GLENN: You look at the polls that have come out. One of the huge stories coming out of New Hampshire is what happened to the polls. They let us down at almost every single possible term but this time everyone was sure it was right. You should have picked up a copy of An Inconvenient Book before the elections. No, you should have because then you'd know, don't trust any of them. Reporters are desperately trying to figure out how it's possible that every single poll was so incredibly wrong, ranging from 5 to 13 points off, predicting an Obama landslide. How is that possible? We spent a whole chapter on this. This is something Stu's been on for, how long have you been on the poll thing, Stu? This drives you crazy.
STU: Yeah. I just hate how much influence they have on us. A while, yeah.
GLENN: And Stu's been looking into it when we were discussing all the different chapters in the book. He was like, please, polls, polls, polls, polls, polls. The problem with the polls that the news never mentions is the amount of problems with the polls. But also how little the people answering them actually know about any of the subjects, how much power their answers actually hold. One theory being thrown in is the spiral of silence. Try this one on for size. It's something that usually affects conservatives. It's one of the reasons that people believe that John Kerry, you know, showed in the exit polls that he was winning. We put the results in the book in case, you know, you wanted to see them in detail. But here are the exit polls. In Iowa Kerry by one. The actual result, Bush by 1/10th. Nevada, Kerry by 1.4. The actual, Bush by 2.6. New Mexico, 4.2. Actual, Bush by .8. Ohio, Kerry by 6.5. Actual, 2.1. Minnesota, Kerry by 14.3. Kerry by 3.5. I mean, it just goes on and on and on. What happens is the media reports how fantastic the Democrat is. Oh, my gosh, the Democrat is so fantastic and how the hate mongering conservative is doing nothing but hate, nothing but hate mongering. So when a pollster calls and asks who are you going to vote for, you don't want to look like a hate monger. So you say the Democrat. But when it comes down to it, when you're in that polling booth all by yourself, you wind up pulling the lever for the person that you really support. Spiral of silence. People just don't want to say their opinions. I know this is true with conservatives. I don't know about liberals, but conservatives feel this way. You just -- how many times have you sat and just shut your mouth and not said anything because you know the whole room will attack you if you do? There's no way for you to win. So you just go along with it.
I had dinner with an Oscar winner, a guy who you wouldn't believe is afraid to speak out. I had dinner with him, what, about a month ago, month and a half ago? He said, "Every time I go to work, every time I'm sitting in a makeup trailer, he said, I sit there and I listen to this garbage." Most people don't know that he's a conservative. He said, "I sit there in that trailer and I just shake my head and I just don't, I don't know what to say." He said, "There are days that I just, I snap." And I said, that is not the truth. The rest of the time I just smile and nod. I know I do it. I sit at CNN and I listen to people talking back and forth and if I'm alone in the room, everybody's talking, I just shut my mouth. Once in a while I'll just have to say, it's not the way it is. Spiral of silence. A lot of conservatives do it. You know it. You're a conservative. I mean, sometimes you don't even bother telling your friends the truth.
You are also going to hear about the Bradley effect. It's named after Tom Bradley who is the former mayor of Los Angeles, ran for governor in California back in 1982. Well, here's a black guy running against a white guy. The pre-election polls had him way out in front. The exit polls had him way out in front as well. So much that the media called the election in his favor. Of course, if you know exit polls, you know the end of the story. The exit polls were wrong and the win went with the white guy. This is what one of the pollsters told me last night, one of the guys who studies polls. He told me that this is what happened with Obama. It was racism. People said they would vote for the black guy but when they get in there, they are just, they just don't want to -- you know, may I just -- ADD moment here. May I just say that I think maybe there's a possibility that it may have been just that they were embarrassed to say they backed a Republican? I mean, it was California. I mean, it's more embarrassing so say you would vote for a Republican than you wouldn't vote for a black guy in California, isn't it? What? Yeah, yeah, you are a racist and everything, but you're a Republican? Pollsters believe white people will say they support a black candidate even when they really don't because it's so politically correct. Do you know a single person like that? I'm going to ask a honest question. Do you know a single person like that, that would say, oh, yeah, I'd vote for Obama but wouldn't only based on their race? Do you know 3% of the population that would do that? I mean, I think if you're only going to -- if you are not going to vote for a guy based solely on his race, you are probably in that 3% that was like, yeah, we've got to kill them all. I mean, I think you're in a totally different category. Am I wrong, Stu? Do you know anybody that would say I'd vote for Barack Obama but then close the curtain and then say, no, I can't do it, he's black?
STU: Not because of race. I mean, you know, obviously -- yeah.
