A New Kind of Election Fraud

‘Tis the season for election fraud. First, we had Sonny’s Department of Driver Services registering non-citizens. Now we have an entirely different kind…

The Collins campaign has been spinning reporters and donors – including some on this very website – about how it is one point ahead of Jim Marshall. That doesn’t ring true to anyone who is familiar with actual polling in the race. A web search reveals that a poll was supposedly released by the Polling Company and conducted 10/04-10/06

So I went to The Polling Company’s website. Apparently they conducted a series of polls for the Center for Immigration Studies in 14 Congressional races, including Georgia’s 8th Congressional District race

Look at the last page – at the bottom, hidden in a footnote. The counties they surveyed were Douglas, Carroll, Coweta, Fayette, Spalding, Lamar, Pike, Upson, Henry, Rockdale, Newton, Jasper, Jones, Bibb, Troup, Harris and Muscogee. 

That’s the OLD 8th District. There’s only 13% overlap between the old 8th and the new 8th, and it’s the most Republican part of the new 8th. So in Collins’s OLD district, which he represented and Marshall did not, which is MUCH more Republican than the new 8th, according to a highly partisan Republican company, the race is TIED. Erick, you were right all along. Mac is toast. 

That a Republican polling firm screwed up is no surprise to anyone. That the Collins folks are trying to fool people with this poll definitely will surprise no one outside the Collins headquarters. 



  1. RuralDem says:

    It looks like a bigtime goof on someone’s part.

    Only four counties in that poll are in Congressman Marshall’s new district. Those four counties only account for 21% of that poll anyway.

    If this is indeed the polling the Collins’ campaign is using, they need to do a little less attacking of Marshall and a little more research.

    Ah well, Congressman Marshall should be fine in 13 days. He’s the right fit for Georgia voters in his district.

  2. Mad Dog says:

    Hey Bobby!

    I’m upset they didn’t poll me! I don’t live in the district either! If they were going to do a worthless poll, I’m the guy they should have talked to! I skew everything.

    Being 79 percent wrong must be a Republican thing. Like finding WMD in Iraq, Osama in Afghanistan, and terrorists under every bed.

    This Republican polling company, what are they doing on Election Day? Subcontracting with Diebold?

  3. Donkey Kong says:

    Must be the same polling company that conducted the exit polls in the 2004 election, just under Democratic payroll.

  4. The Republicans have been running campaigns in Georgia against Cynthia McKinney in places outside of the 4th district for years. I guess they’ve just extended that to research and polling.

  5. Mad Dog says:


    Republicans think the average American never has sex except to procreate. That every sperm is a potential soul. That psychiatry is a death cult. That Saddam still has WMD under his bed. That we’re about to catch Osama bin Laden. That man never landed on the moon.

    They believe that screaming “The sky is blue” over and over again passes for rational discussion.

    They believe George W. Bush, the current occupant of the White House and Iraq, speaks to God and God answers him.

    They believe one’s position on gay marraige is an issue that determines a political candidate’s suitability to be the next dog catcher on Gillian’s Isle.

    Republicans believe firmly with all of their tiny hearts that patriotism can be bred into the human face, as if there is a gene.

    So why not let them believe a poll that gets Republican donors to pony up thousands of dollars for a loser?

    Republican voters are looking for the next Political Jesus. And, just like the man with herpes under his eyelids, they’ve been looking for love in all the wrong places.

  6. CHelf says:

    I am willing to bet a small sum of money that this is merely a typo on someone’s part and the correct data was used. Takers?

  7. CHelf says:

    Yes I followed the link. I read the document. But words on a document don’t mean that those numbers were called. Are you now believing something that you’re trying to discredit? I find it humorous that one minute these people are incompetent and the next minute everything is factual including the list of counties. Please pick a side and stick with it.

  8. CHelf says:

    What does my net worth have to do with the small sum I referred to? Just like a liberal….always trying to take more when you shouldn’t be taking in the first place.

  9. CHelf, give me a break. Those numbers and area breaks where generated off a data file. Either somehow all of the county codes in the old district match up to counties in the new one, or they made a serious goof.

