Rand Paul Hires Terrible Pollster


Rand Paul is diligently working on his 2016 Republican presidential bid and assembling a national campaign team. In what can only be described as a very odd move, he’s hired one of the most biased and inaccurate pollsters in the country, Fritz Wenzel (you may remember him from doing lots of polls for the Worldnetdaily). Right Wing Watch points out his long history of being wildly off the mark. For instance, just two months before the 2012 election he was trying to “unskew” the polls:

There’s a lot of noise out there right now regarding the polling of the race for President of the United States. Some polls show Democrat Barack Obama up by a few points, while others show it is a really close race. Almost no polls show Republican Mitt Romney with a meaningful lead. That does not necessarily reflect what is really going on.

The reasoon Obama seems to enjoy a lead over Romney is straight-forward, and by now, well-explained: it is because the survey sample includes more Democrats than Republicans.

Simple enough.

Nope, not simple enough. They were including more Democrats than Republicans because more Americans were identifying as Democrats than Republicans. And the exit polling and the final result of the election proved that to be true and showed that Wenzel was wrong. Basically, he was making the Dean Chambers argument and it turned out to be flagrantly wrong.

He also predicted that Todd Akin would win his Senate race, when he got stomped hard. Having an accurate pollster is important for a campaign. They usually run two sets of polls, one for the public and one for internal use, and it’s very important that the internal polling be as accurate as possible. I don’t think this is the guy who can get that for them.

Comments

  1. says

    Since when did Republitarian scum like Rand Paul give a shit about reality or accurate reporting of facts? It’s not like Paul Jr. has any chance of winning anything beyond his KY Senate seat. This whole campaign is nothing but an attention-grabbing attempt to pretend the Republican Party still has “moderate elements” as well as loony Christofascists.

  2. Reginald Selkirk says

    This is good news. It would suit me just fine if Rand Paul not only lost, but embarrassed himself badly.

  3. Glenn E Ross says

    Isn’t this the attitude that Republicans have toward governing? If most of the experts in a field disagree with their policies, whether it be economics, climate change, voter fraud, etc., they hire their own outlying experts that have opposing views. It’s good that they use the same practice in running their campaigns, since it works so well in the way they govern.

  4. machintelligence says

    They usually run two sets of polls, one for the public and one for internal use, and it’s very important that the internal polling be as accurate as possible.

    Right. You never should make the mistake of believing your own propaganda.

  5. colnago80 says

    Interestingly enough, it appears that what’s left of the Rethuglican establishment is coalescing behind former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

  6. Christoph Burschka says

    The reasoon Obama seems to enjoy a lead over Romney is straight-forward, and by now, well-explained: it is because the survey sample includes more Democrats than Republicans.

    This is what TvTropes would once have called a “You Fail Statistics Forever” moment.

  7. pocketnerd says

    Thus Spake ZaraEd Brayton:

    They were including more Democrats than Republicans because more Americans were identifying as Democrats than Republicans. And the exit polling and the final result of the election proved that to be true and showed that Wenzel was wrong.

    Why are liberals afraid to admit the simple truth? Barack HUSSEIN!! Obama won the election only because he technically received more votes. But if Mitt Romney had received more votes instead, wouldn’t that make him president by your own logic? CHECKMATE, LIBERALS!!

  8. Randomfactor says

    Think “The Producers.”

    You can make more money with a flop than by actually winning the election…as long as you’re creative with the bookkeeping.

  9. colnago80 says

    Re StevoR @ #10

    I did not mean to imply that the Rethuglican establishment was in any way, shape, form, or regard on the “left” of the political spectrum. I meant “left” in its alternate meaning, remains.

  10. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @9. Modusoperandi : Well, I’ve got the beers part done! ;-)

    @7. pocketnerd :

    Barack HUSSEIN!! (1) Obama won the election only because he technically received more votes. But if Mitt Romney had received more votes instead, (2) wouldn’t that make him president by your own logic? (3)

    (Numbers and emphasis added for convenience / clarity / comprehension help. )

    1) I’m pretty sure the US President’s middle name ain’t technically spelt in all caps and with exclaimation marks.

    2) That’s the big “if’ in bold right there. When you start by cheesing off nearly half the population in an “off-camera” moment it don’t help you cause none.

    3) Well usually sure. But not always after all Al Gore apparently, kinda, prob’ly got more votes than Bush II in, (whenwazit?) 2000 or so and still lost the Presidency so, well ya also need a rigged system and the right count in some rubbish electoral rigamajig. How different things might ha’ been.

