On Thursday night’s edition of “The Colbert Report,” host Stephen Colbert took a look at the science of polling, specifically the poll numbers concerning the upcoming presidential election.
In survey after survey, President Barack Obama is pulling ahead of former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA), a development that has some on the right feeling anxious, while others have decided that the best way to avoid feelings of sadness and fear about the polls is to make up new polls.
“The latest Fox News polls give President Obama an edge in three key swing states. He’s up 5 in Florida, 7 in Ohio and 7 in Virginia,” intoned one analyst over a screen full of data. “But, that’s with all likely voters. Once you isolate voters who are extremely interested in the election, the race is much closer.”
“Yes,” said Colbert, “much closer among the extremely interested. And Romney’s tied among the inexpressibly intrigued. And he’s up by two points when you count only voters who are psychotically engaged.”
“The point is, the polls showing Romney behind have to be wrong,” he said, before showing clips of Karl Rove, Stuart Varney and others on Fox insisting that the current numbers are incorrect for a myriad of reasons, including sampling errors and bias on the part of pollsters.
According to Colbert, the key is to just find a pollster you like and only believe them, which brings us to blogger Dean Chambers of “UnSkewed Polls.com,” who claims to have analyzed the amount of liberal bias inherent in the current set of pollsters, and corrected for it, “un-skewing” the results.
His revised methodology actually concluded that Romney is up in the polls by 7.8 percent, Colbert said, which goes up three more points when you include the margin of error. (“And given how many errors Romney has made, I think he should get all of it!” he quipped.)
In the end, what is there for Fox to do, really, but poll their viewers by text. When asked to vote by text message as to who they think will win Ohio, Fox viewers logged in an impressive 90 precent in favor of Romney over Obama’s shabby 10 percent.
“I don’t know, I don’t know,” Colbert said skeptically. “That poll looks like it over-sampled Democrats by about 10 percent.”
Watch the video, embedded via Comedy Central, below: