Monday, November 26, 2012

Police officer quits after comments about Obama

Police officer quits after comments about Obama

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A Jacksonville police officer has quit after admitting he told colleagues that he would volunteer to assassinate President Barack Obama.
Sam Koivisto told the Florida Times-Union ( on Wednesday that his comments had been blown out of proportion and that he'd planned to retire in five months anyway.
The 57-year-old retired earlier this month while facing an internal investigation into his comments to other officers after the election. He told them that if an order came to kill Obama, he "wouldn't mind being the guy."
When questioned by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office integrity unit, he said he also didn't care if a nuclear explosion killed everyone in the Northeastern U.S because they supported Obama. He told the investigators his comments were hyperbole and not actual threats.

Read more:
"When crazy people call you crazy, you know you're sane. 
When evil people call you evil, you know that you are a good person. 
When lairs call you a liar, you know that you are truthful. 
Know who you are and don't let others tell you who you are." - Dave Kitchen

Thursday, November 22, 2012

8 Crazy End of the World Theories

8 Crazy End of the World Theories

8 Crazy End of the World Theories

Today marks the one-month countdown to the end of the world, at least if you believe in the Mayan calendar, Hollywood, and what you read online.
Dec. 21, 2012 is the last day of the Mayan calendar, when an ancient civilization possibly predicted the world would end, perhaps with solar storms and catastrophic tidal effects. Or maybe the Earth’s axis will suddenly shift. And if that doesn’t happen, there is still planet Niburu, roughly four times the size of the Earth, and headedstraight for us.
Of course, none of this is going to happen. And you don’t have to take my word for it – NASA has poked holes in all of these theories. And if you’re still worried about the Mayans: The Telegraph says an even older Mayan calendar has been found in Guatemala. This one goes on for 6,000 years, ending hundreds of years from now.
But if these facts don’t put you at ease, perhaps this will: The fear that the world is ending is hardly new. Here are some examples from the recent past…

1. Attack by the Zeta Reticuli

In 1993, Nancy Lieder realized she could talk to our (very) distant neighbors, the Zeta Reticuli, through an implant in her brain. According to her bio found on her website, ZetaTalk, Lieder has been a contactee almost her entire life. Through hypnotic recall, Lieder realized she has a dozen hybrid children (read: human and alien babies). She is also a communicator for the Zeta Reticuli.
Lieder first predicted that in May 2003, the Zeta Reticuli would come crashing through our solar system, causing havoc on earth. When that didn’t happen, Lieder insisted she made up the prediction to “fool the establishment,” according to
Why it didn’t happen: Lieder isn’t the first person to insist she has contact with a planet no one has ever heard of. But organizations like NASA have powerful tools. They’d spot a planet (or its warships) coming at us early on, so an alien sneak attack is unlikely.

2. Harold Camping’s rapture

Most religions believe in the possibility of an apocalypse or rapture. Many spiritual leaders think this day will ultimately come, and some think it will be soon. Very few, however, actually pick a day and set out to warn the masses that the end is near.
Enter Harold Camping, one of the founders of the Family Radio Network of Christian stations. Camping thought he knew when the end of the world would come: May 21, 2011. Broadcasting this message on the dozens of stations that carried his message would have been bad enough, but he didn’t stop there. According to Reuters, Camping and his supporters posted 2,000 billboards across the country. One of his supporters, Robert Fitzpatrick, spent $140,000 on subway posters in New York. Volunteers started handing out pamphlets in other countries. Believers took to their RVs and headed for California to meet up with Camping.
Why it didn’t happen: It’s unlikely that anyone will pinpoint an exact day when the world will end because days aren’t exact. Courtesy of the International Date Line, there are two calendar days happening simultaneously on our planet. Traveling westbound across the IDL adds 24 hours to a day, and traveling eastbound repeats the previous day.
In other words, half the world’s today is the other half’s yesterday, making it kind of tough to pinpoint a specific day we’re all going to die.

3. Nuclear war

The Cold War advanced the idea that countries could drop nuclear bombs on each other until there was nothing left of the world.
Between 1940 and 1990, hordes of people believed in the possibility, with good reason. There was a military strategy in effect called Mutual Assured Destruction or MAD, promising that whoever struck first would get hit back without hesitation.
For many people, the mass panic faded with the end of the Cold War in the 1990s, but some still believe that having access to these weapons may still lead to the world’s untimely destruction. In 2008, Wired wrote about a study on the possible outcomes of small-scale nuclear war. According to the study, nuclear bombs would tear holes in the ozone, cooling the planet and limiting our protection from UV rays. As a result, crops could die, millions could starve, and skin cancer rates could skyrocket.
Why it won’t happen: While nuclear war is a possibility, to date only two atomic bombs have been used in wartime. Since then, more than 100 parties have signed the Treaty of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, agreeing not to use them in war.

