Donald Trump continues to tell his supporters that the election is “rigged” against him. One of the areas in which the Republican nominee may be proven accurate is in voter surveys — the polls that are constantly being talked about in the news.
The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows Hillary Clinton 12 points ahead of her Republican opponent. On the surface that’s naturally very concerning for Trump supporters, but newly-leaked emails show there is more to poll results than what first meets the eye. Once you scratch below the surface, the reality is actually quite troubling, even sinister.
A new email leaked Sunday from the account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta suggests how Democrats have tried to make sure the polls come out in their favor.
As Zero Hedge points out, even a small oversampling of one demographic could swing a poll a significant amount. For example, the ABC/WaPo poll found that Hillary has a 79-point advantage over Trump among black voters. If pollsters “oversample” those minority voters by just 5%, that could swing the overall poll results by 3 points. Democrats have been using this to their advantage.
In the hacked email made public by WikiLeaks, Tom Matzzie — a Democrat political strategist and former Washington Director of MoveOn.org Political Action — asks for recommendations on “oversamples for polling” in order to “maximize what we get out of our media polling”:
“I also want to get your Atlas folks to recommend oversamples for our polling before we start in February. By market, regions, etc. I want to get this all compiled into one set of recommendations so we can maximize what we get out of our media polling.”
Included in the reply are the Atlas project polling recommendations for poll-rigging in each state.
For example, in Arizona they recommend over-sampling Hispanics and Native Americans because those demographics tend to skew left.
– Over-sample Hispanics
– Use Spanish language interviewing. (MonolingualSpanish-speaking voters are among the lowest turnoutDemocratic targets.)
– Over-sample the Native American population.
In Florida they recommend “consistently monitoring” samples to make sure they are “not too old” and that they have “enough African American and Hispanic voters.” They also suggest filling the quotas for Independent voters in Tampa and Orlando as they tend to favor Democrat candidates.
– Consistently monitor the sample to ensure it is not too old, and that it has enough African American and Hispanic voters to reflect the state.
– On Independents: Tampa and Orlando are better persuasion targets than north or south Florida (check your polls before concluding this). If there are budget questions or oversamples, make sure that Tampa and Orlando are included first.
Atlas also suggests that national polls over sample key districts and regions, as well as ethnic groups, “as needed.”
– General election benchmark, 800 sample, with potential over samples in key districts/regions
– Benchmark polling in targeted races, with ethnic over samples as needed
– Targeting tracking polls in key races, with ethnic over samples as needed
A poll that shows Hillary securely in the lead gives Democrats an advantage leading up to the election as many Americans backing Trump may be tempted to concede the race. But while the ABC/WaPo poll does not include any data on the demographics of their survey — so it is impossible to fact check if they have indeed skewed the sample — evidence seems to point to a “fixed” poll working in the Democrats’ favor.
The race isn’t over yet.
H/T: Zero Hedge