McPaper Dumps McPollster

After twenty years together, USA Today kicked Gallup to the curb yesterday, probably because Gallup blew the Presidential race and people are starting to expect pollsters to do better. Chalk up another win for the gay wizard–the last couple of paragraphs of this piece tracing Gallup’s errors over the last twenty years are a fairly harsh boot up Gallup’s ass.

I wonder who Gannett will hire to replace Gallup. I’m not a big reader of USA Today, but as far as I can tell the main bias of that paper is towards superficiality and brevity. Even so, a lot of conservatives read it, and if they pick PPP, which is both cheap (because they robo poll) and good, expect gratifying howls of outrage.

(Thanks to reader Dan for sending this in.)

32 replies
  1. 1
    Hal says:

    Best part about Nate Silver’s piece on the Gallup errors are all the comments predicting Romney’s momentum is building!!! and he’s about win! Suck it Liberals!!!

    Oh what a great time the two weeks post election were. So many GOP tears, so much joy.

    Wonder if we’ll ever see Dick Morris during a Presidential election again? At least on FAUX News.

  2. 2
    xian says:

    I enjoyed the Gallup head’s whiny screed about how aggregators were going to put shitty pollsters out of business.

  3. 3
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The “Cadillac of Polls”…kicked to the curb.

    How sweet it is.

    If you’re reading this, Taco, know that the schadenfreude still flows like water, loser.

  4. 4
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Cue the GOP; “Gallup’s polling proves that this election was stolen with fraudulent votes.”

  5. 5
    Mark S. says:

    Gallup was absolutely horrible in the last election, a lot worse than even Rasmussen. I remember one point in the election where every single other poll had either a tie or Obama up by a few points and Gallup had Romney up by seven.

  6. 6
    vheidi says:

    Wonder if the loathsome marketplace will follow suit, that Thursday ‘feature’ with the Gallup dude is more than usually annoying.

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    I wonder who Gannett will hire to replace Gallup.

    They should save some money and just buy a Magic 8 Ball.

  8. 8
    McJulie says:

    the main bias of that paper is towards superficiality and brevity

    They also appear to have the pro-Republicans but sympathetic to Democratic ideas and policies bias that Al Franken outlines so well in Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.

    I think that this sort of splitting the difference might even be their attempt to be perceived as neutral — not reporting the plain truth, of course, because that will always piss somebody off, but trying to seem to their imagined readership that they don’t have a pre-existing political bias.

    But it’s what leads to the world in which people can vote for GW Bush because they attribute to him Kerry’s policies, or refuse to believe that Republican policies are really what they are, because they’re so absurd.

  9. 9
    Hal says:

    @Mark S.:

    I remember one point in the election where every single other poll had either a tie or Obama up by a few points and Gallup had Romney up by seven.

    I’m still shocked by that one. I remember the freak out, especially over at DKOS. I could be wrong, but I thought the 7 point lead was among their likely voter model, which struck me as a way of Gallup covering their ass. The registered voter model IIRC had Obama up or tied, similar to other polling.

  10. 10
    jayboat says:

    OT- Earl Weaver is kicking dirt on that great home plate in the sky. Best rants in baseball history, imho.

  11. 11
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    I ‘read’ USAT while traveling. It’s a free thing to point my eyes at over a mediocre hotel breakfast.
    It’s a business paper geared toward business travelers. Lifestyle articles on resorts. large Business section that’s mostly positive news. They do cover some international topics but mostly for their impact on business. The sports coverage is basically yesterday’s headlines and color photos.
    I’m not surprised that they’ve had their money on a loser of a pollster. They produced reporting that the clientele wanted to hear.

  12. 12
    cathyx says:

    I guess the ‘if you wish it, it will happen’ strategy failed for Gallup.

  13. 13
    catclub says:

    Did ya’ll know about this: Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes wanted to hire
    David Petraeus to run for president on the GOP ticket.

    And usually useless Bob Woodward had the scoop and WAPO put it in the STYLE section.

    http://m.guardiannews.com/comm.....presidency

    The Guardian thinks that is an extremely big deal.

    I agree, and like the use of Generals for punditry on the Iraq war and other things while they are still being paid by the Pentagon or defense contractors, is highly forgettable to the big media.

