It's been less than 48 hours since one of the most watched vice presidential debates in history. Over 70 million Americans tuned in, to watch Sarah Palin become a political superstar, while Joe Biden struggled to remain calm while lying through his teeth. So why does the media feel the need to tell us what we saw?
Minutes after the candidates gave their closing remarks, Americans still reeling from Sarah's 'shock and awe', CNN released a "flash poll" proclaiming Joe Biden the winner. Chris Matthews from MSNBC gleefully cited this poll to Roger Simon,a writer from Politico.com , who told Matthews in no uncertain terms that he didn't care what the poll said, he knew what he'd just witnessed. Simon wrote in his column yesterday, that instead of falling off the stage, Sarah dominated it.
Another poll that was quick to be referenced was the CBS 'flash poll' which also reported Biden as the winner. The talking heads kept pointing to the poll as proof that Palin didn't really just win the debate. What they don't tell you about these polls is that the demographic of the poll isn't measured. Meaning a poll of CBS or CNN viewers reflect a demographic that watching that station, we know that democrat viewers out number republican viewers about 3 to 1. So is it really shocking that democrats prefer democrats? The CNN poll had Biden winning 54% to 36%, we know that 75% of those being polled are liberal leaning so doesn't that mean that Sarah actually won some people over from the dark side? Other wise Sarah would be hovering around 19%, the percentage according to the Center for Media and Public Affairs, of conservative leaning viewers.
So using the same polls information imagine another headline: Sarah Palin's Performance change mind of 15% of Democratic Voters! I'm starting to like their poll numbers! See what a difference a little perspective can bring? That's what the numbers tell us, but it's not what the media is reporting. Is it an entirely accurate headline? Probably not, but it doesn't really matter. These days facts are optional in the headline business.
One of the other problems with these 'polls' is that rarely survey more than 500 people. In such a small sampling, political leanings can really affect the results. To get a really accurate study you need to apply weight based on the actual population, this calculation is never done for a 'flash poll' . So Why if the polls are so imperfect do the talking heads recite them much better than they could any bible verse? Because the funny thing about polls is that their results can sway public opinion, thus effecting later polls. Before the Presidential debate last week the commentators kept referring to the study that found the 'flash polls' after the 2004 debates favored John Kerry, then Kerry showed a bounce in the presidential polls in the following days. To a person they explained it was important to remain skeptical of flash polls this year, until immediately after the debate when they started dissecting the flash polls. They know that what they say and how they say it affects millions of viewers perceptions. They want to make sure you have the correct perception, Theirs.
I'm guessing that's why no other network talked about the Fox News Flash Poll giving Palin the win at 84%. Adjusting for political affiliation, she still won at about 70%. Unless you watch Fox News you never saw that. As I mentioned earlier a thorn in my side on these polls is the small sample numbers, well yesterday the Drudge Report asked readers to choose a winner in the VP Debate, when I last checked over 500,000 people had responded, with 70% of those giving the victory to Palin. Did you see even one story about the Drudge Report poll? Didn't think so.
Look the bottom line is polling data is not all it's cracked up to be. You know I believe Sarah Palin whipped up on Biden winning the debate handily. Mostly because I watched her do it with my very own eyes. I am so sick of the people on TV calling themselves journalist or reporters when in fact they are merely propaganda machines for their own agenda. It's not just the poll, it's how the poll is interpreted that makes the impact. They take this 'polling data' and use it as a tool with which to beat the McCain camp over the head.
Just this morning CBS News ran a segment on get the aforementioned CBS News poll. So yes for those of you keeping track, they are now officially creating the news, not just reporting it. What got me was the introduction to the polling data, referring to the 'aftermath of the debate'. Apparently they couldn't think of a word with more negative connotations than Aftermath. They might be right, they are the experts, remember 'aftermath of 9/11, aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, aftermath of California Wildfires', you get the gist. Even I didn't think Biden did that bad. The CBS poll numbers were similar to CNN's numbers and by similar I mean worthless. When reporting on their very own poll they couldn't help but to use a lead in that triggers thoughts of destruction.
Words are powerful things made more so if delivered by someone you trust. Leftist icons have written numerous books about controlling language and the power of words. Americans need to wake up and start using their critical thinking skills or we're going to end up in a real life Idiocracy. A ridiculous movie that should be required viewing for all Americans. I don't want to give too much away, but it shows a hilarious yet mildly frightening look at what can happen if individuals stop thinking for themselves becoming mindless consumers.
I heard a great line this week and I wish I could give credit to the author, but suffice it to say it's not my original thought. When talking about perception versus reality, it's important to keep in mind that at one time over 80% of Americans thought Betty Crocker was a real person, that did not change the fact that no such person existed. In other words, perception is just that perception, it doesn't change the reality.
So what does all this mean? It really boils down to one thing, What do YOU think? Whether it's about who won the debate or who will make a better president, you have to decide for yourself what you think. Don't rely on others to get you the information required to weigh out your options. Americans need to return to the spirit of Individual choice instead of 'group think'. The media is full of Obama supporters who can't wait to take credit for getting him elected. They play on our insecurities telling us that if we don't think like them, we're stupid toothless rednecks that couldn't possibly understand their sophisticated 'world view'. I've got news for them, I don't care if they like me or not. I'm not pretending to like socialism or Obama just to hang out with the self proclaimed cool kids.
Just remember...during the 2004 election cycle the all the polls showed John Kerry would be our next president. Thankfully that was not the case. It's time to put down the glass of Kool-Aid America, think for yourself. You may not agree with my opinions, but they are 100% mine. I haven't learned them from indoctrination of the left through the media, I've formed them as we all should through my own life experiences. So should you. So I don't need a poll to tell me Sarah Palin spent 90 minutes demonstrating to the world why she will be a fantastic Vice President, she's smart, articulate and most importantly, she is one of us. In the end the only poll that really matters the one on November 4th, and in that 'poll of polls' I'll be voting for John McCain and Sarah Palin.