What Happened to Ruling From the Gut?

For people who spent the last eight years swearing that polls didn’t matter, right blogosphere seems awfully giddy about this latest Zogby “poll” stating that Obama has fallen to a 50-50 approval rating. Nate Silver points out that this poll is complete garbage and about as useful and reliable as the polls on the People magazine website asking whether you would rather spend a weekend with Britney or Lindsey.

Here is Gallup, which I think is the gold standard:

I don’t know why these guys keep latching on to Rasmussen and Zogby other than that they really are just interested in not only creating, but staying in their own reality. Rasmussen and Zogby will keep telling you what you pay them to tell you, but it doesn’t reflect what is actually going on in the real world. It is sad, really.






58 replies
  1. 1
    bootlegger says:

    Outlier is too kind for a polling firm that is consistently more than two standard deviations outside the mean proportion. Shit, they are the epitome of a Standard Deviation.

  2. 2
    Keith says:

    Keep in mind that during the campaign, when Gallup would have an outlier week, they’d ditch Raszogby and praise Gallup. Then, a week later, they’d go back to the latter once the outlier vanished. At the end of the day, their guy still lost…by a lot.

  3. 3
    guest says:

    read how zogby has a history of slanting his data in order to make his clients happy:

    http://www.prospect.org/cs/art.....tive_polls

  4. 4
    bootlegger says:

    These Internet polls, to the extent they rely on voluntary participation, violate the most basic precept of survey research, which is that of the random sample. And as you might infer, they obtain absolutely terrible results.

    Non-random sampling. ‘Nuff said.

  5. 5

    I always point out that Zogby called 2004 for John Kerry.

  6. 6
    dmsilev says:

    Rasmussen can be OK, but you have to be careful. His tracking polls are generally reasonable, but he has a record of using slanted language in his polls about issues to get the results to come out the way he wants. Ignore the results he puts out about how Americans think that Soc ialist Health Care Is Evil, etc., and you’ll be fine.

    Zogby is useless, though.

    -dms

  7. 7
    DJShay says:

    You can freep these polls by signing up to be polled by Zogby.

  8. 8
    Ben S. says:

    Note to DougJ: Zogby is coming to Rochester today. Will you be there?

  9. 9
    Joshua Norton says:

    Reality dictates that there’s no way Obama is going to maintain his post-inaugural highs. The main problem is that his numbers have nowhere to go but down. His handling of AIG is causing him serious credibility issues. (bonuses bad, taxes good then bonuses good, taxes bad). There’s a big difference between "governing from anger", and letting people get away with outright fraud and greed. Execs grabbing their cut right off the top of the "urgent" taxpayer bail-outs is never going to be justified to the public and he needs a reality check there.

    However, if repiggies are going to crow every time his numbers drop and sweat blood every time they get a bump, they’re in for a long 4 years.

  10. 10
    Libby says:

    I hate polls. Especially daily polls. And focus groups. It’s ridiculous that the Villagers can’t scratch their nose without consulting one.

    OTOH, I rather like the Congressioal GOP’s reaction to Cheney’s media blitz. Shorter: Don’t go away mad, just go away.

    (/Hangs head in shame for blogwhoring 2 days in a row)

  11. 11
    Dr.BDH says:

    This delusionary alternate wingnut world only matters if they can convince more than the 30 percenters that it’s true. As long as it remains their private domain, they may feel reassured but they won’t have much impact on reality. That’s why it’s good they (and we) stress Limbaugh and Fox and Beck: it keeps their audience well under 40%.

  12. 12
    camchuck says:

    Nothing beats last October when Drudge headlined a Nickelodeon Poll showing Obama up only 51-49 and the wingnuts ran with it.

  13. 13
    Hunter Gathers says:

    It should be noted that half of the parcipitants probably supported Ron Paul.

  14. 14
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @J.D. Rhoades: I always point out that Zogby called 2004 for John Kerry.

    Heh, yeah. But they need to be right more than once to be credible.

  15. 15
    guest says:

    @camchuck:

    lol

    51-49? no way. kids love obama.

