Robert Stacy McCain encapsulates the current Team R-Money derpthink in under 140.
@jaycosttws Like Darwinism and global-warming theory, poll-based coverage involves the illusion of “scientific” certainty.
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) September 26, 2012
Because evolutionary biology and climatology is just as terribly, inaccurately messy as asking people about who they are voting for. Scientists are hucksters, charlatans I say, drawing false authority from and operating wholly upon the illusion of assumed “certainty” and whatnot.
You know, entirely unlike right-wing bloggers yelling at clouds shaped like Nate Silver.
By all means, good sir, please continue to copulate vigorously with the gallus gallus domesticus.
Based on that, I can now safely ignore anything from Robert Stacy McCain…
Not more chickens! Now I’m thinking Palladium-styled Chicken Brothels! With a fast food fil-et window with a Latin “Eat Me” above!
@rlrr: Everything before wasn’t worth a shit either.
Didn’t these guys believe in polls just a few months ago?
Tellin’ ya, team wingnut is finally going for a unified field theory.
They’re just laying the groundwork for pushing the narrative following the election that the results are illegitimate.
If evilution were true, wouldn’t McCain have a flock of avian-idiot crossbreeds?
Darwinism? Not evolution? Clever. Makes Evolution sound like Scientology.
Jay in Oregon
Depends. Did Dubya ever get the legislation banning human-animal hybrids that he asked for?
I know this is just a typo, but there’s something about it that I really like.
@scav: Oh, they’ve now moved on to the rest of the barnyard. Goats, pigs, ponies, you name it. If it’s got a hoof or a claw, they’re making eyes at it.
@Ash Can: They are laying the groundwork to explain why democracy is illegitimate.
So long as we keep it inside the country club, it’s all well and good. But times have clearly changed.
Polls are like the CBO–once you dismiss their findings as unreliable, then the exact opposite must be true.
Teatotal types wouldn’t know anything about those error bars pollsters keep going on and on about, what are they good far? I mean, aren’t they the dives where the pollsters stumble in to and ask questions?
B I N G O ! ! !
@different-church-lady: I believe Mickey Kaus has already cornered the goat dating market.
@different-church-lady: No wonder the confidence fairy evolved wings. Quick-getaway.
Interesting article at Five Thirty Eight on the cellphone effect.
We all suspect this intuitively, but Silver has some hard numbers on the magnitude of the effect in different states. The difference between cellphone and landline polls in some states, particularly Virginia and Florida is really startling.
I know the question has been raised for years but I don’t think it was such a significant effect in 2008.
FSM, please smite RSM. He could go back and see whether polls accurately predicted results. How dare I suggest that?
Given that Revealed Truth is so simple and so certain, why would anyone bother with science?
Next up: the GOPers hire Clint Eastwood to argue with and swear at an imaginary Al Gore, substituting clouds in the sky for the empty chair. After that, he’ll go to the zoo to yell at an empty cage in the primate house, and pretend that he’s having an argument with Charles Darwin.
Of course. Just as they believed a discrepancy between exit polls and counted votes is clear evidence of fraud in other countries, but not in Ohio in 2004 or Florida in 2000. And just as they know that deficits are no big deal during Republican administrations, but they’re the end of the world during Democratic administrations.
Ditto “upper down” votes on confirmation hearings.
Is McCain still tweeting from his “undisclosed location” for fear of Brett Kimberlin’s army of ninja spies?
Forum Transmitted Disease
Survey methodology is literally the second class that you have to take as a psych major, and I’d assume the case is the same with sociology as well (it underpins all the work you do subsequently).
It’s not like pollsters are just pulling the numbers out their asses. Accurate (or deliberately skewed) polling, unlike a lot of other things associated with the social sciences, is literally a science, where hypotheses can be tested and disproven or proven VERY quickly. They’d flushed most of the blind alleys out of the process by the 1950s. Why do these people think advertising works so well, blind luck?
Christ, the stupid. If the polls were so badly skewed and inaccurate, the people spending millions on them would stop, as they’d be worthless to anyone.
West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.)
Okay, I may be screwing up the analogy here, but maybe we’re seeing something of a “singularity” in the Republicn party. (Isn’t that where computers become smarter than humans?) The conservative movement has allowed the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Dennis Miller to do its “thinking” for them, and now they can only genuflect at the feet of their tin gods. They can no longer make valid arguments and so only spew nonsense.
