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grantcart's Journal
grantcart's Journal
October 28, 2012

10/27 Update on early voting NC and IA, good news, not great, and possibly great hard numbers.

The early voting news is good, not great, and possibly great.

The good news is that with the possible exception of Colorado the Obama campaign is mounting a huge GOTV effort and will almost certainly be going into every swing state with a huge lead. That's the good news.

In North Carolina for example MattTX at DailyKos reports


Early Voting in NC on Thursday and Friday was pretty consistent with the pattern we saw in Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday early voting. 170,215 people voted on Thursday and 173,543 more voted on Friday.

Overall, 1,352,147 people have voted and President Obama has built up an estimated margin of about 117,939 votes.

The not great news is that in 2008 the President was up 170,000 at the same time. It all comes down to one question, "How many early votes are from regular voters and how many are from so called 'sporadic voters'. There is good evidence that Romney's numbers are simply shuffling election day voters to vote earlier while the President's numbers include sizeable numbers of new or sporadic voters.

It will take more days of reporting to know for sure. North Carolina is going to be very very close, but the President will probably head into election day with an advantage and a fair chance to win. This is 'not great' news.

What makes this also 'possibly great news' is that Romney has to turn a whole bunch of states from bue to red. Give him Indiana, and after that the going gets tough. If Romney does win North Carolina but only by the narrowest of margins it is logical to conclude that Romney isn't going to have enough momentum in other states where Obama's margin was larger than the 14,000 in NC to overturn them.

North Carolina is going to be very very close and Romney really needs a big win in NC not a cliff hanger if he's also going to be taking any other 2008 Obama states to the Republican side.

Nevad also is showing very good numbers as reported by fightingregistrar at DailyKos


In the previous daily report, Democrats bested Republicans by 5,202 ballots cast. In this one, Democrats outstripped Republicans by 5,535. In fact, the Republican percentage went down among early voters since the previous report. These are very solid numbers for us in Clark County, especially considering that Romney is contesting Nevada much more vigorously than McCain did four years ago.

Now, here are the cumulative figures, including mail-in ballots:

Dems 105,338 (49.75%)
Reps 69,294 (32.73%)
Inds 37,107 (17.52%)

TOTAL 211,739

As of this report, 24.86% of the 851,803 active voters in Clark County have voted. That is huge. At this point in 2008, about 17% of all active voters had voted.

(Washoe County, the other large county is basically split exactly even. The two counties account for 90% of the vote. A sizeable win in Clark County determines the state results)

Other notes from McDonald at George Mason


Iowa, 400,000 absentee and early votes, 44% Dems, 30% Rep.

Florida 1.1 million cast with Republicans 45 to Dems 40%, but and this is a big but, in Florida Republicans normally have a 12 point advantage in early/absentee voting and Dems make it up on election day.
October 23, 2012

Excerpts from the transcript from "the 1980s are calling" "horses & bayonets" "teacher love"

OBAMA: Governor Romney, I'm glad that you recognize that Al Qaida is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what's the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not Al Qaida; you said Russia, in the 1980s, they're now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War's been over for 20 years.

But Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s.

. . .

OBAMA: You said that we should still have troops in Iraq to this day. You indicated that we shouldn't be passing nuclear treaties with Russia despite the fact that 71 senators, Democrats and Republicans, voted for it. You said that, first, we should not have a timeline in Afghanistan. Then you said we should. Now you say maybe or it depends, which means not only were you wrong, but you were also confusing in sending mixed messages both to our troops and our allies.

. . .

ROMNEY: Syria is Iran's only ally in the Arab world. It's their route to the sea.

. . .
OBAMA: And to the governor's credit, you supported us going into Libya and the coalition that we organized. But when it came time to making sure that Gadhafi did not stay in power, that he was captured, Governor, your suggestion was that this was mission creep, that this was mission muddle.

Imagine if we had pulled out at that point. You know, Moammar Gadhafi had more American blood on his hands than any individual other than Osama bin Laden. And so we were going to make sure that we finished the job. That's part of the reason why the Libyans stand with us.

But we did so in a careful, thoughtful way, making certain that we knew who we were dealing with, that those forces of moderation on the ground were ones that we could work with, and we have to take the same kind of steady, thoughtful leadership when it comes to Syria. That's exactly what we're doing.

. . .

ROMNEY: No. I believe, as the president indicated, and said at the time that I supported his - his action there. I felt that - I wish we'd have had a better vision of the future.

. . .