  16. 16
    Libby says:

    I was recruited by Zogby around 04 to answer polls. I used to dutifully fill them out until I realized what a shill he is. And the polls are so tiresome. Too much personal info at the end. I began to suspect he was planning to use them for some kind of consumer targeted marketing as well.

    I may have been right. My spam mail level dropped since I stopped answering them.

  17. 17
    Apsaras says:

    John, you answered your own question. The Zogby poll tells them what they want to hear, that the silent majority of Archie Bunkers out there in Real America are finally waking up! That they’re the REAL majority despite what any certified elections or fancy-pants Gallup pollsters will tell you.

  18. 18
    MNPundit says:

    Don’t make any one poll your gold standard.

  19. 19
    kay says:

    @Joshua Norton:

    If we’re going with polling, it doesn’t seem to be true that Obama loses credibility over AIG:

    "A new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows that Americans hold AIG management itself most responsible. Nearly half of those surveyed (46%) say AIG management is "most to blame for the fact that these bonuses were paid." Almost one in five (19%) finger Congress, while 8% blame Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and 7% say President Obama bears responsibility."

    I also think those polled are rational. They’re holding AIG responsible for AIG. The company itself. Huh. Who woulda thought?

  20. 20
    Cris says:

    That’s where the truth lies, right down here in the gut. Do you know you have more nerve endings in your gut than you have in your head? You can look it up.

    I know some of you are going to say "I did look it up, and that’s not true." That’s ’cause you looked it up in a book.

    Next time, look it up in your gut. I did. My gut tells me that’s how our nervous system works.

  21. 21
    Joshua Norton says:

    Nearly half of those surveyed (46%) say AIG management is "most to blame for the fact that these bonuses were paid."

    It would make sense that AIG management is to blame for paying the bonuses. The problem is who is letting them get away with it with no repercussions or accountability. 2 different issues.

  22. 22
    Comrade Dread says:

    I don’t know why these guys keep latching on to Rasmussen and Zogby other than that they really are just interested in not only creating, but staying in their own reality.

    Because it keeps the base (conservatives who unquestioningly believe whatever their told by the party mouthpieces) in a motivated, happy state, convincing them that they’re not alone in this hostile liberal world and soon the rest of America will see the wisdom of George Bush and Rush Limbaugh and come crawling back to them on their hands and knees begging them to save America from the libruls, and then the hot cheerleader who laughed at them will show up and want to be their girlfriend.

    It’s a lot nicer world to live in than the one where they’re ideas are generally hated, they’re only slightly more popular than Herpes, and they’re blamed for much of the misery happening in this country.

  23. 23
    Zifnab says:

    @Keith:

    At the end of the day, their guy still lost…by a lot.

    Right, but that was more because of ACORN.

    @MNPundit: Thank you, Norm Coleman.

  24. 24
    Ash says:

    @Joshua Norton: I honestly don’t think many people blame Obama/the administration for "letting them get away with it." Everyone now knows that all the execs in the top levels of these companies are basically sociopaths and will do anything humanly possibly to just make more money.

  25. 25
    cleek says:

    Don’t make any one poll your gold standard.

    You shall not press down upon the minds of labor this crown of leading questions, you shall not survey mankind with a poll of gold!

    or whatever

  26. 26
    Lola says:

    HuffPo is running with the latest CBS Poll that has Obama’s numbers up. I am beginning to think that the left wing blogosphere represents reality about as much as the right. I remember after FISA last summer all these liberals said Obama’s numbers would tank because of it. LOL. Now, all these liberals want Obama’s numbers to tank because of AIG and the bailout.

    When you think about it, Americans were very kind to Bush. It took him a pretty long time to get as unpopular as he was. Of course it helped that the media didn’t really criticize him, but we’ll see it how it goes for Obama. I do think it is silly to follow these polls, although I find them interesting. The election is a long way off. The big picture will be evident by then and none of these daily grievances or numbers will matter.

  27. 27

    Dear Republicans,

    Please formulate all of your political strategies using Zogby and Rasmussen polls only.

    Please?

    I’ll be your best friend.

    love,

    joe

  28. 28
    kay says:

    @Joshua Norton:

    It’s actually addressed in the same poll. People apparently decided that Obama didn’t broker the deal, and has little control over obligations entered into prior to his tenure.

