WikiLeaks continues its campaign of email dumps. A new email from from 2008 might be a leak of the playbook on just how Democrats rig polls through oversampling.
Over the course of the 2016 campaign, many have noted the oversampling of Democrats in a number of high profile polls including, notably, a recent ABC News poll that oversampled Democrats by 9-points!
The newly released email, entitled “Atlas polling recommendations”, suggests that this oversampling may be part of a coordinated effort. In the 2008 email, staffers with The Atlas Project, a left-wing demographic research organization, are asked to “recommend oversamples for our polling”, which was set to begin the following month. They planned to do so in order to “maximize what we get out of our media polling.”
Attached to the email was a 37-page guide which blog ZeroHedge describes as “poll-rigging recommendations” in which friendly demographics would be oversampled.
The recommendations include:
Research, microtargeting & polling projects
– Over-sample Hispanics
– Use Spanish language interviewing. (Monolingual Spanish-speaking voters are among the lowest turnout Democratic targets)
– Over-sample the Native American population
ZeroHedge also nots that for Florida, the report recommends “consistently monitoring” samples to makes sure they’re “not too old” and “has enough African American and Hispanic voters.” Meanwhile, “‘independent’ voters in Tampa and Orlando are apparently more dem friendly so the report suggests filling up independent quotas in those cities first.”
The report also recommends over sampling based on ethnicity, district, and region for the general election:
– General election benchmark, 800 sample, with potential over samples in key districts/regions
– Benchmark polling in targeted races, with ethnic over samples as needed
– Targeting tracking polls in key races, with ethnic over samples as needed
Tom Matzzie, the individual responsible for the initial 2008 email, has responded to the accusations, suggesting that the over-sampling is a normal part of the polling process:
Option 1: 8 years ago we presciently rigged 2016 polling. Option 2: the people commenting on this are being misled by a demagogue
— Tom Matzzie (@tommatzzie) October 24, 2016
Despite Matzzie’s assertion, nobody is suggesting the 2008 recommendations were an effort to rig 2016 polling. Rather, the leaked email and report offer insight into how the polling sausage is made–and how easily that process can be politicized and manipulated.