The Pollster Cop-out Line on Third Parties

Browbeating third parties with their psuedo-science poll methodology:

“We would include them if we felt the candidate could have a significant impact in the race,” Schwartz said. “We consider their fundraising, press coverage and how the district voted for the party in the past.”

If the voters felt strongly about Maymin, they would volunteer his name in polls, Schwartz added.

I see… it’s the voter’s obligation to inform the pollster if they don’t include all the candidates. Just like the journalist’s view that it’s the voter’s obligation to inform the media. How does this factor into the publicity giving wall to wall coverage of the major parties with not even a mention of the other candidates on the ballot? Beats the fuck out of anyone not in the polling or media industry (good luck voter).

And by the way, they aren’t going to listen to you anyways because they base their decision on their counterpart anyways:

One pollster said candidates should focus less on polling methodology and more on their campaigns.

That’s right… shut the fuck up and start campaigning for attention to your platform from uh… the pollsters and media. Oh shit.

“Candidates are always worried about the bandwagon effect, but voters are not necessarily going to go for you just because you’re ahead in a poll,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Polling Institute in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. “They should worry less about the nuances of poll.”

And voters are definitely not going to know jack shit about you if you’re not in the polls in the first place… so thanks.

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. There is no conspiracy to keep 3rd parties out of the political game. Any thought that there is, is erroneous and should be ignored. Libertarians will be winning races all over the country. Any. Day. Now.

  2. The problem with politics today is that those of us with greivances have been reduced to asking how much it costs to get them redressed.

    I used to believe that our system could be changed from within, but I am starting to wonder if it isn’t time to either radically reform the voting system in 2007 (through instant run-off voting), or if we should just break out the tar and feathers November 8th.

  3. Having a name in a poll will not give voters information about the candidate (republican, democrat, libertarian or other). The voters still need to do the research. The information that is pushed onto the voter is what the candidate wants the voter to know, not what the voter needs to know.

  4. I am starting to wonder if it isn’t time to either radically reform the voting system in 2007 (through instant run-off voting), or if we should just break out the tar and feathers November 8th.

    False dichotomy — I see no reason not to do both.

    More seriously, find out who’s doing the push polls. (Any poll that presents only some of the options and bills them as all of the options is a push poll.) I know that there are standards for ethics in polling, though I don’t know exactly what they are or how to pursue allegations of unethical polling. But we should probably be educating ourselves.

    Most polls are associated with media outlets. Media outlets depend on advertisers. If advertisers hear from 2% of their market, or even enough people to make them think 2% of their market cares, they’ll care. The polling organizations will say things about walls of separation from the business side, but they’ll learn to care too.

  5. Swearing doesn’t help ;) (plus it can limit who I link here), but I always take the time to complain when a poll does not include my candidate.

    Push polls are the worst, and if they come with pre-paid postage, I always send them back with suggestions.

  6. One of the “most read” section of any newspaper is the Letters to the Editor. May I suggest that supporters of LP candidates left off the polls, write a letter to the editor of the paper printing the polls, pointing it out and saying a few positive things about the candidate? That will probably get more notice among the voters than the article
    about the poll results did. And may create a bit of sympathy besides. Let’s figure out how to make lemonade folks!

  7. If the media is screwing us, one option is simply to become the media. Traditional outlets may be set in their ways, but libertarians pretty much own the Internet. Let’s use that to our advantage. Can you imagine how much more effective we’d be if there was one wildly popular central site where we could gather – something like or for libertarians?

    Libertymix looks to me like it would fit the bill perfectly. I can see that site being incredibly successful, once it launches.

  8. Libertymix looks to me like it would fit the bill perfectly. I can see that site being incredibly successful, once it launches.

    Just curious, what do you think will lead it to gather the critical mass that, say, hasn’t come up with? I can think of a factor that might help: More commitment by the people involved in the launch. It’s very deflating to come on board with someone’s vision for a site and then realize that they don’t have the time to help build that vision.

    I’m also inherently suspicious of Web sites that take forever to gear up for the “Big Bang” rather than doing a phased launch. If your site can’t add value (at least a forum to go with your splash page, if I understand what LibertyMix is about) within a week of inception, you’re probably moving too slow.

  9. Also, the markup for ‘Mix has this comment:

    6/5/06 losing code to an overwrite sucks balls… we’ll be up within the day

    There will be some slight quirks as some things now must be fixed post-launch.
    The idea now is that we’re simply pushing this as a working beta now to keep
    promises. We are moving in the right direction as we add more and fix errors

    (Emphasis added)

    I’m certainly empathetic about tech issues, since I also do Web dev., but you can’t simply shut down for four months because of technical glitches. Put up a crude backup site (like I’ve had to do this week), get something, but don’t just stand in place.

