New Dog, Old Tricks: Ted Cruz invokes classic “unskewing” argument that worked so well in the 2012 elections

Support after the shutdown

Well, if nothing else, Republicans are at least consistent. Moreover, Ted Cruz is clearly a brave, brave man. He is a brave man to unflinchingly use a strategy that brought utter and complete shame to the Republican Party less than two years ago.

In case you missed it, the above graph shows the public opinion poll results that illustrate how people have been feeling since this whole government shut-down thing began. Clearly the graph must have some kind of liberal bias, since it shows that apparently Obama and the Democrats have not been harmed by the shut-down, whereas the Tea Party and John Boehner are currently slightly less popular than radioactive dog feces.

But Ted Cruz made even the most die-hard Republicans squirm slightly with discomfort when he trotted out his explanation of exactly how this graph was biased.

“I’ll note that that poll was very heavily weighted with an awful lot of Democrats with an awful lot of Obama supporters,” said Ted Cruz, citing the fact that 43 percent of the respondents leaned Democrat while only 32 percent of them leaned Republican.  NBC noted, of course, that this perfectly reflects composition of the country at the moment, where the number of people across the entire nation that claims that they lean Democratic also outnumber the number of people who claim that they lean Republican.

But according to Ted Cruz, this represents a gross and unfair problem with the poll.

The most awkward thing about this claim is that it is simply trotting out the exact same logic that every single Republican pollster used in 2012 to predict a glorious Mitt Romney landslide. That was the point in history when the famous meme “unskewed polls” first came about: the GOP logic that in order to get a “fair” sample you had to always poll exactly the same number of Republicans and Democrats, regardless of how many people actually belong to each party.

Well, that “Mitt Romney landslide” never happened, and the election was followed by several months of relentless mocking of conservative news media for their “unskewing” tactics that universally and without exception got everything completely and utterly wrong.

So I guess that just means this: Hats off to you, Ted Cruz. You’ve got some balls. Only a man so blinded by the shining Godly light of ideology would dare to trot out that old “trick” to explain poll results.  Bravo, sir.

2 Replies to “New Dog, Old Tricks: Ted Cruz invokes classic “unskewing” argument that worked so well in the 2012 elections”

  1. in the spring of 2012, when it was apparent in the polls that people preferred president obama over romney the presumed nominee, a friend attacked the polls the same way. fun as it was to let him argue with a straight face that they included fewer republican supporters than democratic supporters.

    I had to ask him if he follows faux “news”. that made him angry, saying that he knows a little about statistics and can figure this out by himself. sure, he might have known about stats, but not about picking a representative sample, or then about general facts such as how many members or supporters each party has.

    well, to him information about general support was all lies, because the country is fundamentally conservative, not liberal, as the liberal mainstream media tells me such lies. and besides, of course liberals were more frequently answering polls. so how about the little tricks the pollsters do to correct the numbers of the answers to represent the population. so it was apparent, that he knew little about statistical methods?

    haven’t talked with him since the election. his loss, imo.

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