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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 25, 2012/ 9 Tishrei, 5773

Why media spin on Nov. 6 is all wet

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A few more "really bad weeks" like last week for Mitt Romney and somebody will have to stick a fork in President Obama. He'll be done.

Despite the hammering Mr. Romney took from the president and his media claque, he moved from 5 or 6 points behind in the Gallup Poll to a dead-even tie at the end of the week. Rasmussen, whose different methodology has made it consistently the most reliable of the polls, called the race dead-even as well.

The president still leads in several of the swing states, so called, but in some of those his lead is shrinking. You wouldn't know this from the noise in the mainstream media, so called, and even from some of the conservative pundits who, though easily intimidated by the noise from the back of the press bus, usually constitute the only counterweight to the prevailing liberal media mob.

Nevertheless, a different version of the news is seeping through the media consciousness. Mr. Romney took hard hits for his mild observation that the president's reaction to the killing of the ambassador and three other Americans in Libya was wrong-headed, but at the end of Mr. Romney's "really bad week" the White House insistence that the deadly riots in Libya had nothing to do with terrorism fell apart.

The president was left with scrambled sheep's eyes (if not egg) all over his face. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's press aide became so frustrated answering questions about the administration's crumbling story Monday that he called a reporter an [rectal aperature] and suggested that he perform an impossible sexual act on himself. Understandable, perhaps, but it reflects what happens even to presidents and their liege men when tall tales fall apart.

But the media spin, abetted by a few of the Chicken Little conservatives, continues that the sky has fallen on Mr. Romney and the race is over. These pundits cite some polls, ignore others, and are too busy clucking agreement with the spin to look carefully at how the pollsters measure public opinion. Joining the Hullabaloo is more fun than lonely hard work.

A little of such work reveals how most of the polls are skewed. No reputable pollster deliberately cooks the numbers; he would quickly put himself out of business if he did. But he can work with out-of-date assumptions and stale numbers in getting to those numbers.

To take a poll, a pollster first builds a model, a pool of voters to reflect the voting population. He uses the results of the previous election, or elections, to identify and select the voters to put in his demographic pool. He has to be careful in adjusting the percentages. Telephone surveys, if he is not careful, would include too few blacks, Hispanics and young voters in the sample because many voters in those categories have no landline phones — calling cell phones skews the result in other ways — or because those voters are often not at home or don't speak English and are difficult (or impossible) to interview. The elderly are easily overstated because they're usually at home and have time to talk. So the pollster "weights" the numbers by arbitrarily adding or subtracting voters from certain categories.

"Ordinarily," says Dick Morris, who invented Bill Clinton with his uncannily accurate measurements of voter sentiment, first in Arkansasand then for the rest of the nation, "this task is not difficult. Over the years, black, Latino, young and the elderly proportion of the electorate has been fairly constant from election to election, except for a gradual increase in the Hispanic vote. You just need to look back at the [previous] election to weight your polling numbers for this one."

Pitfalls abound this year. Black voters, based on previous elections, typically cast 11 percent of the vote in presidential elections. Four years ago they made up 14 percent of the vote. Young voters doubled their vote from 2004 to 2008. Yet nearly all pollsters are basing their models for this year on the 2008 vote. Nearly all of them, however, find a large "enthusiasm gap" between Obama voters, discouraged by high unemployment and disappointed by his performance, and the Romney voters. Many Romney voters are lukewarm about their candidate but red-hot about the prospect of defeating Mr. Obama.

A new website, unskewedpolls.com, attempts to redefine the data used by pollsters against actual voting results from both 2004 and 2008. Once crunched, the numbers show a Romney lead between 5 and 11 points. These numbers might not be "unskewed" so much as "differently skewed." But they might be closer to accurate — or at least constitute a warning that despite Chicken Little's hysteria, the fat lady has not yet sung.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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