Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Focus Groups/Online Polls Call Sanders the Winner; Media Call Clinton the Winner

OK, so I am totally biased and nothing was going to happen last night that would have changed my mind about the candidates. I support Bernie Sanders for President but I didn’t think last night was Bernie’s best performance. So, imagine my amazement when I check out post-debate Internet polls: – Sanders (58%), Clinton (36%), O’Malley (2%), Webb (1%), Chafee (1%) – Sanders (74%), Clinton (18%), Webb (4%), O’Malley (3%), Chafee (1%)
Facebook/CNN – Sanders (81%), Clinton (13%), O’Malley (2%), Webb (2%), Chafee (1%) – Sanders (55%), Webb (31%), Clinton (11%), O’Malley (2%), Chafee (1%) – Sanders (57%), Webb (24%), Clinton (8%), O’Malley (7%), Chafee (4%)

I don’t guess I should be surprised that Bernie did well with the Social Media savvy Facebook audience where he got 81% of the votes. I was more surprised that he did so well with 58% in the Daily Kos poll were the audience is largely made up of active Democratic Party members and he soared on Slate to 74% where I believe the audience to be more “left of center” than “Democrat”.

Maybe the real story in the numbers is how Hillary’s support fell through the floor on the less partisan Time poll and on the somewhat more Republican or even conservative Drudge Report where she only got 8% and was beat by Jim Webb who got 24% of the vote. Even in the more conservative Drudge Report poll, Bernie is the clear winner with 57%.

The Internet audience may not represent the broader audience of likely voters in the upcoming Presidential Primary Elections, but if they tell us anything it is this, Hillary is in second place among those who watched the debate and participated in Internet polls. Hillary can’t even beat Jim Webb when the audience is not left of center and would certainly do poorly in swing states where voters are largely independent or right of center.

When the public has a chance to hear him and know what he stands for, Bernie has a broader appeal than Hillary and has a better chance of winning in a General Election.

So how did the media spin this?

CNN has a long history of giving a lot of attention to online polls and focus groups. They never even mentioned how candidates did in Facebook/CNN poll where Bernie thrashed Hillary. And they gave almost no attention to their focus group where an audience that started this debate leaning toward Hillary ended it in strong support of Bernie.

CNN and other media reports seem determined to paint Hillary Clinton as the winner. At one point I noticed the focus group showed by a hand vote strong support for Bernie Sanders and the CNN news reporter said, “I see that you evenly divided in your support for Hillary and Bernie.”

CNN’s web page has a large picture of Hillary and the top and their own report indicates the winner was Hillary Clinton. Again, no morning coverage from the focus group or the Facebook/CNN Internet poll.

I am beginning to think that Bernie Sanders could be taking the Oath of Office and media pundits would still be talking about Hillary Clinton.

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