The Red Pen
One aspect of the conspiracy theory that I haven’t seen here is the “Eric Holder and his thugs are intimidating the pollsters.”
Apparently, Gallup was doing some work for the government and there was some problem with it. A conflict ensued and the Justice Dept. ended up suing Gallup — who promptly backed down.
So… following the trail of hallucinations, Gallup is giving Obama good numbers so that Eric Holder doesn’t have them whacked. The other pollsters? Well, they don’t want to end up being Vince-Foster-ed either, y’know?
It makes sense if you don’t think about it.
By all means, I think we need to start encouraging the right wing to run with these ideas. Yes, all us lefties recognize that polling is akin to reading chicken entrails, and that Mitt Romney is obviously leading the presidential race! By five points – no, make that ten points! He’s going to win New Jersey, and maybe even California!
All the GOP needs to do to win the election is keep pounding on that whole 47 percent thing. Keep reminding the Real Americans that anyone who gets a check from the government is on the take for Obama! It’s working!
These asshole’s political ideology can’t die fast enough. I honestly don’t know if as a planet we are going to survive their fucking stupidity and hubris.
November 7: Romney loses by 10%!
See…the polls said 10% so therefore the people fell in line and the librul pollsters stole the election. A self fulfilling prophecy!
It’s just how they roll.
@arguingwithsignposts: Blowing. Not dating. There can be a difference.
Limbaugh’s got more money than God. Let him commission a poll, following any methodology he likes. He can ignore the numbers and make up his own afterward like he makes up everything else, but at least he’ll see the numbers first.
@Cassidy: Every time Republicans conduct a poll they sacrifice a goat and look at its liver, so it’s not so-called “science”, it’s the gods telling them what’s up.
@Omnes Omnibus: Usually at least one star and about $100 bucks.
And an Emperor Has No Clothes frieze above!
@Omnes Omnibus: I suppose you are assuming some contract between man and goat?
I had hoped that with the Reformation and the Enlightenment that we were done with deliberately ignorant men denying what was right in front of them.
I mean, even the Catholic Church, which didn’t have a great track record at embracing SCIENCE! is on board with evolution.
Some say the Earth revolves around the sun, others claim Apollo drives his flaming golden sky chariot ’round the Earth. Who’s to know who’s right?
Some say that man’s careless burning of fossil fuels is causing Climate Change that could kill over 100 million people by 2030 and cause the sea levels to flood coastal cities and engulf inhabited islands, severely impacting the global economy and potentially unleashing famine, war, and drought. Others say, “Nuh-uh.”
I need a drink.
@The Red Pen:
Doesn’t even make sense then. Gallup is tracking with Rasmussen. Everyone else is showing larger advantages for Obama.
Fuck ALL the chickens! (né Studly Pantload, t.e.u.u.)
Wait, this guy’s tweet, it’s satire, right?
Why do I feel like the abyss is looking up at me?
Oh banish sorrow, Oh banish care
Just a matter of how badly they fare.
As long as people give money and go GOTV.
If things keep going this way, it will be a fun election.
I can hit the streets in CA election night thinking about gravy, like maybe a pick up or two in the CA Congressional delegation and state leg.
Anything too complicated for me to understand must necessarily be running on snake oil.
@Violet: Sometimes I worry about, well, in this case, us, but yes, exactly.
Boy, were you naive.
So now wingnuts are going to start combing public-university catalogs for evidence that professors have built their careers on the shadowy, anarchic field of… Probability. Sounds made-up. All good wingnuts know that what you really need is professors of Certainty.
No, no, no – from his view point he is absolutely correct. In his world Rass & Gallup are saying that Rmoney is close or even winning. Those rest are just liberal liars. Since Rmoney is winning but suddenly won’t be in a month there has to be a reason & to him that reason ios because pollsters have no idea what they are doing & only pretending they are competent (projection much there Stacy?).
It would never occur to him to see how these organizations have done in the past or to evaluate how they come up with the numbers. If the numbers do not prove what he wants them to they are just wrong therefore unscientific. QED
@FlipYrWhig: Must be very clear from this git-go. None of the “scientific” Certainty either.
@scav: Heh! I wish I had some skillz. I’d design it and put it up for everyone to enjoy. Can we get Ryan’s horrified “He said Obama didn’t raise taxes” face on the frieze, just behind Emperor Romney?