    Which was essentially his argument. "I’ll do what I can and put something in place going forward".

    You believe he didn’t do all he could. Maybe he didn’t. I’m really conflicted. We weren’t told the truth about the nature of some of those contracts. The retention bonuses, for example. Some of those were paid in ’09 to people who had fulfilled the terms of the retention contract in ’08. They did the time, in other words. Our media doesn’t do details well, but sometimes they matter, a lot. IMO, most of the people on the top tier on Wall Street are grossly over-paid. That’s the main thing I took from AIG. That they pay themselves enormous compensation for trumped-up value. It’s a scam. The 11 AIG board members paid themselves 3 and 4 million dollars a year for 9 board meetings, in 2008. That’s the New and Improved Board. I don’t know why shareholders don’t revolt, en masse.
    Anyway, I’m just looking at a poll.

  29. 29

    MNPundit

    Don’t make any one poll your gold standard.

    Darn tootin’. Realclearpolitics.com and pollster.com do the best aggregates.

  30. 30
    guest says:

    @kay:

    isn’t it odd how nobody is putting bernanke in the mix?
    from wapo:

    Federal Reserve officials knew for months about bonuses at American International Group but failed to tell the Obama administration, according to government and company officials, exposing problems in a relationship that is vital to addressing the financial crisis.

    what did bernanke know and when did he know it!

  31. 31
    guest says:

    @MNPundit:

    how about nate silver for our gold standard?

  32. 32
    Joshua Norton says:

    what did bernanke know and when did he know it!

    This what he’s claiming:

    Bernanke said it was "highly inappropriate to pay substantial bonuses" to the employees. Bernanke said he asked that the payments be stopped but was told that they were mandated by contracts agreed to before the government seized control of AIG on September 16.

    Also what the public thinks:

    Bonusgate is playing out before an unforgiving public stung by a sharp rise in joblessness, which has grown by about 5 million in the past 12 months alone. One sure bet: Outrage fatigue isn’t around the corner.

    (BTW – Is anyone besides me tired of having "gate" attached to the end of every scandal?)

  33. 33
    John PM says:

    @Joshua Norton:

    BTW – Is anyone besides me tired of having "gate" attached to the end of every scandal?

    Yes! I have been saying that for years. The reason the Nixon scandal was called Watergate is that was the name of the building where the break-in took place. If the Democratic National Headquarters had been located in a Hilton, would be now be hearing about Bonushilton? I think this is one of the major examples of how useless the media is, that they do not even appear to appreciate this simple fact.

  34. 34
    kay says:

    @guest:

    The Fed chair is supposed to be non-political. That’s why they’re not going after him.
    Here’s my take on the whole thing: no one, except for a couple of House members, saw this as a problem. Some of them "knew", some of them didn’t "know", I’m sure Bernanke "knew" in the sense that he knew there were employment contracts. Do I think Bernanke was poring over the details, or fretting about it? No. I don’t.
    There’s a rational reason for that. It’s a tiny portion of a huge bail out. It struck a nerve, but IMO it struck a nerve because it hits on a larger issue of "fairness", and a general feeling of being ripped off and not knowing which of these huge and powerful actors to blame. Is it government? Is it these egotistical delusional bidness people? Again, in my humble opinion, it’s "all of the above". I’m as confused as anyone else. I have a simple goal. Get out of this with the pain shared, and the "least" taking the smallest hit. I knew it wouldn’t be fair. I’m going for "equitable".

  35. 35

    […] John explains why the right is getting hot and bothered about Zogby: Rasmussen and Zogby will keep telling you what […]

  36. 36
    JenJen says:

    Not even Drudge is linking to this poll, so if it’s not even good enough for Drudge, well…

    In other news, I see even Jack Cafferty has been drinking the Tea Party kool-aid. Oy.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITI.....index.html

  37. 37
    Ash Can says:

    On the subject of hermetically sealed realities, DC lobbyists are embracing victimhood. Oh, the drama! Oh, the humanity! Oh, the rending of garments and wringing of crying towels!

    (I have to link to the Dkos article rather than the source article because the source is subscription-only. A pity; it sounds like a real doozy.)

