Counterpunch has managed to shake off its ClintonHate long enough to publish a really juicy story on the possibility that Team Trump stole the election
-- an idea which this blog has also explored. (Scroll down.)
According to the exit poll data compiled from 28 states where data was available, nearly every single race where there was a discrepancy between exit poll and final vote data went to Trump.
Especially noteworthy are the following states: Ohio (8.5 percent discrepancy), North Carolina (5.9 percent discrepancy), Pennsylvania (5.6 percent discrepancy), Wisconsin (4.9 percent discrepancy), Florida (2.6 percent discrepancy). In these states, each of which was considered essential for Trump to win the election, the discrepancies between exit poll data and final counts were enough to flip the state to Trump. In other words, had the final results roughly approximated the exit poll data, Clinton would have won each of these states (Ohio was essentially tied). Put simply, the variance in the final counts gave the election to Trump.
With that in mind, consider the fact that exit polls are by far the most reliable barometer of election outcomes because, unlike predictive polling, they measure what has already happened – a vote cast a minute earlier – rather than voter opinions about what they will do in the future. And while there has long been a corporate media campaign to discredit exit polling as inaccurate and invalid as a measure of election results, this baseless assertion is at odds with many experts whose PhDs and experience with polling and election integrity issues certainly carry more weight than the ravings of mainstream liberal media hacks.
And of course, if exit poll data were so wildly inaccurate, perhaps then the US Government should answer for why it uses precisely such data to verify and validate elections in the developing world.
Edison Research is the firm which conducts exit polls. The head of that firm, Joe Lenski, says that exit polls in foreign lands can be used to validate elections because they are designed differently from the exit polls used here. In truth, the differences are not so profound as Lenski would have you believe.
Besides, why should we not
validate our voting results with the same tools used to validate elections held in the developing world?
Perhaps Mr. Lenski should elaborate on why Edison exit polls “catch manipulations” in foreign countries, but simply cannot do so in the US? It’s unlikely Lenski would be able to answer the question truthfully because in doing so he’d reveal that this assertion is based on political considerations and complexities rather than methodological ones. Perhaps Lenski could also explain why he invokes the “margin of error” argument when he knows perfectly well that the results in Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Florida are well beyond the margin of error. Is this deliberate obfuscation? It certainly seems that way.
We may fairly presume that Lenski is a well-educated man. Therefore, he must understand that he is engaging in a logical fallacy. When the exits disagree with the official tallies, his firm manipulates the exits numbers to make them conform -- and yet we are supposed to rest assured that the official tallies are accurate because the exit polling data offers confirmation.
That type of anti-reasoning is what logicians mean when they use the term "begging the question," a phrase which many people misunderstand. You beg the question
when you offer an argument in which the answer you prefer is presumed to be true from the outset. Have you ever met a fundamentalist who told you that God must be real because the Bible says so, and we know the Bible to be accurate because it was written by God? That
, my friends, is begging the question
-- or petitio principii
, if you want to be fancy about it. In a formal sense, little or nothing differentiates the fundamentalist's argument from Mr. Lenski's.
(Many people say "That begs the question" when they mean to say "That raises
the question." I presume that my readers know better than to make that error.)
Let us not fear to cry foul in the face of this obvious evidence of election tampering. After all, the Republicans have no such qualms: Remember what Trump said before the election. And look at how the Republicans are now trying to undermine the vote for the governor of North Carolina.
A couple of posts down, I asked (vis-a-vis the suspicious exit polls): How do we get the word out?
Well, Counterpunch is a good start. Next stops: Democratic Underground. TPM. HuffPo. MSNBC. The NYT and the WP.
As they used to say in 2008: Get this to Keith!
On a completely unrelated note:
Here's a literary poser which I may have mentioned here before, although I don't recall doing so.
What is the secret relationship between The Epic of Gilgamesh (the first great saga) and The Exorcist?