4. The return of our alien creators

There are plenty of UFO-based religions floating around. One of the largest, Raelism, was founded by Claude Vorilhon. In his book, The Message Given to me by Extraterrestrials, Vorilhon explains that the idea for his religion happened when he found a spaceship with a human-looking alien inside. The alien told him that humankind was actually created by an alien race, the Elohim.
Raelians believe that the Elohim are recording information about us right now. One day, they’ll bring people back from the dead and reward or punish them for how they acted in life. Basically, it’s the rapture with supercomputers and zombies.
Why it won’t happen: While there are plenty of theories about the creation of human life, most scientists agree that we weren’t dropped off here by aliens, nor would many find it likely that aliens will show up some day to raise the dead.

5. Gray goo

In the future, nanotechnology – tiny robots as small as an atom – might be commonplace. In theory, they could be programmed to collect materials and transform them into products, basically automatically creating things like TVs, computer chips, bicycles, or anything else without the help of human hands. Of course, to be truly efficient, these nanobots would also need to be able to self-replicate. And therein lies the problem.
Some scientists predict that these nanobots could go overboard, replicate until they outnumber us, and then start sucking up all our natural resources. They’ve dubbed these future leeches “gray goo.” According toThe New York Times, a former M.I.T. researcher, Eric Drexler, predicted a grisly outcome for the world if this gray goo ever took over.
Gray goo is what would happen if one of the auto-assemblers went haywire and the self-replication never stopped. According to Drexler’s calculations, in just 10 hours an unchecked self-replicating auto-assembler would spawn 68 billion offspring; in less than two days the auto-assemblers would outweigh the earth.
Why it won’t happen: There are dozens of theories about robots outsmarting their creators and overtaking the world, but it isn’t likely. After all, who would be smart enough to build something that advanced, but dumb enough to forget the safety switch? If we do ever start using nanobots, we’ll probably have safety precautions in place.

6. Asteroids hitting the Earth

Basically since we’ve known asteroids existed, someone has been convinced there was one headed straight for us, destined to blow our planet to bits.
For example, in 2004, scientists found Apophis, a 390-meter-wide asteroid. According to The Guardian, NASA predicted that if Apophis collided with Earth, the energy released would be 1,000 times greater than the nuclear blast over Hiroshima, Japan, in WW2 and that everyone on the planet would feel the effects. Astronomers thought that Apophis had a 1 in 37 chance of colliding with Earth in 2029.
Then they changed their minds. Now most scientists agree that Apophis will pass by us in 2029. Some say, however, it could still come back in 2036. If that happens, the collision could be devastating.
Why it won’t happen: Asteroids do exist and do collide with things in space. But the odds of being large enough to collide with Earth and destroy it aren’t good. Take Apophis, for example – in order to make a direct hit in 2036, the asteroid would have to pass through at a very specific spot. The Guardian says the odds of that happening are about 1 in 5,500.

7. Pole shift

Some people believe that 2012 will be the year when the Earth’s magnetic poles will suddenly and drastically reverse. It is known as a pole shift, and when it happens entire continents could move suddenly or even sink into the ocean. But it doesn’t end there.
While we’re all spinning and sinking, there will also be epic natural disasters. Tsunamis in the ocean, massive earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, you name it. The combination of continental shifts on the earth’s core and widespread natural disasters will lead to the end of life as we know it.
Why it won’t happen: According to Yale Scientific, a reversal of the Earth’s magnetic poles is a natural phenomenon that occurs about every 250,000 years. And while there is evidence of a 10 percent decline in the Earth’s magnetic field since the 19th century, there is no scientific evidence that a sudden pole shift will occur, or that it would even harm people if it did.

