Monday, December 11, 2017

Too good to be true

I think during the Obama years, Fox News lost any pretense that it was a legitimate news source for people outside its own conservative bubble. For a surprisingly long time before that, people treated it as a serious source, even if they acknowledged its rightward slant. Nowadays, I don't think people view it as merely a slant and the overall credibility of the channel is more in question than it used to be.

And yet Fox News polls are still taken seriously across the political spectrum. Unlike the newscast, they are generally not seen as propaganda, they are reported by other (more respectable IMHO) news sources, and are included in the polling averages at places that try to be objective like 538 and Real Clear Politics. (538 gives the Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Corps. polls a "B" in terms of accuracy, and the Fox News/Anderson Robbins Research/Shaw & Company Research  polls an "A")

Still, I can't help but wonder if this poll (which is a Fox News/Anderson Robbins Research poll--the one that gets an "A" from 538) might not be something akin to a push-poll. A push-poll is when a poll is taken whose goal is not to measure the opinion of the electorate, but rather to influence how the electorate will vote, usually  by contacting people and by asking the question they suggest something bad about one of the candidates. Tomorrow's Alabama Senate race is going to be decided by turnout (aren't they all?) and none of the polling companies know exact what turnout model to use for this race because Alabama races usually are not this competitive. So maybe Fox decided to use a really pro-Jones model in the hopes that it would motivate the Moore voters to turn out the day before election day?

This is just my personal theory/wild speculation. I guess we will never know.