ROMNEY: Our Navy is old - excuse me, our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917. The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. We're now at under 285. We're headed down to the low 200s if we go through a sequestration. That's unacceptable to me.

I want to make sure that we have the ships that are required by our Navy. Our Air Force is older and smaller than at any time since it was founded in 1947.

. . .
OBAMA:You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.

OBAMA: And so the question is not a game of Battleship, where we're counting slips. It's what are our capabilities. And so when I sit down with the Secretary of the Navy and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we determine how are we going to be best able to meet all of our defense needs in a way that also keeps faith with our troops, that also makes sure that our veterans have the kind of support that they need when they come home.

. . .

OBAMA: And, you know, we visited the website quite a bit and it still doesn't work.

. . .

OBAMA: Bob, let me just respond.

Nothing Governor Romney just said is true, starting with this notion of me apologizing. This has been probably the biggest whopper that's been told during the course of this campaign. And every fact checker and every reporter who's looked at it, Governor, has said this is not true.

And when it comes to tightening sanctions, look, as I said before, we've put in the toughest, most crippling sanctions ever. And the fact is, while we were coordinating an international coalition to make sure these sanctions were effective, you were still invested in a Chinese state oil company that was doing business with the Iranian oil sector.

. . .
Obama: If we're going to talk about trips that we've taken - when I was a candidate for office, first trip I took was to visit our troops. And when I went to Israel as a candidate, I didn't take donors. I didn't attend fundraisers. I went to Yad Beshef (ph), the Holocaust museum there, to remind myself the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel will be unbreakable.

And then I went down to the border towns of Storok (ph), which had experienced missiles raining dowm from Hamas. And I saw families there who showed me there where missiles had come down near their children's bedrooms. And I was reminded of what that would mean if those were my kids. Which is why as president, we funded an Iron Dome program to stop those missiles.

. . .
Obama: In the same way that you initially opposed a timetable in Afghanistan, now you're for it, although it depends. In the same way that you say you would have ended the war in Iraq, but recently gave a speech saying that we should have 20,000 more folks in there. The same way that you said that it was mission creep to go after Gadhafi.

When it comes to going after Osama bin Laden, you said, well, any president would make that call. But when you were a candidate in 2008, as I was, and I said if I got bin Laden in our sights I would take that shot, you said we shouldn't move heaven and earth to get one man.

OBAMA: And you said we should ask Pakistan for permission. And if we had asked Pakistan permission, we would not have gotten him. And it was worth moving heaven and earth to get him.

. . .

ROMNEY: But I love teachers. But I want to get our private sector growing and I know how to do it.

SCHIEFFER: I think we all love teachers.

. . .

OBAMA: Well, thank you very much, Bob, Governor Romney, and to Lynn University. You've now heard three debates, months of campaigning and way too many TV commercials. And now you've got a choice. Over the last four years we've made real progress digging our way out of policies that gave us two prolonged wars, record deficits and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

And Governor Romney wants to take us back to those policies, a foreign policy that's wrong and reckless, economic policies that won't create jobs, won't reduce our deficit, but will make sure that folks at the very top don't have to play by the same rules that you do.

And I've got a different vision for America. I want to build on our strengths. And I've put forward a plan to make sure that we're bringing manufacturing jobs back to our shores by rewarding companies and small businesses that are investing here, not overseas.

I want to make sure we've got the best education system in the world. And we're retaining our workers for the jobs of tomorrow.

I want to control our own energy by developing oil and natural gas but also the energy sources of the future.

Yes, I want to reduce our deficit by cutting spending that we don't need but also by asking the wealthy to do a little bit more so that we can invest in things like research and technology that are the key to a 21st century economy.

As Commander in Chief, I will maintain the strongest military in the world, keep faith with our troops and go after those who would do us harm. but after a decade of war, I think we all recognize we've got to do some nation building here at home, rebuilding our roads, our bridges and especially caring for our Veterans who sacrificed so much for our freedom.

And we've been through tough times but we always bounce back because of our character, because we pull together and if I have the privilege of being your president for another four years, I promise you I will always listen to your voices. I will fight for your families and I will work every single day to make sure that America continues to be the greatest nation on earth.

Thank you.

October 22, 2012

Message to FR and other Cons who have jumped into bed with Douglas Kaplan from Gravis Working Group

Edited to add that Kaplan's admission to FR contributor that he had to hire a statistician confirms one of our basic contentions. They are not a professional polling firm and don't have that kind of expertise. Now for Nate and the others to evaluate Gravis they should know who that is because Kaplan has admitted he doesn't have the expertise. BTW Doug every time you open your mouth you give us another nugget. More interviews please.