8. The modern Ice Age

In 1997, Richard Noone published a book entitled 5/5/2000 Ice: The Ultimate Disaster. In the book, Noone predicted the earth was headed for a second ice age, speculating the polar ice caps would start getting bigger. At the same time, all of the planets would fall into alignment, which would somehow make the ice shift from north to south, starting another ice age.
Noone’s book covers a lot of ground – everything from the Egyptian Pyramids to the Knights Templar. He was convinced that practically every conspiracy theory on record was linked to May 5, 2000, when ice would spell the end of the world for us.
Of course, May 5, 2000 came and went without massive polar ice caps or the resurrection of the Knights Templar. I’m pretty sure the pyramids didn’t do anything special that day either.
Why it didn’t happen: Most scientists agree that the Earth is actually heating up, not cooling. It is more likely that the North and South Poles will slowly start to melt, rather than suddenly become disastrously large. Of all the environmental concerns we could have, a rapid ice age that has something to do with planetary alignment and the Egyptian pyramids isn’t one of them.
Have you heard any interesting end of the world theories? We love a good story. Sound off on our Facebook page and tell us about them!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

This Friday is Native American Heritage Day Nov.23, 2012

This Friday is Native American Heritage Day...
Deb Hair8:39pm Nov 21
This Friday is Native American Heritage Day Nov.23, 2012
Presidential Proclamation -- National Native American Heritage Month, 2012 | The White House
As the first people to live on the land we all cherish, American Indians and Alaska Natives have pro..

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Warning to businesses and home owners

Warning to businesses and home owners
If you are thinking of locating a business or buying a new home in McIntosh County, Ga. I would advise against it for the following reasons. Unless you are part the "in crowd" here or related to one of them, you might "offend" one or more of the "in crowd" here. Even then, you don't have a guarantee that you will be okay.

If you are not part of the "in crowd" there will be no law enforcement protection under the current administration. Your business will have the things you need to operate stolen until you can't operate. Your property will be vandalized, Your animals poisoned, shots fired at times close by, planes buzzing your property, their friends in the military buzzing your property, in other words they will do everything in their power to drive you out and make you lose your investment. They will monitor your internet and have spies on your Facebook page. So they can get their toadies to do their dirty work if you "offend" them online. 

And it don't take much to "offend" these folks. You might "offend" if you sing a Christian song that "offends" them. You might read scripture on your porch that "offends" them. You might play a Native Flute that "offends" them. You might be from a racial group that "offends" them just because of who you are. They might be "offended" if you don't like their rebel flag. Or they might be "offended by some flag you have up. They might be "offended" by your bumper sticker You might not look they way they do and that might "offend" them. If you don't like drugs and alcohol that might "offend" some here. Or some idiot will go do something stupid to someone else and blame you for. And naturally they believe him over you because you are not part of the "in crowd." Just about any little thing can "offend" some and set them off on you, even if you didn't do it. And they will spread rumors to try and ruin your reputation so that no one believes a thing you say.

Myself, I will never move from here because my animals are buried here that I loved. And they will just dig up graves of any kind here human or otherwise. They could care less because they have no respect for anyone or anything. And the law means nothing to these arrogant criminal types. 

There are good people here. But the bad ones make the whole county bad until we get new leadership and law enforcement leadership that is real.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gmail Launches In Cherokee (GWY)

Gmail Launches In Cherokee (GWY)
Today, Google announced the launch of Gmail in its 57th language. In March of last year, Google added Cherokee to the list of languages for search, and now the language, also known as GWY, is available for Gmail. Both include a virtual keyboard.
Gmail in Cherokee
Google software engineer Craig Cornelius explains how the addition of the language came to Google products:
It was just coincidence that I, a Google engineer working on the internationalization of Google products, ended up carpooling back to San Francisco with Vance Blackfox, member of the Cherokee Nation (CN) from an event we’d both attended. But that coincidence kick-started a collaboration that would result in Google Web Search in Cherokee and, starting today, Gmail in Cherokee.
After a 2002 survey of the Oklahoma Cherokee population found that no one under 40 spoke conversational Cherokee, the Cherokee Nation saw an opportunity to use technology to encourage everyday use of the language among the younger generation. Vance connected me with the language technology department at the Cherokee Nation, and the Gmail team worked closely with their highly organized team of volunteers, which ranged from university students to Durbin Feeling–Cherokee living treasure and author of the Cherokee-English Dictionary. Together, we were able to find and implement the right words for hundreds of Gmail terms, from “inbox” (ᎧᏁᏌᎢᏱ) and “sign in” (ᏕᏣᏙᎥ ᎰᏪᎸᎦ) to “spam” (ᎤᏲᎢ).
Google does not mention if the language will be coming to other products. Google Translate seems like a no-brainer.

