The Gallup organization is pushing back hard on an ugly new attack from Rush Limbaugh, who said today that Gallup is oversampling blacks in a deliberate effort to keep Obama’s daily tracking approval from dropping below 50%.
“It is a complete fabrication,” Gallup spokesman Eric Nielsen emails me.
On the air today, Rush questioned why other polls have shown Obama dropping below 50%, while Gallup’s daily tracking poll has him flatlining at exactly that number.
“Gallup has it just teetering there,” Rush said. “And they’re doing everything they can — they’re upping the sample of black Americans to keep him up at 50%.”
A look at the methodology of Gallup’s tracking poll, though, shows how unlikely this really is. Gallup interviews 1,000 randomly selected adults daily, then weighs the data each day to match “targets from the U.S. Census Bureau by age, sex, region, gender, education, ethnicity, and race.”
So for Rush’s charge to be true, Gallup officials would have to be actively stacking the sample, along racial lines, for no other reason than to prevent Obama from dropping below 50%. “This has been our methodology since Jan 2008 and it has not changed,” Nielsen adds.
Of course, it’s always possible that Gallup has been infiltrated by an army of ACORN workers who are holding Gallup officials hostage in a last ditch effort to game Obama’s numbers in this one poll to prevent his presidency from going under.
This blog doesn’t make a habit of flagging Rush’s every lurid utterance. But even by Rush’s standards, this one is such a casually reckless smear, so nonchalant in its play on racially-charged paranoia about this president, that it really deserves to be flagged as a reminder of where we are today.