With the first Presidential debate just a few days away, heavy scrutiny is being directed at the polls and the organizations that conduct and report on them. Many have been critical of the methodology behind the way many of these polls have been conducted. Stu even wrote his latest blog post analyzing a recent Bloomberg poll whose questions painted seemed to favor Barack Obama over Mitt Romney. The mainstream media has not reacted well to the criticism, with the New York Times's David Carr penning a response to the accusations and Fox News's Chris Wallace getting very defensive during a radio interview.
"You're going to have to do your own homework," Glenn warned the audience. "Just do your own homework on the press. Be very, very, very careful. And I say this about left and right. I say this about libertarian and big government. I say this about me. You have to do your own homework. You have to know who you believe. But be very, very careful."
"Don't ever take somebody in the media, including mine, don't ever take their word for it. I know I try to do my best. We do an awful lot of research. We get it wrong sometimes. We'll correct it if we get it wrong. But it is still also my research and my opinion. You have to do your own."
Glenn reminded listeners that recent polls showed only 8% of people trust the media, and there is a reason for that.
In response to the criticism's, New York Times writer David Carr wrote:
In the last few days, conservatives have become agitated about Mitt Romney’s drop-off in the polls. So did they think the stumble was because of the ill-fated “47 percent” slip of the lip, or the hasty effort to gain a political edge after the death of an American ambassador in Libya, or more problematically, a campaign that can’t seem to stop pratfalling no matter what the news?
No, in their view, the mysterious drop can only be explained by the fact that the mainstream media have their collective liberal thumb on the scale, in terms of coverage and, more oddly, polling.
But the pushback goes beyond coverage. Now even the polls themselves are being impugned, with suggestions that they are skewed by left-leaning math. Various conservative bloggers and pundits have complained that a slew of polls showing gains by President Obama were guilty of “oversampling Democrats” and “confirmation bias.”
But Carr and The New York Times aren't the only ones getting defensive about the bias accusations.
Fox News's Chris Wallace was firing back at critics like Mike Gallagher who wondered if the polls were biased:
"Let me just say something. This criticism of the polls is craziness. I've done some research on this today, which is more than you've done. No self-respecting pollster in the country — including Fox, I might add — when they poll, they're trying to find out things about people and to weigh it, they will weigh how many men, how many women, how many blacks, how many Hispanics, because that is immutable. But to ask someone what your political opinion is do you consider yourself a Republican or a Democrat, that changes all the time. So they don't weight it to that. And the fact of the matter is, in 2010, when they asked what do you consider yourself, more people said they were Republicans. Now, more people are saying that they're Democrats."
"Who's asking polls to be weighted by political opinion?" Stu asked. "It's not that. We're questioning the results of your polls. We're questioning is are ‑‑ yes, we understand how polls work. You don't call up somebody and say, 'Well, we think there's 47% people are voting for Mitt Romney. Since we only got 45%, we should change it to 47%.' No one's saying that. I understand the thing with, you know, you're going to make it so if you only get 4% respondents are African‑American, you might want to raise that because we obviously know there are more than 4% African‑American. The point, though, is that your sample keeps coming out with a more enthusiastic democratic voter base than in the 2008 election. No one who's followed anything. Barack Obama had a 70% approval rating when he won that election. No one believes that that is going to carry over to now."
"It's not that they should be manipulated or they should be weighted differently. It's that the samples are obviously flawed," Stu said.
Glenn wondered why the media was crafting a narrative that made it look like Obama was favored to win over Romney.
" So the narrative should be that it is tied, but it's not. It's not. The narrative is, 'Mitt Romney's in trouble. Mitt Romney's in trouble. He's in trouble. He's losing. He's losing.' It's tied," Glenn said.
One reason they could be showing bias in the polls is to de-energize and depress Romney supporters. But could Obama supporters in the media also be setting up the opportunity to delegitimize a Romney win by claiming there was an error and the polls never showed Romney could win?
"I believe the more insidious reason is this: If you know how George Soros always overthrows government ‑‑ and remember, he said the main obstacle to a just new world order is the United States of America. That's not Glenn saying 'I think he meant...' That is a quote from George Soros. That's when, quoting him again, he decided he needed to take on the United States of America. He is looking for an overthrow. He calls it a slow deleveraging and a slow decline, a managed decline of the United States of America. And that's what you're getting, gang. That's what you're getting at your bank account and inflation and everything else. And he does it the same way. He's done it in five countries. He's done it the same way every time, and every time it happens around an election. But it doesn't happen before the election. It happens after the election. What does? Riots in the street. What are they saying? 'The election was a fraud."; His side always comes out and says, 'It was fraud. The poll numbers didn't show that. This was stacked. He's not legitimate.' They are setting us up for fraud. They are setting us up for 2000," Glenn said.
"We won't survive another 2000, and he knows it. If you want to survive as a nation, forget about Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. If you want to survive as a nation, get your ass out and vote for one of them. Every single American should get out and vote for one of them. It should be a landslide one way or another. If it's a landslide for Barack Obama, so be it. So be it. I don't understand it, I don't get it, I will not be a part of it. But so be it. That's what the American people want. The same thing with Mitt Romney. If it's a landslide, so be it."
"Remember, Florida was won with, what, 536 votes? All they have to do is convince 536 of you to stay home. That's it. You think they can do that in the next four weeks? You're damn right they can."
The media has already tried to paint Romney as out-of-touch, ruthless, racist, a tax dodger, and worse over the past few weeks. Would anyone be surprised if people were less than thrilled to go out and vote?