  14. 14
    catclub says:

    A followup quote from the story:

    “And here let us posit the following: were an emissary of the president of NBC News, or of the editor of the New York Times or the Washington Post ever caught on tape promising what Ailes and Murdoch had apparently suggested and offered here, the hue and cry, especially from Fox News and Republican/Tea Party America, from the Congress to the US Chamber of Commerce to the Heritage Foundation, would be deafening and not be subdued until there was a congressional investigation, and the resignations were in hand of the editor and publisher of the network or newspaper. Or until there had been plausible and convincing evidence that the most important elements of the story were false. And, of course, the story would continue day after day on page one and remain near the top of the evening news for weeks, until every ounce of (justifiable) piety about freedom of the press and unfettered presidential elections had been exhausted.”

  15. 15
    Lol says:

    @catclub:

    Didn’t that come out the same time as his affair? I suppose there’s more details now.

  16. 16
    Roger Moore says:

    Looks like Rasmussen is getting another client.

  17. 17
    Ken says:

    @xian: I enjoyed the Gallup head’s whiny screed about how aggregators were going to put shitty pollsters out of business.

    That’s like saying pollsters are going to put political pundits who “went with their gut feelings” out of business.

  18. 18
    Mike in NC says:

    USA Today is a great source for the “both sides do it” bullshit. If only they could next drop Cal Thomas, Jonah Goldberg, Michael Medved and assorted other wingnuts.

  19. 19
    22over7 says:

    @catclub:

    I was surprised that Petraeus didn’t run. He would have had a real chance (of course, he’d need a better haircut, and I don’t know what kind of public speaker he is, but those things can be fixed).

    On the other hand, I didn’t know about his extra-curricular activities, and he did, so he’s smarter than most politicians.

  20. 20
    Yutsano says:

    Chalk up another win for the gay wizard–

    Dumbledore?

    @22over7: Holly had zero interest in being First Lady. Yes we know the good general was shtupping around on her but appearances matter in Washington and Holly was still the espoused.

  21. 21
    mai naem says:

    Gallup has other problems –
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....story.html

    http://articles.washingtonpost.....civil-case

    This may explain why Gallup was so anti-Obama.

  22. 22
    SFAW says:

    I wonder who Gannett will hire to replace Gallup.

    Dean Chambers, maybe? I hear his methodology and accuracy is/are without peer.

  23. 23

    @Hal:

    Best part about Nate Silver’s piece on the Gallup errors are all the comments predicting Romney’s momentum is building!!! and he’s about win! Suck it Liberals!!!

    Whatever happened to that multi-named commenter, the one who expressed such confidence in Obama’s demise? I miss those comments.

  24. 24
    SFAW says:

    @James E. Powell:

    I miss those comments.

    Me, too.

    Of course, I also miss having a red-hot poker jammed into my eye, and being dragged across broken glass, and so forth.

  25. 25
    rachel says:

    @James E. Powell: I think he popped up briefly to crow that the Republican Congress was going to make Obama eat dirt on the Fiscal Cliff deal, but I haven’t noticed him around since.

  26. 26
    Elizabelle says:

    @mai naem:

    Wow. That’s fascinating about Gallup overbuilding the govt for federal contracts. Hope someone does some serious time for that, as a warning to other contractors

    Yeah, Gallup would prefer Romney in the White House.

  27. 27
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rachel:

    He’s the one troll who always gets the banhammer dropped on him as soon as he shows up again.

  28. 28
    El Cid says:

    What they claimed to sell — the “value added” — wasn’t the polling, but their awsum super-secret extra-strength formula “likely voter” model.

    Right?

    Anyone can do a poll, but you need to pay us a lot of money because our politiquantum theoretisticalians have developed ways to predict who is going to vote this way and that, and if you don’t pay us for this hidden magic you’ll never get this priceless real analysis, so, pony up.

  29. 29
    SFAW says:

    @El Cid:

    pay us for this hidden magic

    And, somewhere, there is a moose saying “Nothin’ up my sleeve!”

  30. 30
    cokane says:

    main bias of every daily newspaper is brevity

  31. 31
    Kai-two says:

    Didn’t some muckety muck from Gallup make the rounds after the election claiming that people who aggregate and analyze polling data are going to put the good old-fashioned inaccurate pollsters out of business?

    Looks like he was right, but not for the reasons he had in mind.

  32. 32
    TriassicSands says:

    Years ago I got a solicitation call from USA Today (it was pretty new at the time). I said “no,” and added that USA Today struck me as the newspaper for people who can’t take their TVs with them. Today, with the existence of smart phones, pads, etc. everyone CAN take their TVs with them. So, why do we need USA Today anymore?

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