Fox News thinks its pollster has revealed a dead heat between Judge Roy Moore and his Democrat opponent Doug Jones in Alabama.
The network suggests, after randomly polling just 801 people, that the firms Anderson Robbins Research and Shaw & Company have revealed a problem for Republicans in the traditionally red state.
These voodoo pollsters are outright partisans, and both of these firms use methodologies that trend towards whatever benefits the establishment. Here’s their data this time, which reveals not only the strange questions asked per group, but also the small sample size, the overeliance (and need for correction) on cell vs. landline users (i.e. traditionally younger vs. traditionally older voters).
Whether this is intentional or just a consequence of their bubble is up for some debate, but here’s how it works:
ANDERSON ROBBINS RESEARCH
This firm is headed by Christopher Anderson, a Democrat strategist who worked for John Kerry. Their job — their financial interest — lays with playing up Democrat hopes. Pollsters are often also consultants, and wouldn’t make money on the run up to the race if their candidate fears they have nothing to play for. The candidates can’t fundraise, the pollsters and their other consultant buddies can’t make money. See?
Indeed even when the “Republican” Shaw & Company collaborates with Anderson Robbins, their methodology has a statistical history of pulling left and overplaying Democrat chances.
They’ve been doing this with their regular Presidential approval rating polls too, as laid out here, where the author is correct in stating:
The polling sample tilts Democratic, and badly under polls Independents. This particular sample features 44 percent Democratic respondents, 37 percent Republican, with just 19 percent self-identifying as politically independent. According to the latest Gallup national party affiliation survey (July 5-9), 28 percent consider themselves Democrats, 25 percent Republican, with 45 percent declaring as Independents.
4/ More on Anderson from his LinkedIn… pic.twitter.com/opU19qA0K0
— Raheem 🇺🇸 (@RaheemKassam) October 17, 2017
SHAW AND COMPANY
This firm is run by Daron Shaw, whose website hasn’t been live since 2014.
Shaw has a long track record of working with GOP establishment candidates, including the George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush presidential campaigns, as well as consulting for a man called Whit Ayres, who has himself serviced candidates such as Lindsay Graham, Marco Rubio, and Bob Corker.
Ayres, by the way, is the author of such pieces as “Republicans Shouldn’t Talk Themselves into Supporting Trump”, as appeared in the Washington Post in 2016.
In other words, Fox News’ pollsters are the swamp. The deep swamp. And their polling reflects, as author Christopher Hitchens once studiously noted in Harper’s Magazine: “Polls are deployed only when they might prove useful — that is, helpful to the powers that be in their question to maintain their position and influence”.
So the question must be asked — why? Is it incompetence on Fox News’ behalf? Or is it a conscious decision?
We know Rupert Murdoch pays close attention to the jewel in News Corp’s crown, and we also know of his chairmanship of a major open borders initiative known as the Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE).
PNAE is backed by big agriculture, and big hotel firms, both of which benefit greatly from cheap, migrant labor.
The group also regards as its sister organisation Mark Zuckerberg’s Fwd.us, another open borders advocacy shop.
Are we therefore to believe this is all a major coincidence?
Fox News seems dead set on alienating its conservative audience and shifting to a more “moderate” position, while maintaining right-wing firebrand anchors such as Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson to mask the shift.
Finally, you’ve got to remember how just days before the Republican primary in Alabama we were being warned that Mitch McConnell’s candidate Luther Strange was in a statistical dead heat — according to establishment pollsters — with Judge Roy Moore.
Moore ended up winning by 10 points. It was so not close that the results were called early in the night and Roy Moore victory party attendees were safely tucked up in bed by 10pm.
For Fox News, this presents major problems down the line. If its audience loses trust, they’ll simply turn off. And the board will be left explaining to shareholders why.
For the political establishment, they’re setting themselves up even further for a major disappointment.
Raheem Kassam is the editor in chief of Breitbart London