Sounding like Republicans blaming their woes on that “liberal media,” the leftwing of the Democratic party are creating their own myth to explain why their preferred candidate(s) can’t get any traction in national polls. Using combinations of professional associations and shoddy research, bloggers and discussion forum patrons have determined that every national poll is “rigged” against “progressives” and in favor of Senator Hillary Clinton.

The caterwauling began earlier this year when Opinion Research announced a partnership with CNN to conduct their polling. Vinod Gupta, chairman of Opinion Research, is a Hillary Clinton supporter. That means, following the twisted logic of the left, the CNN polls are rigged in Clinton’s favor. The only problem with that, though, is the CNN poll results are always similar to those of other major polling companies – often within one or two percentage points.

To believe CNN is gaming the system for Clinton, one must also believe the other polls are in on it. Maybe there’s a top secret meeting every week of “Clintonistas” where all the polls are given the numbers Bill and Hillary want fed to the nation. And then again, maybe not. But to make the conspiracy theory hold – that polls are being rigged in favor of Hillary – there has to be some evidence somewhere else having to do with some other poll.

Enter Zennie Abraham. Mr. Abraham believes he’s found the smoking gun and he takes USA Today / Gallup to task on his blog on June 17:

OK. Get this. Just get this. Two weeks ago, Senator Barack Obama was tied — that’s right, tied — with Senator Hillary Clinton for the 2008 Democratic Presidential race in the then latest USA Today / Gallup Poll. Now, USA Today / Gallup didn’t do a poll in May, and certainly not two weeks apart, but this new one says that Senator Clinton has a large lead. What?

The critical eye would have a question. I’ve got several. But the bottom line is the second round of polling was rigged. Why? Because someone didn’t like the outcome and doesn’t want Senator Barack Obama to win, so they immediately ordered another poll and worked to obtain results they wanted to see. (Italics mine)

Although there are multiple problems with what Zennie wrote, his entire premise is based on some real shoddy research. Contrary to his claims, not only did USA Today / Gallup Poll do a poll in May, they did TWO in May, and they WERE two weeks apart. USA Today / Gallup has been doing two polls a month on the Democratic presidential race since March. (source)

USA Today / Gallup certainly MAY have raised on eyebrow at the results of the June 1 poll referenced by Zennie that had Obama tied with Clinton because no other poll was showing such a bounce for Obama. Polling organizations ALWAYS analyze their findings. But they didn’t “order another poll and work to obtain the results they wanted to see.” They simply began preparations and then carried out the second poll for the month, the same as they’d done for the last three months.

Interestingly, Zennie offers no explanation for Obama’s sudden 9 point jump in the June 1 poll. He doesn’t even mention it because he wants people to believe there was no poll in May when there was, in fact, TWO. But to accuse USA Today and Gallup of “rigging” a poll against Obama without a shred of evidence and based entirely on the fact he got excited about an outlier poll only to see his hopes dashed when the next poll came out is simply desperate.

As Frank Newport said, and Zennie quoted him, NO OTHER POLLS that week showed the results the June 1 USA Today / Gallup poll did. Not the Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll, not Wall Street Journal/NBC polls, not Rasmussen, not CNN.

In the book Politics: What is Disinformation? Conservative Republican Pat Buchanan said, “The truth is, I’ve gotten fairer, more comprehensive coverage of my ideas than I ever imagined I would receive… I’ve gotten balanced coverage and broad coverage — all we could have asked… For heaven sakes, we kid about the liberal media, but every Republican on earth does that.”

In the same book, GOP strategist William Kristol also reveals, “I admit it: the liberal media were never that powerful, and the whole thing was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failures.”

Isn’t it time someone from the left of importance – Markos Moulitsas, David Sirota, Jerome Armstrong – comes forward to denounce what is quickly becoming the netroot’s excuse for “progressive” failings in national polling?

For Centrist Democratic News and Opinion – visit DonkeyDigest

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