Joel Farnham said...

Have you checked to see if your kindle is wifi enabled. If so, you can actually get books to read at a neighbor hood coffee shop as well as some surprising places around town. McDonald's comes to mind.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I turn off the wifi because I don't like the ads they send me. After a day or so it gives up and just begs me to turn the wifi back on.

I knew McDonald's had wifi. I'll have to turn it on and see what happens there!

Joel Farnham said...

The ads come from the unit you are using. I use netgear and get no ads. If you use McDonalds, you get plenty of ads.

Did you see that the number of comments on your first BH article exceed the rest of the comments for the day combined? You just might have created a following. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, That's good to know because I was getting a ton of ads -- every few minutes. So I turned it off. Now it begs me to turn it back on so it can share product information with me!

I didn't add up the other comments, but I know it's got one of the bigger comment counts that I've seen at BH in quite some time. I'm amazed. I kid you not, I was concerned this weekend that the article was just too dry and that people would skip over it. This gives me a lot of hope that there is definitely a responsive audience there for these kinds of articles and these kinds of discussions! :-)

T-Rav said...

Bleh. I realize the "advantages" that come with having a Kindle, but I actually enjoy the bookstore experience--Borders would probably be my favorite bookstore if there was one close enough. And I want books I can hold in my hands, not compiled data on a computer chip. When the apocalypse hits and we're all out of electricity/battery power, then what? Granted, most people will be running from zombies most of the time, but still. I just don't like it.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I like both, though you raise an excellent point about the Zombie apocalypse!

I do love books, and I love having them on my shelf. But I am really loving having dozens of books with me whenever I want them.

So I'm all for splitting this baby.

What I don't understand is why book stores can't compete? I think there must be something wrong with their model because every time I go to a book store, they are packed with people. Yet somehow they aren't making any money? What gives?

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I suspect it's because people treat bookstores like libraries--that is, they read the books without buying them. (guiltily raises hand) Yes, I do that myself repeatedly. I can kinda plead not guilty by reason of limited budget, but I do bear some of the blame in that regard. That issue probably has a lot to do with it.

Okay, now I'm depressed. So to switch gears: The House passed the Cap and Balance Act! Yay! (right?)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Yep, I'm going to talk about that tomorrow morning in an article that will astound you with its breadth, audacity and excellent spelling! :-)


On the book store thing, I honestly think it's a pricing issue. If a new book wasn't $20, I think they would sell so many more. Nobody thinks about blowing a fiver on a burger, but when you start getting above $10, people start to get really careful and start to ask if they can afford to put their purchases off. I think they would do better with cheaper books all around.

(Of course, that's ultimately the fault of the publishers, but I think they too are changing as all these cheap kindle books are flooding the market. No one is going to pay $20 or $30 anymore for a book.

StanH said...

Look for the LSM to circle the wagons around their dear leader. They understand that this country is swinging back right, and could be the death knell of the alphabet news divisions, at least as they are constituted presently. After all, they are businesses, and require our participation to remain viable, read a book instead.

Congrats again on BH article, well done.

rlaWTX said...

I didn't check in after work and missed a talk about books!!!!! We have a Barnes & Noble here that I go to on occasion, but I do most of my book shopping on Amazon. (B&N's online ticked me off several years ago, so I only use it when I have a coupon that has to be used online)
And I'll be sitting in the dark behind a Maginot Line of books when the zombie invasion comes - I love books. I have boxes of books in storage and it's killing me that I have no where to put them!

OH, I have a notification that the uber-nuts troll responded to me... it was rather sane answer - with insane application...

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, Thanks! The article was a lot of fun. I'm glad people got into it!

Yeah, the MSM is going to do their best to cover for him. Fortunately, people are starting to see through them and their ratings are just collapsing.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, A Maginot Line of books! LOL! That sounds like a great plan!

I've got a lot of books in boxes too (from my last move) and I hate that too. I like see my books, but I don't have a bookshelf for them at the moment.

The end of Borders may help Barnes & Noble to survive. Or it may even revive the independent book store. No one is sure. But the book store may not be dead just yet. I would hate to lose book stores forever.

I'm not surprised with the troll, this one seems quite argumentative -- unlike the ones who usually just name call. Good hunting! :-)

patti said...

andrew: this week has me out f pocket, but i got here as fast as i could. LOOK AT YOU! BH is lucky to have ya.

as far as the MSM, they're lyin', cheatin', greedy thugs with a public platform. not to mention ticked off that alternative/new media is suckin' their jobs dry...

T-Rav said...

Personally, I'm a little disappointed in the troll. I got done explaining to him last night how stupid it was to take polls from July 2011 and say that those will accurately predict what happens in November 2012 (particularly when you misinterpret their results), and then he stopped talking to me. Too bad.

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, Thanks! It's was a lot of fun. Now I need to come up with more articles! :-)

As for the MSM... yep, they suck.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That's the problem with trolls, once you point out something they can't "think" their way around, they tend to stop talking to you. It's a weird mentality.

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