GLENN: Because this is what I said -- I mean, we were just talking to Mary Matalin last hour and that's exactly what I said to her. I believe that you could get in there and say I vote for change, I don't want Hillary Clinton, I want this guy, he's exciting, it's kind of the vote against Hillary Clinton and then when you get in there you're like, no, man, the guy doesn't have any experience whatsoever, I don't know where he really stands on the issues, I've got my doubts on this and that, I'm going to vote for Hillary Clinton. I can see that happening.
STU: That stuff's much more likely but I mean, you know, it's like Mary Matalin said. It's like that stuff, you know, the Bradley effect and all that stuff, you know, you're talking 25 years ago now. I mean, this is not something, I don't think at this point in time, is going on where people are, "I won't put a black man in office. "
GLENN: I don't know those people. You know, I don't know the people who say they won't vote for a woman, either. I'd vote for Condoleezza Rice. She is a woman and black. Do you know many conservatives that wouldn't vote for Condoleezza Rice? I mean, based on what you know about her right now. Do you? I don't.
One of the other excuses being volunteered, USA Today explains how it had Obama up by double digits in its last poll with entire column of guesses, one of which is people just change their mind at the last minute. Well, clearly, you know. How is that possible, though, when you really think about it? I mean, how can the people in New Hampshire who have been bombarded nonstop with commercials and politicians coming to their houses, eating waffles with them, flipping pancakes, how could you possibly make up your mind the day of the vote? I mean, they clearly did but how does that happen? People doing research on the polls have found that 88% of the people have absolutely no semblance of rational set of opinions on where they stood politically. 88% have no idea. As a talk radio listener, somebody who actually cares about what happens in the world, doesn't it kind of make you feel like an elitist? Doesn't it make you feel good? 88% of the people have no idea where they actually stand when push comes to shove. In fact, in the book I tell the story about an experiment of a poll where half of the people registered opinions on whether they approve or disapproved of a law that didn't even exist and it was just based on how that word -- how the wording of the poll was to make it look like the Republicans were for it or against it on how you spoke out about it. Almost everybody spoke out. There was only -- what was the percentage that said no opinion on it, Stu?
STU: Of the fake law thing? I'm sorry. Just, we're having computer problems here. So I just tuned out for a second. I think it's something like 50, 57%, something like that? So it was the majority of the people but still almost half of them were --
GLENN: Would still go on.
STU: Would still go on.
GLENN: And they would strongly, they would dig their heels in.
STU: Oh, yeah.
GLENN: Half of people! If this doesn't make you lose your faith in humanity, try listening to this paragraph from ABC News. This is Professor Jon Krosnick, Stanford University. He has another argument, that the order of names on the New Hampshire ballot, by the way, which was decided by random draw. Clinton was towards the top. Obama was down at the bottom and that netted her about 3 percentage points more than she would have gotten otherwise. Because she was at the top of the list, she got 3 percentage point more.
Now, I can see this if you're -- have you ever been in one of the those polls, and I see this with myself all the time. When somebody is on a random phone call and I haven't taken a poll in I don't know how long but somebody will call me up and say, hey, we want your opinion on something. And then they start listing stuff. Well, then you start hearing how big the list is. You might have judged something harshly up at the top but then you're like, oh, well, it's compared to this. Yeah, I guess this is a priority. But if you are looking at the whole list to vote, do you really just stop at the first one and go, I don't need to read much more than this? Could the order of the names really have moved the polls by 3 full percent? I mean, that's frightening. You know, in the book we talk about the polling experiment, and it is amazing. People were given a list of nine different options including healthcare, the budget deficit, family values, taxes, among other things. Here are the results. When healthcare was the first option, it was chosen as the most important voting issue by 24%. When it was at the bottom of the list, it dropped to 15%. When family values was moved to the top of the list, it increased from 10% to 20%. Only issues listed in the middle stayed about the same. For example, the environment was last both times but that's because it was in the middle. The order moved people by 10 percentage points in polling.
Now, I can see this in polling. I can't see this if you -- I mean, if you're really moved, if you are like, well, her name was first; I can't read the rest of this ballot, I mean, you're just too -- we should take your license away. Worst part about all of this is there are probably 10 other major issues with with polls in the book and almost all of them are being used as excuses on why New Hampshire polls were missed or missed the mark by so much. And the amazing thing is they are all legitimate problems that can happen on any poll you can see on television. The frightening thing is the only thing that stops these people is paying attention, people paying attention. If you want to stop these pollsters, if you want to know what's really going on, you want to make sure that the polls are accurate, then you've got to start paying attention. Unless everybody turns magically from listening to Fergie to news and talk radio, the phenomena of polls being wrong, not going anywhere.