    Remember Erick said there was a good poll for Mac but the media was spiking it and refused to report it? Well, this is why. They goofed. In fairness to them, the state Republican party has made electioneering very difficult in certain districts in the House, Senate and Congress by insisting on a mid decade redistricting effort that’s messed a lot of people up and kept some campaigns from getting their communications up and running from early on.

    But hey, just today Michael Barone said Ga-8 is “safe Democratic.” Maybe this poll is really legit (.1% chance) but none of the pros in the media are buying it if it is.

  10. CHelf says:

    I’ll give you a break and a pass. We’ll see. If they refused to report this one, how did intel central at Dem HQ find it? I find it quite difficult to believe a spiked poll would be accessible on the web as this one is.

    But again, I could be wrong but I’m sticking with error on wording here.

  11. me says:

    Exactly, Chris. These folks only polled in one district in Georgia. They simply wouldn’t know the names of the counties in an old or adjoining district. They’r enot doing it from memory. And they named the regions “Northwest”, “Central”, “East” and “Southwest” — divisions that make no sense in the vertical new 8th but made sense for the shape of the old 8th. And those regions each have a percentage assigned.

    That’s just how polling works. They screwed up. It’s cut and dried.

    Plus, the race has never been that kind of close.

    Oh, and Chelf, like any good capitalist, I just wanted to know how much profit I could make off you with zero risk.

  12. CHelf says:

    Well if you get your way, after January I won’t make much profit at all.

    Like I said, we’ll see. I’ll ask you the same. How much do you make? Government checks and aid are included as well.

  13. jackson says:

    If I was a pollster, I wouldnt lose any sleep over Bobby Kahn’s criticizms. Wasnt he the “genius” that sqaundered over $20 million and let an incumbent Gubenatorial campaign implode?

    BTW, Bobby, what was your polling saying in 2004?


  14. gatormathis says:

    Bobby Kahn. Mark Taylor. Two elite idiots who really need for this election to go democrat to keep them from drifting off into obscurity.

    bye bye bobb bee

    too dee loo taylor

  15. CHelf says:

    I don’t think Gator did. But there are ways to find out who did. And what was pulled. Until you know exactly who was called and in what counties, I’d be a little cautious about staking your reputation on this being a bad poll.

    Besides, why are we arguing over a poll that is three weeks old? That seems quite ancient in the world of polling? Why don’t you just step back in time and argue the polls showing Barnes or Kerry ahead?

  16. CHelf, here is the footnote:
    Northwest: Douglas, Carroll, Coweta, and Fayette counties; Central: Spalding, Lamar, Pike, Upson, Henry, and Rockdale counties; East: Newton, Jasper, Jones, and Bibb counties; Southwest: Troup, Harris, and Muscogee counties

    I work with pollsters and with with pulling samples on a weekly basis. In order for pollsters to continue to be seen as credible, they stand by their work and release un-doctored footnotes like this. Is this poll valid? Sure thing. I bet it is a good gauge of the OLD 8th district.

    But, is it relevant to the current race? No. And that is why the media “spiked it.”

    Here is an example line from a file a pollster may use to call from:


    Etc. They code the file for area breaks and counties. In a 500 sample poll with 15+ counties, the counties themselves are not large enough to break out separately and be considered statistically viable. So they group them into larger subsamples of area breaks.

    Then, as they are conducting the poll, they do things like check and see if they have the right percentage of callers from the Southeast Region or whatever you may call it.

    This is a science, and a lot of care goes into sample preparation and then making sure that the final poll is statistically representative of the actual electorate.

    The problem here is that they had the wrong electorate, since they either purchased or were supplied with the old 8th district. I would be interested to see who made that error – the vendor that they bought their list from (most likely, this mid-decade redistricting stuff is unusual and most vendors don’t know about it, just look at the Google Earth Congressional map thing that has the old districts) or the Collins campaign.

    If the Collins camp provided the sample, well that really speaks volumes. Either they are incompetent and goofed on this one or their own polls in the real 8th district are so bad they gave them the old sample to try and generate some buzz.

