CNBC vs Ron Paul – Either Incompetent or Unethical

CNBC finally response regarding Ron Paul and the fact that they deleted a poll showing him that he was the winner in a recent debate:

Now these Internet polls are admittedly unscientific and subject to hacking. In the end, they are really just a way to engage the reader and take a quick temperature reading of your audience. Nothing more and nothing less. The cyber equivalent of asking the room for a show of hands on a certain question.

So there was our after-debate poll. The numbers grew … 7,000-plus votes after a couple of hours … and Ron Paul was at 75%.

Now Paul is a fine gentleman with some substantial backing and, by the way, was a dynamic presence throughout the debate , but I haven’t seen him pull those kind of numbers in any “legit” poll. Our poll was either hacked or the target of a campaign. So we took the poll down.

Basically, the only evidence that they have for the poll being spammed is that Ron Paul was performing well.

I mean, after all, there’s no way a candidate pushing to restore Habeas Corpus or withdraw forces form a war that’s not supported by the majority of the country could win a popular election.

This leaves us with the fact that either CNBC is incompetent or unethical.

Yes. Internet polls can be spammed. So why put them online? They are FAR from scientific.

Get a clue CNBC. You’re part of the mainstream media. It’s time to start acting with a bit of responsibility.

I mean – it’s only our DEMOCRACY we’re talking about here!


CNBC backtracks a bit here:

I agree with the complaints. I do not believe our poll was “hacked.” Nor do I agree with my colleagues’ decision to take it down, though I know they were acting in good faith.

My reasoning is simple: Political dialogue on the Internet, like democracy itself, ought to be open and participatory. If you sponsor an online poll as we did, you accept the results unless you have very good reason to believe something corrupt has occurred–just as democracies accept results on Election Day at the ballot box without compelling evidence of corruption. I have no reason to believe anything corrupt occurred with respect to our poll.

To the contrary, I believe the results we measured showing an impressive 75% naming Paul reflect the organization and motivation of Paul’s adherents. This is precisely what unscientific surveys of this kind are created to measure. Another indication: the impressive $5-million raised by Paul’s campaign in the third quarter of the year.

  1. Are you serious? Of course it was gamed by Ron Paul supporters. That man is a crazy fool and there’s no way 75% of our population is that idiotic.

  2. Hey David.

    Even if it was gamed directly by Paul supporters (either via sending it via IM or email or direct spamming) it doesn’t matter.

    Internet polling is NOT reliable. If you put an online poll online you’re incompetent. It’s going to be spammed by SOMEONE eventually.

    If you then take it offline your unethical because you’re censoring you’re reader base and opening yourself up for claims of bias.

    The correct answer would have been to conduct a more scientific poll.

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