Regarding the following comment that has been relayed to us from Free Republic

Left-wing bloggers and activists declared war on an independent pollster, who dared to pick up on Romney’s positive momentum, both nationally and in the states.

“I don’t run fake polls,” said Douglas J. Kaplan, who owns Winter Springs, Fla.-based Gravis Marketing, and who has been polling and releasing polls on the presidential election.

“It is ridiculous,” he said. “We have no power. We put out polls.”

“They are trying to shut me down because they think I’m a pro-Romney pollster,” he said. “They said Karl Rove was funding me, I wish I knew Karl Rove.”

We have been contacted by various conservative media who requested an interview.

We still have more to release but we did pass the following on to conservative and right wing media outlets that seemed honestly interested in getting more information;

We expect that many of your questions will be answered by our latest post but that it will raise even more questions. This one paragraph should be of the most interest to you and your people:

One word of caution. We are not finding that there is a strong link between Kaplan and his known associates and the Republican Party, the conservative movement or politics in general. It may be that polling was only part of a wider scope of activities. We still have a great deal of material we are going through.

While people on the right might still be clinging to Gravis they won't when we are finished and the longer they defend him the sillier they will look. Read his tweets. Read his bios. Try and figure out what college he thinks he really went to. Ask yourself why would a pollster start a PAC?

If you want to understand where this is going then you should start investigating all of the different associates that he has been working with over the last 10 years. These are not the only mugshots that will be attached to the Gravis story.


I hope that you will note that when we could have written this with a slant that "this is how Republicans act" or "see your typical Republican mug shot" we did not.

This is called comity.

Here is the definition:


It doesn't seem to be a word that anyone in the right wing media is familiar with.


The Gravis Working Group at DU.

One of the reasons that it has taken so long is that Kaplan is such a prolific fabricator that we had to take apart one level of lies after another. He lied about who he was, where he studied and what he has been doing. He has no back ground in political science or statistics but is a serial junk fax con man, robo caller that has tried to cash in on the political season and has a long history of FCC violations.

There are other more personal facts that we have become aware of that we could have used to assassinate the character of Mr. Kaplan if we really wanted to 'declare war' on Mr. Kaplan.

He has four strong passions. He is passionate about his son, his dogs, the conviction of Casey Anthony and supporting the State of Israel. His world view isn't sophisticated enough to be linked to a political ideology. Listen to the tapes in our link and you will realize that he has the sophistication of the guy in the booth next to you at Denny's.

We are not trying to 'shut him down'. We are trying to force those that average polls together admit that they really don't have an object professional standard when it comes to choosing which polls to go. Any shutting down won't be done by us but by folks with federal alphabet soup names or State LEOs after the election is over

We have never alleged that he is connected to Karl Rove. Of course the fact that he set up a PAC (an obvious conflict for a pollster) made us wonder if he wasn't either fishing for some of the Koch brother largess or a James O'Keefe III imitator (who he followed on tweeter). His assertion that we alleged a tie to Karl Rove is in fact another lie. Just as he went on Russian English language radio and talked about all of the polls that Gravis was working on, except none were never released until 6 months later when Gravis became the most prolific swing state pollster of the season.

One last challenge for our friends at FR. He has consistently stated that he doesn't have clients for these polls and is doing it on 'his dime'. Now why would a guy facing massive IRS liens and foreclosures be running polls with no avenue of profit? By the way we know that among Kaplan's closest personal friends is a person who seems to be a consistent Obama supporter. He has tweeted some pedestrian statements appearing to support the Affordable Health Care Act and at the same time retweeting charges that Obama is a clandestine Muslim interloper.

For the record we have put out hundreds of facts on Kaplan and his associates and we are not aware of a single fact that has been challenged.

When we have had time to finish going through the mountain of backed up material and we release the final link to Kaplan and other 'alleged' activities that occurred at places where Kaplan was a manager at, and while he was a manager at, you will not be in his corner. We have published a list of people that Kaplan has had a long association with and you don't have to believe us, start running those names through the internet and you may be shocked at the connections you get.

We also believe that the idea that Kaplan is writing proprietary software is another in a long series of untrue self promotions. We believe that the software comes via Predictive Concepts (owned by Miller and Hymel) who have a partnering relationship with PIKA Technologies. Pika Technologies is the industry leader in robo calling hard and software and there several dozen companies that use their product for similar robo calling. Its not a major point, just another example of Kaplans unflagging self promotion from a fellow that has multiple CVs and can't decide which non accredited college he should say he entered.

