Landslide watch, or idiot watch?

I was directed to this story by Jim Hoft (aka Gatewaypundit) by a reader and was instantly overwhelmed with curiosity. Anyone that follows me on Twitter has already seen the result, but for those who haven’t, the big question in my mind after reading that story is whether Hoft was simply playing to his built-in audience, trying to pump up the base in the hope of giving Mitt Romney the extra turnout he needs to not lose the race he’s going to lose, or if he’s genuinely stupid.

My first thought is that nobody can be that stupid.

This story is from today, November 4th, yet cites polls that are nearly a week old. Right off the bat, that should tell you how worthless Hoft’s opinion is. But to drive the point home, and since polling is my thing lately, let’s look at his claims.

With two days left before the election Mitt Romney leads in Colorado, Ohio and Minnesota and is tied up in Pennsylvania.

In Colorado, Mitt Romney leads Barack Obama 50-47 according to the latest Rasmussen poll.

What Hoft is doing, and you can tell this right away since the first Pollster he ran to was Rasmussen, is cherry picking polls favorable to his narrative. Rasmussen has been favoring Republicans all year, and favored them by over 4 points of statistical bias in 2010. But it’s not even necessary to attack Rasmussen’s (sorely lacking) credibility.

If you just look at all recent polls of Colorado, you’ll find that Rasmussen’s poll is already nearly a week old, taken on October 31st. There have been seven other polls take since then, and Barack Obama lead five of them and tied in the other. Romney only lead in a single web poll from Ipsos on November 1st, and that result has already been superseded by another Ipsos web poll taken on the 4th (which not coincidentally is the tie).

Hoft doesn’t mention the seven newer polls because none of them show Mitt Romney leading by more than 1 point, and that poll is contradicted by five others showing Obama leading between 1-4 points.

In fact Mitt Romney is not leading in Colorado. An average of the five most recent polls shows Barack Obama leading there, by 1.2 points.

The Tribune Review poll today has the race tied in Pennsylvania at 47. Romney is scheduled to campaign in the Philadelphia area on Sunday.

Calling that poll a Tribune Review poll is misleading. It was a poll taken for the Tribune Review by Susquehanna, a Republican firm that has been probably the single most biased pollster all year. Between January of 2012 and today, Mitt Romney has only lead two polls (and only tied one) in Pennsylvania, and all three were from Susquehanna. That’s 55 leads for Obama, 2 for Romney, and one tie. And Romney’s two leads and a tie all came from Susquehanna.

Not even Rasmussen has shown the race tied in Pennsylvania this year.

Mitt Romney leads Barack Obama by one point in Minnesota, effectively making the race there a toss-up, according to polling taken for the conservative American Future Fund.

Different state, same sad story. Hoft is cherry picking polls in hilariously transparent ways. The poll showing Romney leading in Minnesota came on behalf of a Republican PAC, and is the only poll to show Romney leading in that state all year. The five polls before that one show Obama leading by 10 points, 8, 5, 3, and 7 points. The four polls that come after show Obama leading by 9 points, 7, and 8 points.

In Michigan, Mitt Romney leads Obama, 47-46.

Same story. There have been 31 polls of Michigan since August 28th, and Obama has lead all but two of them, one a tie, and one trailing by 1 point, both from the same pollster: FMWB. Obama has lead the other 29 polls, and the last eight polls by 6 points average. The last two polls showed him leading by +7 and +6.

And, in Ohio Romney leads 49-46 in one poll.

Sure. In one poll, by a GOP firm called Wenzel Strategies, on behalf of Citizens United. (Yes, *that* Citizens United.) On October 31st. Obama lead the next four consecutive polls by +4, +3, +2, and +6, before Rasmussen showed the race tied, and Obama has lead every single poll if Ohio since: +4, +2, +3, +8, +4, +5.

Hoft didn’t lie, but he’s clearly being intentionally dishonest to his readers, treating them like idiots. And I think that’s wrong, because those people are going to not only be furious when Hoft’s little fantasy doesn’t come true, they aren’t going to blame him for it. They’ll blame Democrats, or Obama, or pollsters. Anyone but the person who treated them like suckers, and anyone but themselves for being suckers so easily.

Paul Tenny

Paul Tenny

I'm not a journalist but I do it anyway. I cover elections and have interviewed television writers and producers.
Paul Tenny

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