Friday, November 16, 2012

UPDATE 1-Meningitis outbreak spurs calls to strengthen FDA

UPDATE 1-Meningitis outbreak spurs calls to strengthen FDA
* Regulators seek stronger FDA role following meningitis outbreak
* Lawmakers to seek answers on why NECC stayed in operation
* Massachusetts named NECC co-owner to regulatory board
* Watchdog executives convicted of crimes related to FDA fraud
By David Morgan
WASHINGTON, Nov 13 (Reuters) - U.S. and state health regulators called on Congress on Tuesday to s trengthen federal oversight of compounding pharmacies as lawmakers prepared for two days of hearings on a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak linked to a compounded steroid.
But the main federal regulator, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said in a statement to Reuters that it faces legal restrictions in regulating drug compounders such as the New England Compounding Center. The Massachusetts pharmacy was at the center of the outbreak that has infected 438 people, including 32 who have died, in 19 states.
The chief public health officer for Massachusetts also urged immediate congressional action to bolster federal oversight of the little-known, lightly regulated compounding industry, which is primarily overseen by state pharmacy boards.
"It is clear that the patchwork of disparate state regulations is not enough to keep the public safe," Dr. Lauren Smith, interim commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, said in written testimony filed with a U.S. House of Representatives oversight panel.
Lawmakers hope to shed light on why regulators failed to act against NECC despite multiple problems dating back to 1999. They also are focusing on whether new legislation may be needed to grant FDA clear authority to police the drug compounding industry.
"FDA's authority over compounding pharmacies is more limited by law and needs to be strengthened," said the federal agency's statement to Reuters. "We look forward to working with Congress to prevent this from happening again."
Those sentiments were echoed on Tuesday by a new report from the minority Democratic staff of the oversight and investigations panel.
"Legal authority over compounding has been complicated by court decisions that have cast doubt on FDA's authority to regulate compounders," the report said. "Compounders operate in a regulatory gap between state-regulated pharmacies and federally regulated drug manufacturers."
Smith and FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg are scheduled to testify on Wednesday before the panel, the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee for oversight and investigations. A second congressional hearing is scheduled to take place before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Thursday.
The Massachusetts health commissioner, who took office less than three weeks ago, said she is determined to find out why the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy voted to sanction the company in September 2004 but ultimately agreed to a far weaker consent agreement with NECC in January 2006.
"I will not be satisfied until we know the full story behind this decision," she said in her written testimony.
Smith said the Massachusetts pharmacy board's executive director and staff attorney learned in April 2006 that executives from a company hired to ensure NECC's compliance were convicted of federal crimes related to defrauding the FDA.
"However, we found no evidence to indicate that the executive director or staff attorney ... provided this crucial information to the board. Nor did they see fit to send inspectors back to NECC in 2006 to determine if they were fulfilling the requirements of the corrective action plan," Smith said.
But in May 2006, the board affirmed NECC to be in compliance with the consent agreement.
Smith also believes the board would have acted immediately against NECC last July -- a month before it produced the final doses of steroid injections linked to the outbreak -- if board staff had told board members about a complaint against NECC brought by Colorado authorities.
Earlier this month, the state fired board director James Coffey and board counsel Susan Manning for failing to act on the Colorado complaint.
The Massachusetts pharmacy board was left to oversee NECC's operations in 2003 when state and FDA officials agreed that its activities did not constitute a manufacturing operation that would need to meet stringent federal standards for safety and efficacy, the FDA acknowledged on T ues day.
The decision was originally disclosed on Monday by a House Republican staff report.
Where to draw the line between drug manufacturing and drug compounding is a central question for Congress as lawmakers debate the potential need for new legislation to expand the FDA's authority.
Drug compounding is a little-known practice in which pharmacists traditionally alter or recombine drugs to meet the special needs of specific patients. It is overseen mainly by state authorities who are often ill-equipped for the job.
The activity has evolved in recent decades to include large-scale production that some experts view as drug manufacturing that should be subject to FDA regulation.
Not everyone agrees that the FDA needed new authority to stop New England Compounding Center from operating, however.
Advocacy group Public Citizen earlier this month called on the Obama administration to launch an independent probe of the FDA's lack of action against NECC. The group alleges that the FDA already has the authority it needs, but that agency officials failed to take steps that could have prevented the current outbreak.
Smith's written testimony also shows that NECC co-owner Barry Cadden was named to a state task force to study oversight of the compounding pharmacy industry in 2002. The task force met for two years and discussed potential regulatory changes.
But there is no record of formal recommendations and no changes were ever adopted.
"When crazy people call you crazy, you know you're sane. 
When evil people call you evil, you know that you are a good person. 
When lairs call you a liar, you know that you are truthful. 
Know who you are and don't let others tell you who you are." - Dave Kitchen

Americans - a Public Service Film by Kid Rock & Sean Penn

Americans - a Public Service Film by Kid Rock & Sean Penn
Will Americans Learn To Get Along or destroy our country?

