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No, Dan Senor: It’s not a “crisis in polling”. It’s you. – Green Dragon
Nov 212012

Remember when Karl Rove had “the real numbers”?

Well, that was a long time ago. How about this?

And honestly, who could forget this? That one was so delicious I had to watch it several times, until my stomach hurt from laughing so much.

Ah, the sight of a man who pissed away $200 million in right-wing money watching his former reputation as a “genius” evaporate on live television. It just never gets old.

The GOP has been all a-Twitter over how completely wrong they were about Romney, and a bunch of other races. So now, the execrable neocon (but I repeat myself) and erstwhile Romney advisor Dan Senor says there is a “crisis” in polling accuracy, particularly in “right of center” polling, citing Rasmussen and Gallup.

Well, color me gobsmacked, guys. Slap my fanny and call me Nancy. It truly is shocking.

Funny, though, how that “limp-wristed” guy you were all smearing up until the returns started coming in managed to get it dead-on, using exactly the same polling data.

Granted, Nate did that in part by weighting polling houses for historical bias. But he used data from Rasmussen and Gallup, and even by your shills like Gravis and Mason-Dixon.

How about this: Republicans are so used to the idea that reality can be created by a media narrative that your polling outfits’ goal has become not to accurately measure the state of electoral races, but to drive the media narrative about them.

You guys have been living and dying by Fox News and insisting on living in the bubble of myths it promulgates for so long that you are no longer aware that there is a reality outside of it. While there are countless examples of how this is so, the starkest and most inarguable is arithmetic.

No reasonably informed observer of the 2012 Presidential election had any doubt that, short of massive and obvious electoral fraud, Barack Obama was going to win re-election. I said so last summer: it was clear that Romney was disliked and his campaign was hapless, while Team Obama was the mightiest political organization ever built, and supporting an incumbent.

No matter how much you try to spin them, numbers are numbers. And yours were badly wrong, Republicans, because you thought lying about the state of contested races would bring the numbers more into conformity with your wishful thinking. Just as you think Hannity, O’Reilly and Limbaugh lying their heads off about Benghazi or birth control or death panels or Kenya or tax cuts creating jobs or sociamalism can actually make these things true enough in the public mind so you can win.

Your problem isn’t that your polls need work. It’s that you’re tripping balls. If you want to become relevant to the concerns and wishes of a majority of Americans again, you need to put down the saying-it-makes-it-so pipe and confront reality.

In the process, you’re going to have to dump Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed and the PNAC gang. Embracing those guys and their extremist constituencies has marooned you on an island, and no matter how much you chant “The water isn’t rising!”, it is, and steadily. Demographics, like the climate change that is raising the oceans for all of us, are real. Steadily growing popular support for liberal positions on social issues is real. There are no words you can say to make them go away.

You don’t need to fix your polls. You need to start doing real ones, and actually looking at the results.

On publication, the Dragon was SOBER

  3 Responses to “No, Dan Senor: It’s not a “crisis in polling”. It’s you.”

  1. Oh, my, that’s fun to look at! I mean, it’s not nice to gloat, and nobody likes a sore winner and there’s some part of me that’s saying I’m not such a nice person, for LOVING Carl Rove’s stammering disbelief- but, screw it. Maybe Karma will catch up with me, someday, but, OM-as the kids say-G, I love seeing that moment!
    Thanks, Mark. That’s more fun than a shoestring, game winning, outfield catch.

  2. It just goes to show you, stupidity and willful blindness DOES cross all socio-economic classes. Rove thought absurd sums of money, class hatred and wishing really, really hard was going to buy him a President, Congress, and Senate. And a bunch of rich old white scaredy cats put their eggs in his basket.

    Glad he was wrong. Now, if only Grover Norquist could subside into irrelevancy….

    • Agreed, Cecilia, but I think there is a sociological lesson here besides the obvious. Since the 1960s, when the counterculture started trashing institutions–including education–as corrupt and blind, and the right responded with a fairy tale about The Magic Hand of the Marketplace and The Golden Age of the Fifties, this entire culture has largely abandoned critical thinking: for dumb, paranoid conspiracy theories about Teh Corporations, pseudoscience and New Age babble on the left, and for dumb, paranoid conspiracy theories about Teh Non-White-Non-Male-Non-Straights on the right. Damn, I thought that sentence was never going to end.

      The difference is that the Republicans, being conformists, have gotten themselves into a feedback loop of competing over who can be more crazy and extreme, and purging all who lose the contest. So now their entire world comes down to stupid economic theories that patently don’t work and social policies that only a tiny minority supports. Inevitably, they went too far, even in the eyes of a population that eyed them like sleepy sheep for more than 20 years. So what worked for them for awhile has become a millstone around their necks.

      Poster child: Grover Norquist.

      Thanks for dropping by the Green Dragon! Hope to see you here again.

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