Davis X. Machina
Each Roman magistrate with imperium was provided with a pullarius, a chicken wrangler, so that the magistrate could perform the auspices ex tripudiīs on a moment’s notice if the occasion demanded it.
If you think about it, the whole polling industry has its origins in the Roman sciences of divination.
One of my favorite tag lines is from “The Straight Dope”:
fighting ignorance since 1972. (this is taking a lot longer than we thought)
@Randy P: It’s not really surprising that polls that include cellphones look better for Dems. However, I’m fairly sure that people who have only cellphones are less likely to turn out. It’s not clear to me from Silver’s article that the pollsters adjust for any turnout discrepancies. It may not even be appropriate to do so.
Since the polls are wrong, an Obama victory will prove that there’s been massive voter fraud. Not a single person in the whole U.S. of A. will be caught committing voter fraud, mind you, but it’ll be massive voter fraud nonetheless, because numbers don’t lie … Except for polls. And climate change data.
@Randy P: It’s stupider than that, I think. They’re denying the whole underlying premise of polling, to wit, that there is such a thing as a representative sample. They’re falling back on the thing where you go, “Well, sure, the 350 people they surveyed hated Mitt Romney, but that’s only 350 people, and you have no idea what the rest of the people think, and more than that totally love him, so there.”
peach flavored shampoo
That tweet is so stupid as to be Onion-esque. Please tell me he’s clowning on Republicans, not actually seriously espousing a core tenant of their beliefs…
He forgot gravity.
@Ash Can: Yeah, that’s really the only place they have to go. The outcome will be held as proof that voter fraud is widespread – if only those states had been allowed to implement their ID laws… They’ll marry it to Romney’s 47% comments and go for what they’ve demanded all along – anyone receiving federal assistance should be banned from voting. GOP state legislatures will start amending their felon restrictions…
@Davis X. Machina: Hence the obvious etymological connection between “polling” and “pollo.”
The line “But that’s a priceless Steinway” was the set up to what punchline?
Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937
There’s a reason they’re pushing the ‘polls must be wrong’ meme.
How about we make a bet with RSM. If the polling turns out to be correct, then he has to acknowledge that all 3 are valid.
Think he would take the bait?
There’s a famous old story about a a lefty New York socialite who was shocked when Nixon won re-election. “But,” she cried, “I don’t know a single person who voted for him.”
I think the same thing’s happening to the right this cycle. They don’t know anybody in their circle of friends who likes Obama. They hear it in all the right-wing media that everybody dislikes him, his policies are a huge failure, and that the elections is the Republicans to lose. They just can’t get their head around the disconnect between what they talk about between themselves and polling that includes the rest of the country.
@scav: Perish the thought. There is theological Certainty, and there is the certainty inherent in the proposition that A is A. All else, as they say, is commentary.
That is a hell of a bubble. What are they making those things out of these days, anyway, some kind of space age polymer?
Davis X. Machina
@Capri: Pauline Kael. Right city, wrong millieu (Upper West Side New Yorker cartoon people….)
Well, in Kaus’s case (say THAT three times fast), it’s an oral
Meanwhile, the goopers are ratfucking voter registration in multiple states. They just got busted in Florida:
I got the office winger who was pimping the skewed polls meme to make a wager on the outcome of the election. I will enjoy taking his money.
@FlipYrWhig: also polio.
They are handicapping the race.
I’ll be here all week.
My meager understanding of polling methodology is that a knowledge of statistics is essential. Although I know little of statistics beyond the cookbook stuff for SQC and SPC I do know that at some point Calculus is involved. That alone prevents Republicans from knowing shit about any of it.
@ranchandsyrup: A cool $10k?
He would only go for a benjamin. He took the bet instantly. I would have given him more favorable terms if he had asked. He then maddogged me for a while about how the exit polls were wrong in 2004.
Well, they HAVE been saying all along that there’s voter fraud going on. Turns out they was right.
@FlipYrWhig: At this point, I’m thinking they’re more looking for professors of voodoology as long as they tell them that everything’s okay and if things aren’t okay, they just need to sacrifice a poor person or minority.
@ranchandsyrup: Yeah, I had an over-under 300 EV on Obama on the last one that I took. It was just a beer. I told him later I’d have spotted him 320 if he’d wanted.