    Personal experience with this: After redistricting in the legislature in 2004, some counties, particularly those that don’t split their house or senate districts are slow to update their voter lists. We had a small county that was showing up in a list for a district that wasn’t anywhere near it anymore because of the numbers change. The pollster had completed about 25 calls in this county (out of a 400 person sample) when we caught the error and they just junked the calls (thankfully the rest of the district was correct) and did 25 new calls to the real district.

    So these things happen. When the data is screwed up like this, the best thing to do is junk it, move on and don’t get caught up with it. The fact that the Collins camp probably knew how inaccurate this was but has still been pumping it to donors and the media to try and prop up their ailing campaign speaks volumes about what’s really going on in that race.

  17. CHelf says:


    Thanks for your credentials. I also work with numerous polling firms and campaigns who pull thousands of dollars in data on a daily basis.

    I would like to question you on your assertion of this being ‘spiked’. Is there any proof this is the same one Erick was referring to? I don’t think so. This was not spiked. This was posted on the web and made available solely on the merits of the immigration issue. The Polling Company ran this on districts nationwide to gauge the immigration issue in these districts.

    I cannot answer why the footnote was placed like it was but I can say that this was not what was polled. And since you have no proof either way, your assertions are based solely on conjecture. I know and you do not. All you have to go by is a footnote that is questionable.

    Personal experience with this: yes counties are slow to update their lists and so is the state. But any good data vendor does not wait on the state. There are methods such as zip-to-precinct matches and other methods that can speed the process up much greater than waiting on local entities.

    Again, two things here. This poll is quite old and it is humorous that all you have to argue on is something three weeks old. Another issue is that all you have to argue on is a footnote that can easily be misrepresented. Seeing how you have no way of proving this one way or another, your assessment is a mere assumption. Sitting here watching the head Dem get giddy about such an old poll makes me think there is nothing left to hit on except old news. This was available to anyone. This was not spiked.

    You can continue arguing this but until you are looking at the actual sample pulled you are staking your reputation on an assumption.

  18. schleyguy says:

    So, CHelf, how is it that you “know” that the old district isn’t what was polled? And, I gotta tell you, the footnote on the poll *is* proof about what was polled. Frankly, you’re the guy in this debate making assumptions without any proof.

  19. emily says:

    Perdue is a overstuffed clown; Collins is a lying ass; Isakson is a Bush cardboard cutout! Woo hoo, dems can name-call too!

  20. jackson says:

    Bust on me all you want for calling Kahn an idiot. He is. Didnt he screw up the entire Governors Race when he was in charge, and lose the House when he was in charge of the Dem Party?

    Getting attacked because poll got screwed up from the guy who drove the Gubenatorial campaign he withand a huge financial advantage and lead into catastrophic meltdown is not something anyone should lose sleep over.

    My response if the poll got screwed up: Who cares? I am just glad Bobby Kahn is spending time worrying about a stupid poll in a congressional race and blogging on a Republican-leaning site about it than actually focusing on things that will actual win an election. Must have been what he was doing the last 4 years when we have been kicking the D’s A** all over the place.

  21. CHelf says:


    Honestly tell me how a line on a document proves who was called? Do you know who was called? Do you know the contents of the data? You are basing your opinion on words that can easily be typed improperly on a Word document.

    I tell you what. You prove to me that what Kahn stated was fact. You prove to me that the incorrect district was called. Show me data. Show me numbers. Don’t just regurgitate the Word document. I want solid proof.

    Again, I can sleep soundly knowing the right answer on this item that is quite old and seems to get some panties in a wad over. It amazes me that old polls are all you have to argue over. Where is the most recent poll from the Marshall campaign? Where is the proof on this outdated poll?

  22. CHelf says:

    Oh and Schleyguy…as for proof, I wasn’t the one who made this initial argument. I’m not the one that spoke for an entire party in making such an assertion with nothing more than something that could have easily been mislabeled. So as for proof, I think the burden of proof lies on the one or ones making this initial comment speaking for all Democrats.