  10. Speaking of which, where the hell is LibertyMix? I’m a short-on-cash college student, and I sent $50 to something I was promised in APRIL. It’s October, in case you hadn’t noticed.

  11. “If the voters felt strongly about Maymin, they would volunteer his name in polls, Schwartz added”

    BS! I was polled just before the 2004 Presidential election and told them I was voting for Badnarik the Libertarian. The pollster said that he was not one of the choices so my opinion would not count in their poll.

  12. One solution is to support Kinky Friedman for Governor of Texas. A victory by the libertarian-leaning Independent will be a huge coup for the Independent/Third Party movement.

    It was one thing to get Jesse elected Governor of Minn. But come on. It’s Minnesota (No offense to Snowbirds intended).

    Can you imagine a maverick like Kinky being Governor of the Nation’s 2nd largest State?

    Libertarians need to get on board the Kinky train, as part of his coalition.

  13. As far as coverage goes.Last week I paid to put in 2000 flyers in the local paper for garrett Hayes.The next day they interviewed him. Three days latter front page article.I believe buying ad space helped but I believe they are taken us more serious because we were able to buy ad space.


    Smither needs $$$$$$$$$$ and buzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    Can anyone help with blogs, call ins to radio, $10 here or there?

    Kinky may be “like” a Libertarian, but Smither “is” a Libertarian.
    Smither will WIN.
    Kinky, doubtful.

  15. Doug, that’s crazy talk. God forbid a Libertarian candidate actually run advertising.

    Seriously, why doesn’t this happen more often? Running print/radio/TV ads would be a surefire way to circumvent the vicious cycle and raise awareness of a campaign. It would certainly do a lot more good than whining and begging for free publicity.

    If candidates can’t afford full-page ads in major publications, why not start with smaller ads, or by blanketing second tier neighborhood weeklies? Or, there are any number of mailings which will accept paid inserts.

  16. SVD: It is most certainly the latter, altho tar and feathers are a bit less than reality would dictate. As I’ve said before Martin Luther used a hammer and nails, the Sons of Liberty used warpaint and hatchets (as well as tar and feathers for some people). The “tories” are in command and will not allow themselves to be deposed. By ignoring candidates they don’t marginalise you…they relegate you to insignificance.

    As for Dunderos calls to unite behind Freidman…why should Texas Libertarians waste their votes? There’s a perfectly good libertarian they could vote for. Sheesh…

  17. Texas will hold its one, and only Governor debate tonight.

    Belo Corporation, which is hosting the debate, has decided to exlude libertarian candidate James Werner.

    Officials at Belo, which owns several Texas print and broadcast news outlets, including the Dallas Morning-News and WFAA-TV in Dallas, said no invitation would be extended to Werner because he polled less than 6%.

  18. I know I’m a bit guilty of “spamming” Hammer of Truth with this, but I think it’s extremely important.

    If you all want to be outraged go to, the bellweather for American politics.

    Click onto TX CD-22. You’ll see only two candidates listed: Sekula-Gibbs and Nick Lampson.

    This is outrageous!! Smither is polling 25% and Sekula-Gibbs 11% and yet they still choose to list her.

    I see the Democrat War Machine at work here behind the scenes. No doubt, they want to whitewash Smither out of the race, pretend he doesn’t exist so as to give Lampson the seat. They know the Sekula-Gibbs candidacy is a joke.

    I hunted all over for a contact email or phone numbe on RCP and couldn’t find one. We MUST find some way to contact them to complain.

    Everybody who is anybody in real world politics reads this site!

  19. This is my letter to them:

    Real Clear Politics,

    Could you kindly tell me why it is you are completely ignoring Libertarian Bob Smither for the Tom DeLay seat in TX CD-22? You don’t even list him when one clicks on TX CD-22 headlined in this morning’s RCP. The latest poll has Lampson at 34%, Smither at 25% and Sekula-Gibbs at 11%. Why would you list the 3rd-party candidate in the race write-in Sekula-Gibbs and not Smither?

    I live next door to this District. I’m a diehard Republican. All my friends who live there are supporting Bob Smither, and all are Republicans. Latest rumors are that Sekula-Gibbs is going to drop out of the race and Republicans will back Smither.

    It will look kind of strange for Real Clear Politics when Smither wins, and you didn’t even list him?

    I’m a huge fan of RCP. With my morning coffee every single day I read it “head to toe” right after Drudge. But if you all diss Libertarians, and libertarian Republicans, why should I bother?

  20. If you want more evidence of the anti-libertarian, anti-GOP hard liberal bias of Real Clear Politics click on the Claire McCaskill/Jim Talent race in Missouri.

    You’ll see a “college era” photo of McCaskill where she looks 20 years younger.

    Not she’s gained about 20 pounds and looks like an old bag. But RCP won’t run a recent photo of her.