There’s currently no one stupid enough in this office that I’ve found yet, unfortunately for me as I like beer.
This whole skewed-polls thing reminds a little of some blog-comment conversation, some years back. The wingnut involved was claiming that, because the sample size was something like 2,000 persons, the polling was invalid because there are 100+ million eligible voters in the country. Even after various probability concepts and margin-of-error were explained, the wingnut was adamant.
A wingnut arguing against science, whod’a thunk it?
@jibeaux: I trapped this guy a bit. He was holding forth in the breakroom and he couldn’t back down in front of his coworkers.
Also, too, this is the guy who got Fox News banned from being shown in our office. He would eat lunch and root on Gretchen & Co. and offended people. Such is officing in Orange County, CA.
Is anyone else noticing the similarity between the Republicans and Cargo Cults? To me, the parallels are striking. And Romney is the fake airplane beneath whose wings the Republicans squat.
You joke, but the hard-core nitwits of the conservative moment object strenuously to Einstein’s General Relativity (e.g. Conservapedia). I’m not really sure why, but they hates it, yes they do.
@SFAW: Voting fraud cases do pop up once in a while in the news. And Republicans are involved Every. Single. Fucking. Time.
Color me not surprised. Remember, these are the same people who don’t want the U.S. Census to conduct the American Community Survey, which is — gasp — a representative sampling. It doesn’t reflect their perception of the world.
Who was the Texas representative who wanted to take funding away from the Census for the survey?
Oh, right. Next you’ll be trying to tell me that crack investigative reporter James O’Keefe has been involved, too.
You ACORN-apologist types make me sick, I tells ya.
And the “Real America” hubris is really helping it along. After all, no TRUE American would vote for someone like Obama, right?
NEW POLLR:48 O:46.
Clinging to their guns and Rasmussen…
@Comrade Jake: This is still going to go down to the wire. We’re in for a long election night that may not end until 2 or 3 am. As tight as a tick.
You know who else objected strenuously to Einstein’s General Relativity?
Yes PO, good boy. Put it down. Come on. Let us wipe the slobber off it and we’ll throw it for you again. Ready?
He’s up 6 via Gallup, and virtually all of the swing states show Obama up by a fair amount. The EC projections have had Obama up since forever.
Certainly a lot could change between now and the election, but at this point in time to claim it’s going to go down to the wire seems delusional at best.
@ranchandsyrup: Heh. I’m probably going to split my bet. I have Obama at 300EV as well, but also 8 points in popular vote. Romney is doing better holding onto the evangelical vote than I had expected so I’ll probably lose the latter one.
I wish. The Republicans will demand massive recounts in every swing state as well as mounting court challenges everywhere they can. If we’re lucky, election night will be over some time in mid-December.
@? Martin: Hedge that bet with someone else. You can “middle” this.
But the current talking point is that polls are absolutely meaningless. How dumb do you have to be that you can’t even accurately parrot the Republican party line? Sheesh.
I think they make a connection between Relativity and relativism, which they definitely do not like. This is slightly less crazy than it might sound. Relativism suggests that there are no absolute standards, and that everything depends on your point of view. Relativity gives this some actual physical meaning, that actual physical measurements may vary depending on the frame of reference of the observer.
Please forgive if this has already been posted. Libertarian Gary Johnson filed an anti-trust lawsuit in federal court in an attempt to force his way into the upcoming presidential debates.
Wow, so even the hard-core trolls can’t bring themselves to claim that Romney’s Victory Is Inevitable, and at best it will be a hard-fought tie.
When you’ve nearly lost the troll brigade, either it means your cause is truly hopeless or that your checks have started to bounce.
LOL. I love it when libertarians invoke laws.
It is pretty wild. I threw a few factitious posts this morning on a site that has conservative commenters and crowds signed on to them!
Polls use “statistics” and “models” which conservatives completely debunked when liberal tried to use them to trick us about global warming…
Polls use the same “arithmetic” that Bill Clinton tried to use to confuse people over Paul Ryan’s plans…
Fox News is now part of the liebral LSM and conservative can only trust Breitbart and WND anymore.
Response: “I would agree with that – they seem to spout a lot of the same talking points as CNN, ABC etc. Must happen over time. They need to fire all producers, reporters etc and start over with only conservatives again. We don’t need another mouthpiece for the dem party. We already have about 20 of those.”