  38. 38
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @Ash Can:
    The money quote:

    “I am personally offended, and so are many of our clients,” Fulton said. “The White House and the president need to understand that the lobbying community is part of the solution, not the problem.”

    "Lobbyist" ranks slightly below "Seal Clubber" in my hierarchy of estimable professions.

  39. 39
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @John PM: The reason the Nixon scandal was called Watergate is that was the name of the building where the break-in took place.

    Yup. The "-gate" suffix is just as annoying as the "-aholic" one.

    The media love political scandals though – I guess they’re Gateaholics.

  40. 40
    4tehlulz says:

    lol Zogby

    You know, I’ve missed saying that since the campaign ended.

  41. 41

    Funny, 4tehlulz.

    During the campaign, I coined the term "the Zogby/LoL Poll" for the Zogby Interactive poll.

  42. 42
    Delia says:

    There are about fifteen local wingnuts in my area that routinely get their letters to the editor published in the local paper over the course of the year. If Rasmussen or somebody could get their phone numbers they could rig a poll with a 100% disapproval rating for Obama. It would be phenomenal.

  43. 43
    Martin says:

    Nvm. I missed a comment above that covered what I was going to say.

  44. 44

    Martin,

    Well, uh, questions have been raised.

    And now there’s a cloud – a cloud – over his presidency. See the cloud? Look up there. No no, over the other way.

    *runs away*

  45. 45
    Comrade Kevin says:

    Ruling from the Gut just caused us to be repeatedly punched in the gut.

  46. 46
    guest says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    I guess they’re Gateaholics.

    gategate.

  47. 47
    LD50 says:

    The media love political scandals though – I guess they’re Gateaholics.

    "I’m a rageaholic! I just can’t get enough rageahol!"

  48. 48
    guest says:

    @Joshua Norton:

    Bernanke said it was "highly inappropriate to pay substantial bonuses" to the employees. Bernanke said he asked that the payments be stopped but was told that they were mandated by contracts agreed to before the government seized control of AIG on September
    16.

    if bernanke had concerns, why didn’t he go to obama with them?

  49. 49
    Cris says:

    oops, meant to post in the open thread

  50. 50
    Libby says:

    Add me to the list of people sick of scandal-gates, but I have to admit, I’ve used the gate suffix as a convenient shorthand myself, so in a way, I’m partly at the root of the stupid discourse.

  51. 51
    Egilsson says:

    I pick Lindsay for the weekend getaway.

    Call me.

  52. 52
    AnneW says:

    People have been bitching about the -gate suffix for at least 25 years. I don’t think it’s going to go away.

  53. 53
    Peter J says:

    @John PM:

    The reason the Nixon scandal was called Watergate is that was the name of the building where the break-in took place.

    The Nixon scandal wasn’t about Potomac River water rights?

    Oh. shit.

  54. 54
    RememberNovember says:

    Thank goodness we have people like Nate to cut through the partisan BS and tell it like it is. Stat nerds 4 life!

  55. 55
    daveinboca says:

    Funny, I can remember a few years ago when Zogby was called by libs like Mark Shields as "the most reliable." And I’ve seen Gallup way off compared to Rasmussen & Zogby, and Gallup was out there in the standard deviations south of the border.

    I think Gallup can be subverted to the sinister side by internal gurus as much or more than Z or Rasmussen.

  56. 56
    Gee says:

    Zogby Interactive polls are internet-based, and distinct from his regular polls which are relatively in line w/ reality. The internet ones are always garbage. We don’t need Nate to tell us this anymore than we need a crystal ball to know they’re going to get flogged in the idiot media anyway.

    Not that I’m adding anything new but this it’s frustrating as hell to see some media clown make six figures passing along stuff that would’ve gotten him flunked outt’ve elementary statistics, so: pile on, pile on…

  57. 57
    AnneLaurie says:

    It should be noted that half of the parcipitants probably supported Ron Paul.

    The Naderites are never, never going to forgive you for that!

  58. 58
    Laura W says:

    @AnneLaurie: O/T but I liked your theory on Letterman’s kid holding the shotgun.

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