  23. schleyguy says:

    No, CHelf, the burden of proof lies with the person who expresses doubt that the word ‘is’ does not mean ‘is’. Your defense of this poll is worthy of the Iraqi Information Minister… I will show you a new poll with the broken body of Jim Marshall in ONE HOUR!

    By the way, do you impose this burden of proof on all polls?

  24. CHelf says:

    So let me get this straight. Someone with a track record like Kahn comes on here and preaches something to be taken as the gospel truth and automatically we are to take his claim as fact?

    Can I come on here and say that Kahn is a crossdresser? Will you believe me?

    Again, making such a claim without some more subtantial proof makes Kahn look foolish. The fact you’re defending this and arguing about a 3 week old poll shows me your character as well.

    Even if you show me a brand new poll it still does not exempt Kahn from making a crappy claim against an old poll that had to do with imigration.

    My burden of proof is direct fact of the matter. Honestly both the Collins camp, CIS, and the Polling Company can all easily provide proof of who was called but probably think it is worthless to waste their time on something that has no bearing on actual issues. They’ve taken the better road by pressing on with substance rather than conjecture.

    As Jackson has reminded us, weren’t we schooled on many polls that showed Barnes was a lock as well back in 2002? Track records of these claims are amazingly low.

  25. me says:

    We understand you have some irrational hatred of Kahn, but that’s beside the point. This isn’t about him.

    Claims — pretty ludicrous claims — were made about polling that had this race tied or with Collins ahead. He found the poll. THE POLLING COMPANY ITSELF SAID WHICH COUNTIES WERE CALLED AND THEY WERE THE WRONG ONES. That’s a textbook case of PROOF.

    It all makes perfect sense, if you know the first thing about polling or voter files. It makes NO SENSE to fabricate a fanciful scenario under which a completely inaccurate explanation was placed on the poll itself that JUST HAPPENED TO correspond to the OLD 8th district — which is about the only way these results could make ANY sense.

    It’s not so hard to understand.

    Kahn has DEMONSTRATED the direct fact of the matter. And the fact that no one has stepped forward to explain the chain of events that could have led to your very imaginative scenario speaks volumes.

    If the Collins folks have any explanation for why they’ve been pushing this phony poll, I’m sure we’d just LOVE to hear it.

    And, yes, you CAN come here and claim that Kahn is a cross-dresser — IF you have the picture to prove it.

  26. CHelf says:

    I know quite a large amount about polling since I deal with it on a daily basis. This is not about Kahn on a personal level but on a credibility level. Considering his track record of claims I am skeptical of anything he comes forward on. I guess you think it is fine to believe someone with a poor track record who makes false claims. While that is your standards, others take a more stringent method of credibility.

    Me, you and others say this poll was spiked but then flip and say claims have been made. How can a spiked poll be making the rounds full of ludicrous claims? The longer this story continues the more you guys flop. Either this was publicly flaunted or spiked. Which was it?

    A footnote that could have easily been a mistake by a person typing this up is not concrete proof. Again, provide me with concrete proof of calls being made into the wrong area. I want to see data, actual data, that proves this. All you have is a statement which could easily been mistaken.

    While you claim this is my imagination, I will say you have no proof that calls were made to the wrong areas. No one has come forth to prove this. I have yet to see data proving this.

    I find it humorous that you first attempt to discredit this poll and polling company but then make every effort to prove their words accurate. Your waffling amazes me. Keep on going. I’ve seen the source and sit on fact. You have seen nothing and continue to assume. And like the saying goes, you know what happens when you assume.

  27. Chelf, the bottom line is this: Is the pollster willing to sacrifice their entire reputation to say even though we initially claimed these counties were polled we actually meant something else.

    Someone either went to great lengths to fabricate regions such as “Southeast” or they went to small lengths to autogenerate it off a data file.

    The only way this pollster can maintain their credibility is to a) hope no one reports this poll and b) if they do, say we goofed and the wrong district was polled.

    Or you know what, they could release the telephone numbers dialed but black out the last 4 digits. Bet you won’t see any 229 numbers in there.