  11. Pieter B, FCD says

    Rand Paul Hires Terrible Pollster

    Was Frank Luntz busy, or couldn’t Senator Aqua Buddha afford him?

  12. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ 11. colnago80 : Understood – fair enough.

    FWIW. I guess its all relative – even the republicans have their form of lefter and righter (wronger?) too just as the Democratic party and all parties do – but, yes, I grok that ain’t ya meaning there.

  13. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ Pieter B, FCD : Senator “Aqua Buddha” wha .. ?!

    No idea what the ref is there, sorry.

  14. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @2. Reginald Selkirk : “It would suit me just fine if Rand Paul not only lost, but embarrassed himself badly.”

    Isn’t that kind a the US political tradition? That a Rand of some kind provides the comic relief by doin’ just tha’ every election Republican~wise?

  15. pocketnerd says

    Thus Spoke ZaraStevoR:

    1) I’m pretty sure the US President’s middle name ain’t technically spelt in all caps and with exclaimation marks.

    2) That’s the big “if’ in bold right there. When you start by cheesing off nearly half the population in an “off-camera” moment it don’t help you cause none.

    3) Well usually sure. But not always after all Al Gore apparently, kinda, prob’ly got more votes than Bush II in, (whenwazit?) 2000 or so and still lost the Presidency so, well ya also need a rigged system and the right count in some rubbish electoral rigamajig. How different things might ha’ been.

    … I’m not sure if I just suck at satire, or if GOP talking points have become so consistently inane that it’s impossible to satirize them.

  16. says

    “Nothing says Octoberfest like a beer and a big plate of Fritz Wenzel.”

    Ja, naturlich; aber mit oder ohne senf?

    Ran(ci)d Paul; the difference between him and an actual piece of shit is that the shit CAN biodegrade to the point of being usable as fertilizer.

  17. says

    Sorry Ed, but I think he’s the perfect pollster for Paul. He tells the story that Paul and his followers want to hear. They don’t want the discomfort of those “skewed” polls, they want a happy bedtime story that everything will end happily. The right is all about the stories that make them feel good (or feel scared in a campfire-ghost-story kind of way.)

  18. says

    The problem for the Republicans extends beyond polling, to a discomfort with practical research conducted by academics. I hope that continues. Sasha Issenberg:

    The left has significantly broadened its perspective on political behavior,” says Adam Schaeffer, who earned graduate degrees in both evolutionary psychology and political behavior before launching a Republican opinion-research firm, Evolving Strategies. “I’m jealous of them.”

    Schaeffer attributes the imbalance to the mutual discomfort between academia and conservative political professionals, which has limited Republicans’ ability to modernize campaign methods. The biggest technical and conceptual developments these days are coming from the social sciences, whose more practically-minded scholars regularly collaborate with candidates and interest groups on the left. As a result, the electioneering right is suffering from what amounts to a lost generation; they have simply failed to keep up with advances in voter targeting and communications since Bush’s re-election. The left, meanwhile, has arrived at crucial insights that have upended the conventional wisdom about how you convert citizens to your cause. Right now, only one team is on the field with the tools to most effectively find potential supporters and win their votes.

    Researcher Todd Rogers did an a fascinating presentation on some of the research.

  19. freehand says

    Yeah, Dr. X, I do not want to see sociopathic money addicts, the financial elite, studying actual reality. I much prefer their current practice of laming themselves by cocooning themselves in soft blankets of wishful thinking. They do enough damage even when they don’t know what’s going on.
    .
    ArtK scared in a campfire-ghost-story kind of way
    .
    Heh. Yup, much of the talk of FEMA camps and Christian martyrs and reptiloids are tempered with assurances that they are the majority and God’s on their side and those liberals can’t shoot straight anyway. But remember – the money is in instilling Real Fear®.

  20. Donnie says

    Actually, i think that it is a good move for Rand Paul. The external poll, “unskewers” the polls for the media while a competent pollster delivers the accurate poll for internal use. The external poll drives the media frenzy while the internal poll drives the campaign. No?

  21. Quantum Mechanic says

    pocketnerd:

    … I’m not sure if I just suck at satire, or if GOP talking points have become so consistently inane that it’s impossible to satirize them.

    Nope, you’re fine. It’s just Poe’s Law at work; StevoR needs to recalibrate his sarcasm meter.

  22. eric says

    @23 – I think the implication was that Paul is using him for the “internal consumption” campaign polling. If so, that’s a bad move on his part. You’re right in that using this guy just for the “PR consumption” polling might be good – he may be able to keep potential donors donating even long after a Paul loss is a foregone conclusion.

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