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Newsweek Poll Fraud Unmasked By Zogby!

Bush 11-Point Lead Due to Flagrant Poll Manipulation

Dear friends,

Let us be thankful for independent polls. I'm coming to trust the major polling organizations less and less. Read below to see how Newsweek manipulated data to skew the polls by several percentage points. This is reported by the well-respected polling agency Zogby International, the official polling agency for Reuters in the US. Please help to build a better world by spreading the news.


With best wishes,





2004: It Is Not An 11 Point Race - by John Zogby

The Republican National Convention is over and score it a huge success for President George W. Bush. For one solid week he was on message and got Americans who watched to listen to the message he intends to carry in the fall campaign: leadership, decisiveness and success battling the war on terrorism. The convention actually followed another big week for Mr. Bush and equally dismal one for his opponent, Democratic Senator John Kerry.

Now the first polls are out. I have Mr. Bush leading by 2 points in the simple head-to-head match up - 46% to 44%. Add in the other minor candidates and it becomes a 3 point advantage for the President - 46% to 43%. This is no small achievement. The President was behind 50% to 43% in my mid-August poll and he essentially turned the race around by jumping 3 points as Mr. Kerry lost 7 points. Impressive by any standards.

For the first time in my polling this year, Mr. Bush lined up his Republican ducks in a row by receiving 90% support of his own party, went ahead among Independents, and now leads by double-digits among key groups like investors. Also for the first time the President now leads among Catholics. Mr. Kerry is on the ropes.

Two new polls came out immediately after mine (as of this writing) by the nation's leading weekly news magazines. Both Time's 52% to 41% lead among likely voters and Newsweek's 54% to 43% lead among registered voters give the President a healthy 11 point lead. I have not yet been able to get the details of Time's methodology but I have checked out Newsweek's poll. Their sample of registered voters includes 38% Republican, 31% Democrat and 31% Independent voters. If we look at the three last Presidential elections, the spread was 34% Democrats, 34% Republicans and 33% Independents (in 1992 with Ross Perot in the race); 39% Democrats, 34% Republicans, and 27% Independents in 1996; and 39% Democrats, 35% Republicans and 26% Independents in 2000. While party identification can indeed change within the electorate, there is no evidence anywhere to suggest that Democrats will only represent 31% of the total vote this year. In fact, other competitors have gone in the opposite direction. The Los Angeles Times released a poll in June of this year with 38% Democrats and only 25% Republicans. And Gallup's party identification figures have been all over the place.

This is no small consideration. Given the fact that each candidate receives anywhere between eight in ten and nine in ten support from voters in his own party, any change in party identification trades point for point in the candidate's total support. My polls use a party weight of 39% Democrat, 35% Republican and 26% Independent. Thus in examining the Newsweek poll, add three points for Mr. Bush because of the percentage of Republicans in their poll, then add another 8% for Mr. Bush for the reduction in Democrats. It is not hard to see how we move from my two-point lead to their eleven-point lead for the President.

I will save the detailed methodological discussion for another time. But I will remind readers that my polling has come closest to the final results in both 1996 and 2000.

None of this takes away from the President's achievement. He got out of his party's convention everything he needed to launch his campaign in earnest in the closing two months. But my poll still reveals lurking shadows for him. He still has a net negative job performance rating, a negative re-elect (i.e. more voters think it is time for someone new than feel he deserves re-election) and a net negative wrong direction for the country.

The poll also suggests that Mr. Kerry is behind and has a lot of work to do to refocus the campaign on the issues that must work for him: the economy, health care, and the execution of the war in Iraq. We also see now that at least in the short run, the advertising campaign against the Senator about his military service in Vietnam has raised questions about his integrity and has caused his personal unfavorable numbers to jump.

But with all that said, it simply is not an 11 point race. It just isn't.

John Zogby is the President and CEO of Zogby International- an independent polling firm, and writes this column for the Financial Times where it first appeared.

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