  28. CHelf says:

    I am not going to speak for this particular polling firm. I will speak for what I have seen firsthand. I am very limited at what I can say but I stand by what I have seen. I know for a fact PC pulled the correct district.

    I find it humorous that we suddenly come back to credibility. Earlier in the day, credibility, especially from the accuser, was not an issue. Now suddenly it is. We’re all in one large glass house and a few of you are hurling some large stones here.

  29. CHelf says:

    Give what up? Calling you out for making claims with no substance? Like I said, I’ve seen firsthand. What have you seen?

  30. gatormathis says:

    Mac Collins is a helluva nice guy, smart, honest, and a hard worker. If pissant Bobby Kahn(has he ever been elected to anything ?) wants to question someone’s integrity, let him dig around on his slop-bucket of a candidate marky mark taylor.

    The insuations he is using to distract voters from Mac Collins are nothing more than that. Nothing but a distraction. Why would he spout anything otherwise?

    He is a simpleton, mesmerized still by all the money he made off with in 2002, for so little work. He simply strutted around in his suit barking orders but mostly barking out his bills for his fees billed, saying write me a check for my brilliance!!

    Bad thing for Roy Barnes, Bobby had most of his checks cashed and in the bank before Roy Barnes ever got to count his first vote.

    Kinda like paying for your whole house’s construction before anyone ever turns a shovelfull of dirt.

    You can imagine how that would go.

    Bobby Kahn, you want to run somebody down, you move on down the line, Mac Collins is too nice of a guy for you to trash.

    Mac will be going to a victory party, you will turn in after a bad night.

    ya wobble-mouth bassard……..

  31. schleyguy says:

    Umm… CHelf, you remember that guy, the absolutely hysterically funny Iraqi Information Minister — Baghdad Bob — who said:

    “NO”, snapped Mr al-Sahaf, “We have retaken the airport. There are NO Americans there. I will take you there and show you. IN ONE HOUR!”

    I guess you didn’t get it.

  32. CHelf says:

    Yes. And he was called out on that just as you were. I guess you didn’t get that huh? Since you are the one who cannot come up with facts and continue arguing over something old and dead, I’d say you have a lot in common with the failed spinner of the failed regime. Symbolic that something of this nature would come from Kahn as well. Just give it up. If you’re arguing over old polls at this point, you’re hopeless. I’d like to think those who think they can retake Congress would argue over something with more substance than some point they cannot even prove.

  33. CHelf says:

    How did it prove I was full of it? Please enlighten me. All they did is repeat what was already claimed.

    Silence from Kahn since he made the claim. No one coming forth saying they were incorrectly called. No data proving the wrong district was polled….hmmmm. Deafening.

  34. CHelf says:

    Ummm…in case you missed the post up at the top, we’re not arguing over the current poll. It was your leader who claimed some three week old poll was buried and wrong.

    As for this poll you alledge, where are the details?

    Look me, I can say that beyond a shadow of a doubt I know for a FACT that the correct district was pulled. You cannot and neither can Kahn. All you can do is point to a footnote to claim that hundreds of incorrect people were called. I ask for some substantive proof and nothing is given. All you can do is hurl insults, classy by the way, and keep harping on what’s already been said that lacks concrete fact.

    So by all means, keep rambling. I know what was pulled and you don’t. Staking your reputation on something with no fact is a testament to where the Dems stand in this state. Desperation.

  35. me says:

    Actually, he never said a poll was “spiked”. You did and perhaps Erick did earlier in the week. We all say that this poll is wrong because it polled the wrong district. The proof is that the poll itself says so.

    You can’t say anything about this poll. You saw nothing. The time has come to point out the obvious: You’re just a liar.

    After all, if you COULD prove the poll was for real, no one would object to your doing so. So drop the myterioso routine and admit you made it up. Or don’t. It’s obvious to everyone else anyway.

    And on the new poll, the details are in the link on the Political Insider post. But of course you didn’t bother to check that.