In your conversation with Kaplan he states that he has hired a statistician.

Well Kaplan uses various social media to link to everyone he does business with. And I mean everyone. He even links to the attorneys that apparently defended him in the prosecution by the FCC.

So we know a lot of his associates and even social friends. We have not been able to identify this mysterious 'statistician' you refer to.

Now we know who Alan Giardinieri is and this is a fairly recent photo that was taken during the time when he is supposed to be working for Gravis:


That is not such a flattering picture of Alan so let's use this one instead;


We know who Ashlee Crosbie is. She is in fact a certified conservative and is registered over at Liberty Link a social site only for true blood conservatives (another cheap shot we could have used if we wanted to unfairly paint Gravis as a primarily consecrative operation but did not)

And we know who Randy Stevens is, the so called project manager. But none of these are qualified statisticians so why doesn't Kaplan reveal who is statistician is.

Now please note when we allege that Gravis Marketing is a Fraud we are not alleging that the calls are not being made, we know that they are. We note that some Gravis polls have published some results that have bordered on the twilight zone. Out of nowhere they have, for example showed Obama was 9 points behind based on the absurd suggestion that only 1 in 4 independents was going to the President (By the way with statistics in North Carolina showing the President's campaign 60,000 voters ahead of 4 years ago we agree with Daily Kos that something 'epic' is happening there. Wouldn't it be something if it was Gravis strange NC poll that got people in NC motivated) There was the strange Michigan poll that was the only one that shows Romney within the MOE. Now what was really odd about that was that Romney has given up in MI so why poll there, especially on your own dime. But it was Gravis CO poll that showed more AA favored Romney than the President that really provoked the laughter. It was such an idiotic result and so roundly laughed at that they turned around and did another one the day after the tabs were released. (BTW during the first part of October Gravis was doing almost a poll a day in the swing states. After we started publishing facts about Kaplan's background it slowed to about one a week.)

In any case its not the polls that are illegitimate but the company (and indeed Kaplan continues to insist that they make no money from the polling, that it is on his own dime). It is his lack of academic, professional and political science background and his self promotion of this as a primarily political marketing company that is a fraud. Kaplan has a 10 year history of running 'alleged' cons (some of which have been prosecuted by state and federal authorities. We don't think that if people understood that they would want to include Gravis in the polling 'club', more of that later.

We will have more latter in the week, we have businesses and professional practices to get back to and phone calls to make to re elect the President. Hey if you want to stand shoulder to shoulder with Doug and Alan, be our guest.

(apologies for any syntax or grammar errors, our eyes are getting tired from reading so many federal filings and mountains of backed up documents.)

Gravis Working Group
October 21, 2012

Prediction for the October surprise thread.

After the last debate both sides will almost certainly drop some surprises. For the Democrats if they have anything concrete on Romney's taxes that is when it will come.

The Republicans have a harder time because they haven't left anything behind in attacking him for 5 years.

But I predict that there will be something that will be very difficult for Romney.

and it will be leaked by someone in the Bush circle.

They don't want him to lose they want him eliminated for 2016.

That's my prediction. What's yours?

October 19, 2012


<grantcart comment.

Anybody who has even a passing familiarity with my work will already know that the graphics alone of this piece are way beyond my abililties, let alone the quality of reporting. This is provided by Gravis Working Group Contributor #2. Based on some of the information here, and other information we have withheld we have good reason to believe that reasonable precautions should be maintained to protect our contributors. Future contributors are likely to all appear under grantcart with a number attached.

Great care has been taken in checking all of the details of the post and we have people in the group with both legal and journalistic credentials who have tried to make sure that all of our posts meet high standards. We believe that this one does that.

One word of caution. We are not finding that there is a strong link between Kaplan and his known associates and the Republican Party, the conservative movement or politics in general. It may be that polling was only part of a wider scope of activities. We still have a great deal of material we are going through.

We do have a commitment from a statistician for a report Friday afternoon that will go into detail on the question of the polls themselves, although while we think it an important question, the real story is the group of people behind Gravis and the non political ends that they hoped to achieve. We can get a hint of what they were trying to achieve by looking at what they have been doing in the past.

Now for an excellent read by Contributor #2

end of comment by grantcart>

NB: If there are any inaccuracies in any of the material here, please let us know promptly and with sufficient proof, and we will make such corrections in a timely manner. We do not believe there are any inaccuracies in the material herein, and have made every effort to only report information we believe to be solidly and reliably sourced.