Top Georgia GOP Lawmakers Host Briefing on Secret Obama Mind-Control Plot

Top Georgia GOP Lawmakers Host Briefing on Secret Obama Mind-Control Plot
obama mind control
President Obama is using a Cold War-era mind-control technique known as "Delphi" to coerce Americans into accepting his plan for a United Nations-run communist dictatorship in which suburbanites will be forcibly relocated to cities. That's according to a four-hour briefing delivered to Republican state senators at the Georgia state Capitol last month.
On October 11, at a closed-door meeting of the Republican caucus convened by the body's majority leader, Chip Rogers, a tea party activist told Republican lawmakers that Obama was mounting this most diabolical conspiracy. The event—captured on tape by a member of the Athens-based watchdog Better Georgia(who was removed from the room after 52 minutes)—had been billed as an information session on Agenda 21, a nonbinding UN agreement that commits member nations to promote sustainable development. In the eyesof conservative activists, Agenda 21 is a nefarious plot that includes forcibly relocating non-urban-dwellers and prescribing mandatory contraception as a means of curbing population growth. The invitation to the Georgia state Senate event noted the presentation would explain: "How pleasant sounding names are fostering a Socialist plan to change the way we live, eat, learn, and communicate to 'save the earth.'"
The meeting consisted of a PowerPoint presentation followed by a 90-minute screening of the anti-Agenda 21 documentary, Agenda: Grinding America Down. It was emceed by Field Searcy, a local conservative activist who was forced out of the Georgia Tea Party in April due to his endorsement of conspiracy theories about the president's birth certificate and the collapse of World Trade Center Tower 7. The presentation also featured a special video cameo from conservative talking-head Dick Morris in which the former Clinton aide warns that Obama "wants to force everyone into the cities from whence our ancestors fled."
About 23 minutes into the briefing, Searcy explained how President Obama, aided by liberal organizations like the Center for American Progress and business groups like local chambers of commerce, are secretly using mind-control techniques to push their plan for forcible relocation on the gullible public:
They do that by a process known as the Delphi technique. The Delphi technique was developed by the Rand Corporation during the Cold War as a mind-control technique. It's also known as "consensive process." But basically the goal of the Delphi technique is to lead a targeted group of people to a pre-determined outcome while keeping the illusion of being open to public input.
How perilous is the situation? Here's a slide from the presentation comparing Obama's record to that of Mao and Stalin:
Slide TKCourtesy of Better GeorgiaObama, of course, has taken no steps to bring the United States under the control of a United Nations sustainable-development-themed dictatorship. (Environmental groups complain that he hasn't even taken sufficient action to combat climate change.) But that hasn't stopped state legislatures and local conservative groups from taking aim at the perceived threat. In May, the Kansas Legislature approved a resolution blocking Agenda 21 from being implemented in its state, following in the footsteps of Tennessee. Rogers, the Georgia Senate majority leader, introduced legislation in January that would have blocked the nonbinding UN resolution from being applied to his state. Among other things, the resolution noted that, "according to the United Nations Agenda 21 policy, social justice is described as the right and opportunity of all people to benefit equally from the resources afforded by society and the environment which would be accomplished by socialists and communist redistribution of wealth."
If it seems as if Rogers is just repeating John Birch Society conspiracies, he is—literally. As inTennessee, large portions of his 2012 bill, SR 270, were lifted word-for-word from draft legislation prepared by the Birchers.
But as Seth Clark, the Better Georgia volunteer who filmed the Capitol conspiracy bash, points out, Rogers' warning extended well beyond the actions of liberal politicians. According to one slide that was featured at the presentation, "Smart Growth and Sustainable Development are often promoted by NGO's, Chambers of Commerce and [public–private partnerships] that are unelected and unaccountable to the people." In August, when the Georgia Chamber of Commerce handed out its official grades for state legislators, Rogers got an A+.
Apparently the conspiracy is coming from inside the Capitol.
Update, 11/15/12: Rogers defended the presentation in an email to the Cherokee (Ga.) Tribune, noting that the meeting had been requested by constituents. "This is not the first time our office has facilitated this type of request and won’t be the last, I am sure," he said.
Update II: That was quick. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jim Galloway reports that Rogers has withdrawn his name from the Senate majority leader race.

