Tuesday, June 2, 2015

CNN polling, not Clinton, hit new lows.

CNN's headline was "Clinton favor ability rating hits 14 year low". Another was "New CNN poll says 57% believe Clinton not honest and trustworthy". 

Only a month ago a CNN poll showed 59% believed she was honest and trustworthy and 63% said they'd be "proud" to have Clinton as president. They don't say how it could change so dramatically without a single news event to explain it. They muse. They try and tie it to Obama's falling approval ratings. But the answer is simpler. The poll is completely bogus. 

What really happened in the last month to cause Clinton's approval rating to plummet?  The answer is nothing. Because based on CNN's history of grossly inaccurate and incompetent polling the probability is it didn't plummet at all and that it's CNN's polling that has hit new lows in incompetence not Clinton's favorability. 

Remember this is the news organization who, after Bin Laden was killed thought it was newsworthy and intelligent and informative and valuable to do a poll asking "Do you think Bin Laden is in hell"?  The result which CNN displayed without any embarrassment was that 75% said yes. Which also says something about who CNN appeals to, who they poll, who is willing to respond and who is watching.

CNN never said  if they had  a hell correspondent to verify the poll numbers but you don't need one to know that as a news organization CNN went to hell a long time ago . 

So this isn't about Clinton as much as it's about CNN and their  history at least over the last 15 years of  gross incompetence and even stupidity in their polling while their anchors and guests and analysts discuss these polls with a straight face as if they have any validity. 
CNN did a poll two days ago regarding the NSA in the wake of the Patriot Act expiring that also hit new lows in idiocy and incompetence. Their pollsters asked "Do you want NSA surveillence to continue"? The result was 63% said yes .
CNN's crack journalists concluded that meant a majority of Americans wanted to continue the bulk phone record collection exposed by Edward Snowden. 

Did CNN ask if people wanted the NSA to continue to collect all their phone records ? No. Did CNN ask if people wanted the NSA to secretly collect all their emails? No. Did CNN ask if they wanted the NSA to track all their internet activity without a warrant? No.  CNN asked if they wanted surveillance to continue as if even Edward Snowden ever advocated the end of all surveillance. That is how stupid the CNN poll is and how stupidly they framed the question. 

Then based on this, CNN concludes that Rand Paul is in big political trouble for his stand against NSA surveillance and the bulk collection of the phone records as Chris Cuomo tried to point out in an interview with a Kentucky  congressman who is a Paul supporter. Which means even  Chris Cuomo ignored CNN polling that showed Paul in a statistical dead heat with Clinton. 

Cuomo also ignored another conclusion - that if Paul is in trouble then so are the 400+ members of congress who voted overwhelmingly for the USA Freedom Act and to end the bulk phone records collection of American citizens that was at the heart of the NSA controversy exposed by Edward Snowden and that a federal judge has already ruled illegal.

That CNN's pollsters and editors didnt know enough, either out of lack of simple competence or for more nefarious reasons, to make a distinction between surveillance in general and the NSA's illegal phone records collection of U.S. citizens is just another reason to dismiss any CNN poll as lunacy and a bunch of kids playing in a sand box or having a food fight.

During the Iraq war  CNN conducted two polls which taken together would lead to the conclusion that the American people didn't value the lives of American soldiers, if you can believe that. Either that or the American people didn't know the Iraq war was being fought with live ammunition.  One poll asked if respondents supported American soldiers fighting in Iraq. Over 60% said they did . A second poll asked if they felt Iraq was worth American soldiers dying for. Over 60% said they didn't.No one at CNN said anything about the obvious moral discrepancy or that if more than  60%  supported Americans fighting in Iraq  but thought it wasn't worth  dying for what that would say about the value Americans placed on the the lives of American soldiers.  Maybe because to bring it up would have more to do with the value of a CNN poll.

The latest CNN polls are supposed to be bad news for Clinton. But they also show that only 12% of Republican voters want Rand Paul to be the Republican nominee and only 14% want Marco Rubio.   But  in CNN's poll of Clinton vs. Republican challengers head to head, Rubio gets  46% of the vote while Clinton gets 49%.  Rand Paul who yesterday was in deep political trouble over CNN's NSA poll has 47% against Clinton's 48%. So are we to believe that only 12% of Republican voters want the candidate with the best chance of beating Clinton to be the nominee? 

 A month ago a  CNN poll showed Clinton with a 17-23 pt lead over her nearest Republican  challenger.  So what happened? Are the head to head match ups an entirely new and separate  poll from the poll dealing exclusively with Clinton? If so where are Rubio's voters coming from? Or Rand Paul's?  Democrats? Independents? Aliens? Gnomes? Did CNN ask? Do they care? They don't notice anything that's an itsy bitsy witsy out of whack?  

The numbers don't add up. And neither does the one month free fall in Clinton's honesty or approval rating when there has not been a single news event to explain it. Nor the change in 63% saying they'd be "proud" to have Clinton as president only a few weeks ago to a sneering 57%  saying she is not honest or trustworthy. 

Nevertheless blind CNN anchors ignoring how preposterous the polls are taken together, instead of questioning their validity  then proceed, along with their guests, to discuss what they "mean". 

What they mean is what they have meant for years - CNN polling is the most incompetent inept unprofessional,  laughable and easily dismissed polling in the business.  They have more in common with Kafka than the Koch Brothers. And everyone from the Clinton campaign to anyone keeping an eye on politics should dismiss them. 

Polling is generally not much more than a thumbnail version of market research. The difference is that when Proctor and Gamble does market research they really want to know what people think. When CNN or many news organizations do a poll, they dont want to know what people really think, they want something to talk about. And they frame their questions and methods accordingly.  So while CNN pollsters might be good enough for CNN , they'll never be good enough for Proctor and Gamble. 


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