This is a follow-up to the post here were I tear apart this guy’s allegedly “scientific” data. This is the person behind the website “HowObamaGotElected” and I think he’s making a movie about how we elected a Muslim terrorist or something.
Anyway, Nate Silver, who had gained a great deal of polling credibility during the campaign at 538.com, got a call from the guy after Nate slammed his poll on the site.
This led to a transcript of the interview being posted here, and below I’ll pull some of the funnier exchanges. Ziegler is a nut, but I am kinda unhappy with Nate for not busting Ziegler on his complete lack of mathematical ability (as I so hilariously noted here).
BTW, the interview also gets directly to the point I raised in my previous post…the video and movie that he’s making are at polar opposites to the poll he commissioned.
That would be because….
NS: In the Youtube video, how were the Obama supporters identified for the Youtube video?
JZ: I had nothing to do with it. I had a person who was working with me who happens to be a black female since you seem to think I’m a racist who was the one that chose all of the respondents based on conversations we’d had prior, people who were well-spoken, thought they were informed, willing to come on camera and [who] voted for Barack Obama.
NS: What was the location of the polling place where the interviews were conducted?
JZ: They were both in Los Angeles.
NS: Okay, that’s what I kind of guessed. How many Obama supporters did you speak with in total?
JZ: All twelve we spoke with are in the video.
NS: Was there any significance to the fact that in the YouTube video, seven of the twelve Obama supporters were black?
JZ: [Laughs]. The reason why we had more black supporters – that might surprise some of the people that we spoke to — if we go by your apparent ability to determine race — the first location happened to be in a black section of town and we were able to get our interviews faster there because of the way that was set up, because of the logistics.
Yup, the guy headed straight south central L.A. to find your typical American voter. Super-scientific, he is.
NS: Do you think that certain types of voters are less well informed?
JZ: I think anyone that looks rationally at these poll results would have to conclude that Obama voters are incredibly poorly informed about major issues that occurred during the campaign — my guess is because McCain voters got their information from different types of media than Obama voters did.
NS: What types of media would you consider credible?
JZ: I think you need a variety of sources, but I do not accept the notion that if it’s not in the New York Times it’s not true and if it is in the New York Times it is. Just because Sean Hannity says something doesn’t mean it’s not true.
As someone who has looked rationally at these polls results, and saw that when an actual answer was given (Not Sure wasn’t a candidate in *this election*) the plurality of those polled were right every time, and that’s even given the biased questions.
The really sad part about it is that Ziegler thought these were “major issues”. I’m sorry, but a slip of the tongue (’57 states’) is a not a major issue, unless you slip it somewhere very interesting.
It’s also evident now where he gets most of his news. Hannity was kind enough to have him on the show, having seen a fellow traveler. The formulation of Hannity’s defense that Ziegler uses, “He doesn’t lie ALL the time” should be telling to anyone who has tried to defend a friend the same way.
Ziegler started off the video by quizzing Southern Californians about members of the House of Representatives for other districts and other states, ranging as far away as Massachusetts. Massachusetts has ten Reps. Very few people know who represent themselves in Congress, much less which of the 535 members represent people in other states. If you learned the name of a Representative in Congress every other day, you would never learn them all, as they get must get re-elected very two years (435 * 2 = 870, 365 * 2 =730).
Senators are a bit easier, but even those are tough to follow.
When asked himself about *Senators* in other states, Ziegler answers like a real man.
NS: Would you consider yourself well-informed
JZ: I’d consider myself extremely well-informed.
NS: Who are the two senators from South Dakota
JZ: Thune and, uh, Johnson.
NS: Very good. South Carolina?
JZ: Go fuck yourself. I’m done with this interview if you’re going to ask me stupid questions like that. Obviously I know who Lindsay Graham is.
NS: Well, since you’re running a website calling people misinformed, I’d like to see if — there are certain things you’ve said that I would consider misinformed.
JZ: Misinformed? You’re a piece of work! You are never going to have the guts to post a representative transcript on your website! I thought you actually ran a legitimate website!
NS: Thank you, have a good day.
JZ: Go fuck yourself.
And that, my friends, is the man (and I use the term loosely) who created “HowObamaGotElected.”
Jump on his bandwagon at your own risk. He’s the one driving.
UPDATE: It should be noted that this whole kurfluffle started with Ziegler and Silver (representing the jewish divide in America) around Silver’s delcaration that this was a ‘push poll’. Ziegler took offense, as he so easily does, and asked Nate for the interview. Nate obliged.
There is a simple reason why Nate incorrectly called it a “push poll” and Ziegler is right that it isn’t one. From the wiki….
A push poll is a political campaign technique in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll. In a push poll, large numbers of respondents are contacted, and little or no effort is made to collect and analyze response data. Instead, the push poll is a form of telemarketing-based propaganda and rumor mongering, masquerading as a poll.
The reason why Nate called this a “push poll” was because the questions appeared to him to be “telemarketing-based propaganda and rumor mongering, masquerading as a poll.” I agree with Nate that they appear this way. Normally poll questions are supposed to be unbiased, and I don’t see how anyone could argue these are fair questions. Heck, Ziegler admits himself that at least one is a trick question. I think people realized this, and picked the trick question answer “None” more often than they would have normally.
You see, all us Humans have built-in bullshit detectors. We got them from our ancestors who used them to survive and copulate furiously. When we think/feel someone is lying to us, or trying to mislead us, we pull back. You can see that in the numbers.
The reason this isn’t a push poll are also evident in the definition. Mainly because a “push poll is a political campaign technique” and the campaign is over, because “large numbers of respondents” were not contacted (you want to reach 10s if not 100s of thousands of people with a push poll, it’s a form of advertising, not polling), and because a great deal of effort has gone into “collect[ing] and analyze response data.”
So the question of the push poll goes to Ziegler over Silver. Congrats John, you won the battle and lost the war.
How very Pyrrhic of you.
UPDATE: Fixed the guy’s first name in title and URL. Typos are easy.