"When crazy people call you crazy, you know you're sane. 
When evil people call you evil, you know that you are a good person. 
When lairs call you a liar, you know that you are truthful. 
Know who you are and don't let others tell you who you are." - Dave Kitchen

Monday, November 12, 2012

Lightning Strikes The White House

Do You Think.... No It Can't Be.... LOL

Please Move The Deer Crossing/ They Walk Among Us

Please Move The Deer Crossing/ They Walk Among Us

Fargo, N.D.

Which Polls Fared Best (and Worst) in the 2012 Presidential Race

Which Polls Fared Best (and Worst) in the 2012 Presidential Race

Which Polls Fared Best (and Worst) in the 2012 Presidential Race

As Americans’ modes of communication change, the techniques that produce the most accurate polls seems to be changing as well. In last Tuesday’s presidential election, a number of polling firms that conduct their surveys online had strong results. Some telephone polls also performed well. But others, especially those that called only landlines or took other methodological shortcuts, performed poorly and showed a more Republican-leaning electorate than the one that actually turned out.
Our method of evaluating pollsters has typically involved looking at all the polls that a firm conducted over the final three weeks of the campaign, rather than its very last poll alone. The reason for this is that some polling firms may engage in “herding” toward the end of the campaign, changing their methods and assumptions such that their results are more in line with those of other polling firms.
There were roughly two dozen polling firms that issued at least five surveys in the final three weeks of the campaign, counting both state and national polls. (Multiple instances of a tracking poll are counted as separate surveys in my analysis, and only likely voter polls are used.)
For each of these polling firms, I have calculated the average error and the average statistical bias in the margin it reported between President Obama and Mitt Romney, as compared against the actual results nationally or in one state.
For instance, a polling firm that had Mr. Obama ahead by two points in Colorado — a state that Mr. Obama actually won by about five points — would have had a three-point error for that state. It also would have had a three-point statistical bias toward Republicans there.
The bias calculation measures in which direction, Republican or Democratic, a firm’s polls tended to miss. If a firm’s polls overestimated Mr. Obama’s performance in some states, and Mr. Romney’s in others, it could have little overall statistical bias, since the misses came in different directions. In contrast, the estimate of the average error in the firm’s polls measures how far off the firm’s polls were in either direction, on average.
Among the more prolific polling firms, the most accurate by this measure was TIPP, which conducted a national tracking poll for Investors’ Business Daily. Relative to other national polls, their results seemed to be Democratic-leaning at the time they were published. However, it turned out that most polling firms underestimated Mr. Obama’s performance, so those that had what had seemed to be Democratic-leaning results were often closest to the final outcome.
Conversely, polls that were Republican-leaning relative to the consensus did especially poorly.
Among telephone-based polling firms that conducted a significant number of state-by-state surveys, the best results came from CNN, Mellman and Grove Insight. The latter two conducted most of their polls on behalf of liberal-leaning organizations. However, as I mentioned, since the polling consensus underestimated Mr. Obama’s performance somewhat, the polls that seemed to be Democratic-leaning often came closest to the mark.
Several polling firms got notably poor results, on the other hand. For the second consecutive election — the same was true in 2010 — Rasmussen Reports polls had a statistical bias toward Republicans, overestimating Mr. Romney’s performance by about four percentage points, on average. Polls by American Research Group and Mason-Dixon also largely missed the mark. Mason-Dixon might be given a pass since it has a decent track record over the longer term, while American Research Group has long been unreliable.
FiveThirtyEight did not use polls by the firm Pharos Research Group in its analysis, since the details of the polling firm are sketchy and since the principal of the firm, Steven Leuchtman, was unable to answer due-diligence questions when contacted by FiveThirtyEight, such as which call centers he was using to conduct the polls. The firm’s polls turned out to be inaccurate, and to have a Democratic bias.
It was one of the best-known polling firms, however, that had among the worst results. In late October, Gallup consistently showed Mr. Romney ahead by about six percentage points among likely voters, far different from the average of other surveys. Gallup’s final poll of the election, which had Mr. Romney up by one point, was slightly better, but still identified the wrong winner in the election. Gallup has now had three poor elections in a row. In 2008, their polls overestimated Mr. Obama’s performance, while in 2010, they overestimated how well Republicans would do in the race for the United States House.
