Reporter Defends Lopsided Polling Tactics; 'Not Concerned' With Heavy Democrat Voter Sample

Reporter Defends Lopsided Polling Tactics; 'Not Concerned' With Heavy Democrat Voter Sample

National talk radio host Hugh Hewitt interviewed National Journal’s Steven Shepard about his recent article defending the practice of pollsters who routinely use polls that have heavily weighted samples of Democrats in their poll results.

Shockingly, when posed with a hypothetical scenario of a poll coming in with an 80-20 weight in favor of voters identifying themselves as Democrat, Shepard asserted that he would not have any concerns over the validity of the results of the poll. 

HH: It’s not…so the answer is…so if it was 80-20 Democrats, it wouldn’t bother you, if it had the right number of African-Americans, Latinos, women, men, seniors? It would not bother you if it was 80% self-identified D?

SS: It would at least indicate, albeit in an exaggerated way, that there has been an important shift that we should be paying attention to. I mean…

HH: But that’s not the question. But would it bother you? Would it alarm you? Would it make you less trusting of the poll?

SS: It would be something I would report on, because I think that would be an important shift.

HH: That’s not, that wasn’t the question. The question is just would it, you, Steve Shepard, say oh, that’s not good, I’m not going to go with this one, or I’m not going to go with it strongly? Is there anything that would cause you as a reporter to say no?

SS: I think I would find it interesting, and I would write about that.

HH: But that wasn’t my question.

SS: It’s not that I would throw it out. That’s not…

HH: You know, how long have you, you’ve been a reporter for eight years. Have you ever run into a source that wouldn’t answer the simple question? I mean, would it cause you concern?

SS: I think I am answering your question. No, it wouldn’t cause me concern if there were 80% Democrat or 80% Republican.

HH: It would not cause you concern.

SS: I would write that and say there’s something going on here.

HH: I got my answer. It would not cause you concern.

The full transcript of the remarkable and disturbing interview is available at Hugh Hewitt’s website.