Justin Sink - A plurality of Americans and more than seven in 10 Republicans believe pollsters are intentionally skewing results to benefit President Obama, according to a new poll released Tuesday.
But Republicans are particularly likely to believe that the polls are unfair, reporting by a 71-13 percent that polls are biased against their candidate. Members of the Tea Party suspect intentional skewing by a remarkable 84-5 percent margin.
Some 42 percent of voters surveyed by Daily Kos and SEIU said pollsters were manipulating their sample sizes to benefit the incumbent president, while 40 percent do not. An additional 18 percent said they were not sure. That's evidence that Republican claims that Democrats and minority voters are being oversampled in national polls could be resonating — and potentially undermining the momentum of the president's early lead.
Some Republicans — most prominently among them strategist Dick Morris — began questioning the sampling of some polls last week when surveys showed President Obama opening up a sizable lead in swing states, including Ohio and Florida. Republicans have charged that the polls oversample minority voters, while polling firms say the sampling percentages reflect the electorate's changing demographics.
Independents are less likely to believe polls have been intentionally manipulated, with 45 percent of respondents saying they see deliberate tampering with the results. Four in 10 independents say they believe the polls are accurate.
Democrats do not feel as passionately as their Republican counterparts about the validity of the polls. Of the Democrats surveyed, 65 percent said pollsters are not tampering with the results, versus 14 percent of Democrats who believe their candidate is earning an advantage.