Instead, some of the most accurate firms were those that conducted their polls online.
The final poll conducted by Google Consumer Surveys had Mr. Obama ahead in the national popular vote by 2.3 percentage points – very close to his actual margin, which was 2.6 percentage points based on ballots counted through Saturday morning.
Ipsos, which conducted online polls for Reuters, came close to the actual results in most places that it surveyed, as did the Canadian online polling firm Angus Reid. Another online polling firm, YouGov, got reasonably good results.
The online polls conducted by JZ Analytics, run by the pollster John Zogby, were not used in the FiveThirtyEight forecast because we do not consider their method to be scientific, since it encourages voters to volunteer to participate in their surveys rather than sampling them at random. Their results were less accurate than most of the online polling firms, although about average as compared with the broader group of surveys.
We can also extend the analysis to consider the 90 polling firms that conducted at least one likely voter poll in the final three weeks of the campaign. One should probably not read too much into the results for the individual firms that issued just one or two polls, which is not a sufficient sample size to measure reliability. However, a look at this broader collective group of pollsters, and the techniques they use, may tell us something about which methods are most effective.
Among the nine polling firms that conducted their polls wholly or partially online, the average error in calling the election result was 2.1 percentage points. That compares with a 3.5-point error for polling firms that used live telephone interviewers, and 5.0 points for “robopolls” that conducted their surveys by automated script. The traditional telephone polls had a slight Republican bias on the whole, while the robopolls often had a significant Republican bias. (Even the automated polling firm Public Policy Polling, which often polls for liberal and Democratic clients, projected results that were slightly more favorable for Mr. Romney than what he actually achieved.) The online polls had little overall bias, however.
The difference between the performance of live telephone polls and the automated polls may partly reflect the fact that many of the live telephone polls call cellphones along with landlines, while few of the automated surveys do. (Legal restrictions prohibit automated calls to cellphones under many circumstances.)
Research by polling firms and academic groups suggests that polls that fail to call cellphones may underestimate the performance of Democratic candidates.
The roughly one-third of Americans who rely exclusively on cellphones tend to be younger, more urban, worse off financially and more likely to be black or Hispanic than the broader group of voters, all characteristics that correlate with Democratic voting. Weighting polling results by demographic characteristics may make the sample more representative, but there is increasing evidence that these weighting techniques will not remove all the bias that is introduced by missing so many voters.
Some of the overall Republican bias in the polls this year may reflect the fact that Mr. Obama made gains in the closing days of the campaign, for reasons such as Hurricane Sandy, and that this occurred too late to be captured by some polls. In the FiveThirtyEight “now-cast,” Mr. Obama went from being 1.5 percentage points ahead in the popular vote on Oct. 25 to 2.5 percentage points ahead by Election Day itself, close to his actual figure.
Nonetheless, polls conducted over the final three weeks of the campaign had a two-point Republican bias overall, probably more than can be explained by the late shift alone. In addition, likely voter polls were slightly more Republican-leaning than the actual results in many races in 2010.
In my view, there will always be an important place for high-quality telephone polls, such as those conducted by The New York Times and other major news organizations, which make an effort to reach as representative a sample of voters as possible and which place calls to cellphones. And there may be an increasing role for online polls, which can have an easier time reaching some of the voters, especially younger Americans, that telephone polls are prone to miss. I’m not as certain about the future for automated telephone polls. Some automated polls that used innovative strategies got reasonably good results this year. SurveyUSA, for instance, supplements its automated calls to landlines with live calls to cellphone voters in many states. Public Policy Polling uses lists of registered voters to weigh its samples, which may help to correct for the failure to reach certain kinds of voters.
Rasmussen Reports uses an online panel along with the automated calls that it places. The firm’s poor results this year suggest that the technique will need to be refined. At least they have some game plan to deal with the new realities of polling. In contrast, polls that place random calls to landlines only, or that rely upon likely voter models that were developed decades ago, may be behind the times.
Perhaps it won’t be long before Google, not Gallup, is the most trusted name in polling.

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