Debunking Trump’s Idiotic ‘Over-Sampling’ Conspiracy Theory

I saw this conspiracy theory going around about a Wikileaks email that supposedly PROVES 100% that the Democrats are rigging polling by using “over-sampling,” but it looked pretty shady to me. The jargon in the email appeared to be out of context and mis-represented by an army of Trump cultists who will serve up the thinnest of evidence to prove their insane conspiracy theories.

Turns out my hunch was right.

Here’s one idiot pushing the conspiracy theory, while obscuring the entire email:

Here’s the orange-visaged vulgarian pushing it on his Twitter account:

But, as they point in the Wall Street Journal, the email is talking about polling that a campaign does in order to fashion its message to certain demographic groups. Because some, like Hispanics and Blacks, are small in certain communities, pollsters need to over-sample them to capture their true attitudes.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the polling you see publicized in the media, nor does it prove the supposed rigging of those polls.

From the WSJ:

Matzzie doesn’t appear to be talking about public polling — nor does it make sense that he would be, since public polls from media outlets are developed by pollsters who work for or with those outlets. Matzzie’s talking about polling that’s done by campaigns and political action committees to inform media buys. In other words, before campaigns spend $200,000 on a flight of TV spots, they’ll poll on the messages in those ads and figure out what to say to whom and then target that ad to those people as best they can.

The problem is that it can be hard to find enough people to get robust enough sample sizes to offer the necessary information. Normal polling in a state will usually have no problem getting enough white people in the mix to evaluate where they stand, but you may need to specifically target more black or Hispanic voters to get a statistically relevant sample size.

This makes a lot more sense than believing that the Hillary campaign actually figures out what samples they need in order to rig the polls and then sends this out to all the independent polling companies. Now look, if they find such an email showing the Hillary campaign doing just that, then you got them, and YES the polls are rigged. But that’s not what they found here.

If you’re trying to figure out how to craft a message to Hispanic voters in Colorado, for example, you’re going to need to seek out more Hispanic voters in the state to include in the survey. This is called an oversample, since it’s an intentional effort to include more people from a certain group in your sampling.

As I said before, Wikileaks promised huge conspiracy theories to be proven from stolen emails. Instead, they just showed us how mundane and boring politics really is.

UPDATE: Even Frank Luntz shot this dumb conspiracy theory down.

Now, go make fun of the morons pushing this conspiracy theory and shove this post in their faces.