OT: Skyrim: Gangnam Style Dance
‘es not dumb, ‘es just flexible. A Poll Dancer, as it were. Just don’t ask where the tips are stashed, you really don’t want to know.
@ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Well, given that their play book / cheat sheet is essentially a flipbook, it’s easy to get muddled, especially if one is down a tier or two in the phone tree and/or your charger is misplaced
@Comrade Jake: Just wait when ras ‘turns hard left’ aka sees reality. POS like PO will take to the 2nd amendment solution to ras ?
@Dennis SGMM: If ever there was an action that merited an arrow to the knee, that was it.
@Chyron HR: When all you have is a POLL, every problem out there looks like an orifice.
Forum Transmitted Disease
@Dennis SGMM: But, but, but…the free market spoke!
Fucking libertarians. Courage of their convictions until it happens to them. Words cannot express how much I despise their vile philosophy.
Granted, I would love this. It’d split the GOP vote down the middle: I’d bet Rmoney would get Utah, Johnson would get the Confederacy, and Obama all the rest. Election day wipeout. Too bad it won’t happen.
@ranchandsyrup: I’ve thought about it. I’m not giving up on 8 points though. I’m considering doubling that bet, actually.
@Baud: Laws demanding regulation, no less…
Just Some Fuckhead
Stacy is a girl’s name. How does a growed man still go by that name?
@Forum Transmitted Disease:
The few polls that I’ve been able to find suggest that Johnson would take, at most, around 6% of the popular vote in some states. That he would take that percentage from Romney is beyond doubt. And, you’re right; it won’t happen. IIRC, candidates have in the past tried unsuccessfully to get the courts to interject them into debates.
@? Martin: I like your style Martin. I hope you win OCEANS OF UNLIMITED CASH.
Is it just me, or does this strike anyone else as a refined Hillary 2008 spin of “If you turn your head sideways and squint a lot, it almost looks like we’re almost winning” about delegate math?
@Dennis SGMM: Johnson I think suffers from the problem of not been a rich guy who the press likes. He hasn’t had his Perot moment.
@Randy P: I’m sure Romney will sweep the homes that still use rotary phones.
First: “Science,” being the stickler it is for accuracy, rarely talks about anything in terms of certainty. It’s full of things like margin of error, confidence intervals, probabilities, maximum likelihoods, etc.
Second, something tells me Robert Stacy McCain has used statistics when it favors his preferred narrative. (Who wants to guess that he has also sorts of crime statistics about black people memorized?)
Since science is for losers, I’d like to put all these assholes in an un-reconfigured BOAC Comet and let them all follow Romney around the US, with frequent compression cycles…
It’d be a bonus – they’d get to find out why windows don’ open at altitude (anymore).
That, of course, is the dead guarantee that we will shortly be hearing idiotic theories about how Johnson is going to shake up the race in a way that gives Romney a shot again.
This isn’t even anti-science – it’s anti-math.
It looks like the media is starting to wrap it’s head around the idea that this won’t be a horse race anymore. Now it moves onto the early BCS “how much will the favored football golden team beatdown the patsies”.
But we Dems need to keep pressure on & run up the score. We need to take the House back, we need to keep the Senate and we need to retake chambers & executives in all 50 states. I live in Boise, ID – sure Obama will lose ID, but I don’t see much in the way of Romney signs and I only see signs for my state Democratic representatives. Our Democratic congressional candidate is an LGBT ex-teacher
Please, oh please, Republicans, DON’T talk about the century-old “fraud” that is Darwinism. It’ll DESTROY us Democrats!
Eh? Based on what?
I don’t really know anybody with a land line any more and I know a lot of politically active people.
@Comrade Jake: now that Gallup has foresaken them, yes.
@Just Some Fuckhead: I think it’s pretty clear where her overcompensated macho tone comes from.
Also too, I love “keep fucking that chicken” and will nominate it for the theme of this whole Rethug campaign, starting with the, clown show of man-on-dog Santorum, Bachmann, “MAPLE SYRUP!” Perry and the return of Gingrich, to the current Rmoney clusterfuck, and perhaps for Rethug stupidity in general.
“Keep fucking that chicken” really sums it up. And if chicken-fucking isn’t working for them, then they double down on the chicken-fucking. Moar chicken-fucking!