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May 09, 2017

Chris Matthews: I Used to Trust Polls, When I Thought They Were Honest

I don't think he's suggesting pollsters are dishonest. But read it yourself and tell me.

I think what he's saying is that you can't trust polls because respondents are being dishonest about their beliefs and voting intentions.

"I went along because I used to think they were honest. I thought they were true. They were wrong. They didn't understand that people don't trust pollsters and they weren’t going to give a straight answer," Matthews said. "Here's one, the Susquehanna poll in Pennsylvania, ready? When they polled people with a live person on the phone, Hillary won by 8. When they polled with a tape recording, Trump won by 2, that's my point. People were willing to say they're for Trump if there wasn’t anyone listening. It's just a fact. It's a fact. This is my expertise."

We've long known that people falsify their answers about politics when speaking to pollsters in line with the predominant media's biases -- few claim falsely to be voting against a candidate the media is celebrating and obviously enchanted by.

I've usually estimated this as a 2-3 polling bias against Republicans -- not because pollsters are deliberately skewing the numbers, but because the media has skewed what beliefs it is socially permissible or socially forbidden to hold.

I didn't think Trump could win because polls showed him behind by four -- more than my usual 2-3 point mental adjustment of a Shy Republican under-response to polling.

But I didn't take into consideration that while the media had been biased against Republicans before, it went into overdrive for Barack Obama in 2008 -- dropping even the pretense of impartiality (except when directly accused of bias -- then the pretense returns briefly) -- and even went further against Donald Trump, partly because Trump's election would be a complete repudiation of the man they so clearly adored and wanted Inside of Them.

That made the Shy Republican Effect even more pronounced this time around, as the media was calling Trump a racist and even a rapist every day, and strongly suggested that anyone even considering him to be a better choice than the corrupt and psychologically deformed Hillary Clinton was himself a racist who was either okay with rape or maybe did some rapes himself.

In that environment of toxic, unrelenting media hatred -- what responses did the media expect when it polled on Trump?


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posted by Ace at 01:30 PM

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