On many occasions I have said “By the feather you will know the flock.” In the present case, the feather bears the unmistakable imprint of CNN, Time Magazine and ORC International, a division of infoGroup that partnered with CNN on the “CNN/Opinion Research Poll, conducting national, speech reaction, state and flash/overnight polls for the world’s most trusted name in news.” That this outfit still refers to one of the most biased – and not coincidentally, lowest-rated cable news programs – as the most trusted name in news should tell you everything you need to know about the integrity of a poll released yesterday that has Mitt Romney in the lead in the first four primary states of Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
This is welcome news for the Drive-Bys and the RINO Establishment, both of whom desperately want Romney to be the nominee. As lapdog partisans of the Democrat Party, the former understand that Barack Obama will have a far easier time campaigning against a RINO squish like Romney (and yes, they will clobber him with Romneycare) than they would, say, against a solidly conservative candidate such as Herman Cain. In fact, I’m convinced they are absolutely terrified of a Cain candidacy, as it would completely neutralize the “GOP and Tea Parties are a bunch of racists” strategy.
On the other hand, the GOP Establishment persists in the delusion that the electorate is evenly divided and only a moderate Republican such as Mitt Romney will have enough appeal to the so-called independents to edge out Obama on election day. I suppose I could point out that this strategy didn’t work for John McCain, but the Establishment would respond that McCain failed to carry the moderates because he chose a far-right ditz as his running mate.
Needless to say, the Drive-Bys and the RINO Establishment will proclaim that the nomination is in the bag for Mittens and we can stick a fork in all the other candidates. What they are counting on is the “headline” impact: most primary voters will not bother with the details of the poll and are inclined to pay attention only to the news that Romney is ahead of the pack.
This is unfortunate, because it doesn’t take long to see how and why this poll is utterly worthless – just look at who was polled:
Florida – Based on interviews with 401 registered Republicans
Iowa – Based on interviews with 405 registered Republicans
New Hampshire – Based on interviews with 211 registered Republicans and 189 registered Independents
South Carolina – Based on interviews with 400 registered voters who describe themselves as Republicans
In Florida and Iowa the pollsters contacted registered Republicans, a demographic that could also encompass Republicans who never vote; the New Hampshire poll includes a generous helping of Independents (who tend to vote for liberal candidates); of the 400 registered voters interviewed in South Carolina, over one-fourth of them describe themselves as independents – a fact not reflected outside of the methodology section.
Speaking of methodology: how, precisely, were these respondents vetted or qualified? According to the pollsters
All respondents were asked questions concerning their registration status and basic demographics, and the entire sample was weighted to reflect statewide Census figures for gender, race, age, education and region of the state.
Unfortunately, we are not told which questions were asked or precisely how the polling sample was weighted.
By way of contrast, reputable polling organizations such as Rasmussen carefully narrow the demographic they interview (for example, confining the polling universe only to likely voters as opposed to registered voters or simply adults over 18 years old) and fully explain the methodology employed to ensure the results are as accurate as possible.
What we have here, my friends is a blatant example of a “push-poll,” designed to influence the Republican electorate by ginning up support for the Establishment candidate and suppressing the enthusiasm of those who support non-Establishment candidates. I fully expect Rush Limbaugh to address this new poll today and I wouldn’t be surprised if he dismisses it as irrelevant and utterly worthless.