  36. ohnoes says:

    I used to do some contract stuff for the polling place and I know for a fact that they would be the first to say that they made a mistake. The fact that no such concession has been made, demonstrates that they may not be confident in the poll (afterall, with 95% confidence, there is a 1/20 chance of Collins polling that well)– but that the correct district was probably polled.

    Also, there is no chance in hell that Marshall will pull more than 50% of the vote.

  37. CHelf says:

    Let me help you get your facts straight. I wasn’t the first person to say this was spiked. chrishardcore was. So right off the bat you’re wrong. Shocking.

    I can’t saying anything about this because I saw nothing? Wow. You must be working for Homeland security. How do you know what I have and have not seen? You’re sounding as credible as Bobby Kahn on the issue.

    I’m honored to be labeled as a liar by you. That is the biggest compliment.

    The details are in the link? How do you figure? Let’s see…it repeats what Kahn stated and they had the brains to say “appeared” rather than making the claim Kahn did.

    I don’t know how I can spell it out for you any more than I already have. I have seen the data that was pulled. I know for a fact this was the new 8th. I’d be happy to repeat this over and over for you but the obvious and you are failing to connect.

  38. me says:

    The poll itself lists the counties of the old district (and assigns them into regions!), breaks them up into regions that only fit Mac’s old district instead of Jim’s new one, and the results match nothing that anyone has published — all of which have Marshall significantly ahead. “Kahn’s” details are dispositive proof unless you can rebut them. That would be the laws by which a) common sense, b) courts and c) common sense all operate by.

    But you asked about the NEW poll. There’s a link in the Insider with with details, just what you’ve been asking for.

    Chris was just responding to Erick’s use of the word “spiked”. YOU were the one who seized on that as the issue. No one else here even mentioned it. The issue is that the Polling Company poll was in the wrong district.

    And I know you know nothing because it is evident from the way that you talk about these issues that you are completely unfamiliar with polling or sampling.

  39. CHelf says:

    OK. So you say I was the one who first brought up spiked and then you turn around and say that chrishardcore did in response. Get your story straight. Every time you post, you say something different. You have to backpedal each post because of some ludicrous previous statement.

    A footnote that could have easily been mistakenly put on there from old data does not prove who was actually called. It proves a mistake of some level was made but it in NO way proves the source data was wrong or the calls were actually in the incorrect district.

    OK. I guess dealing with them on a daily basis makes me unfamiliar. The fact that I have seen the source data has nothing to do with knowledge of polls or sampling. Somehow saying knowing what the source data includes is tied to knowledge of sampling shows me you are completely clueless on this argument. So whoever ME is, get a clue and do your party a favor and actually go track down the facts. Go find people who were called. Go check the source data like I have. I guarantee you if you saw what I have, you’d go ahead and shove both feet in your mouth for making such assertions without making sure you know the full truth.

  40. CHelf says:

    I still think it’s funny how you first try to debunk this firm and their poll and then say everything they posted must be accurate.

  41. me says:

    You are a child. I’ve beaten you up enough. I’m done with you.

    Marshall wins. You lose.

    Serves you right for lying.

  42. Rpolitic says:

    I just think it is funny that Bobby Kahn of all people is suggesting there is fraud in politics. I mean he is the absolute master of the bald face political lie.

  43. CHelf says:

    LOL. Actually you are the child who calls someone a liar without backing it up. Keep on harping on this old poll. You can’t argue fact, substance, issues, or anything else but some three week old poll you have no clue what really happened. When you can provide some concrete proof, I’ll take you seriously. Until then you’re just another whiner complaining about outdated, insignificant matters rather than real issues. You stick to your footnote in a Word document. I’ll stick to looking at the actual data.

  44. CHelf says:

    Hey ME….read the Political Insider? Sure is quiet out there. I guess little ol’ liar me was right all along.

  45. me says:

    Um, no. Just have a little more of a life than you and haven’t been on the board since then.

    No, you’re still a liar, and they still polled the old 8th. Again, if you knew a darned thing about polling you would know that there’s no way such a “typo” can actually happen. They’re just trying to cover their ass.

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