Ultimately, we believe that "Gravis Marketing" is the last of a long line of shady enterprises pursued by Doug Kaplan and a merry band of small-time hustlers, a band marked by the sketchy personal pasts of its individual members and a constant pursuit of the fast, and, almost invariably, dishonest buck.

We believe that the evidence below will amply illustrate the conjecture above.


Gravis Marketing.

Who is "Gravis Marketing," or should we say what is "Gravis Marketing," the "polling" outfit that burst out of nowhere and suddenly started issuing polls in January of this year, an outfit that puts out so many swing state polls that they often are assigned significant weighting in Nate Silver's otherwise excellent "538 Blog."

Most relevantly, who is Doug Kaplan, the President of Gravis Marketing? The answer to that perhaps holds the key to the questions posed above. Doug Kaplan's twitter feed reveals the first clear picture of this mystery (https://twitter.com/dobied). How does a man go from discussing nothing but Casey Anthony and his rampant zionism (more on that in posts to follow) to suddenly touting a stream of polls that have turned Doug Kaplan and Gravis Marketing into one of the most influential suppliers of swing state polls in this crucial election?

We are still digging into the question of that transformation - but the answer to the question of "Who is Doug Kaplan" is both unsettling and fascinating and suggests that the media needs to do some serious digging into the roots, practices, and motivations behind the efforts of "Gravis Marketing."

Some of this material will duplicate elements covered in the last post on Doug Kaplan's previous life of travel scams, but this post will include screencaps that leave no doubt as to the connection between Kaplan and these shady companies, evidence of Kaplan's involvement in criminal and otherwise questionable activities, and association with other individuals who are no strangers to the law. Believe us when we tell you that we have much more information than you have seen published to this point or will see in this post - the story continues to develop, and each step further down the path seems to reveal a more sordid tableau.


Well, to answer this, we'll use his own words. Or we will try to.

On Doug Kaplan's personal page, DOUGKAPLAN.NET, he references time spent at Devry University.

But that's not the "educational" institution he references on his LinkedIn page, which you can see here:


American Intercontinental University. Put a * next to that. Because we'll include information about "American Intercontinental University" at the end of this post, but let us say that there is good reason to suspect that "American Intercontinental University" is no more than a diploma mill. A Federal Whistle-Blower lawsuit, by prominent members of the University staff alleged a massive fraud perpetrated by the school on federal grant programs, and a letter from an anonymous professor, published in the prestigious Chronicle of Higher Education, stated "if you can breathe and walk, you can get into the school." (article reproduced at: http://www.secinfo.com/dRSm6.v17q.htm)

Doug also mentions time spent studying advertising at Florida International University in the early 2000's. It is unclear what coursework he completed at that institution, but it seems notable that he was still pursuing a Bachelor of Arts at American InterContinental in 2008.

It's an unclear record. We suspect that Doug Kaplan would like to keep all aspects of his pre-Gravis life as vague as possible, because the man behind "Gravis Marketing" has a less than impressive past.


This is who we initially thought Doug Kaplan was when we first visited Gravis Marketing's website:

Not Doug Kaplan

Here is Doug Kaplan in 1998:

Yes, This Is Doug Kaplan

Here is Doug Kaplan in 2002:

Yes, This is Doug Kaplan

Here is a photo of "Transitional Doug":

Also Doug Kaplan

Note the address at the bottom of the last picture, which comes from Doug's personal site at DougKaplan.net: 1931 South Prairie Dunes in Oviedo, Florida. That address is going to link Doug to a shady marketing enterprise we will detail further below.

Continuing on with the evolution of Doug Kaplan, though, we give you "Almost New Doug":

Almost New

And last, we have "The New Doug Kaplan" a.k.a. "The Gravis Marketing Doug Kaplan":

Doug Kaplan, From His LinkedIn

There is a clue that these are all the same person, beyond the fact that all these people are named "Doug Kaplan" and they all live in the same part of Florida. As a working group member astutely pointed out, if you look at the center of his hairline, there is a notch, directly to the right of center, that is consistent in all the photos. It's the same person in every photo.

The 1998 photo is a mugshot from his arrest on March 27th, 1998 by the Lake Mary Police Department for a DUI. It doesn't look like he had two beers and forgot to eat dinner, mind you.

The 2002 photo is a mugshot from his arrest on January 29th, 2002 this time by the Oviedo Police Department, once again for a DUI.


Lest anyone think that Doug Kaplan has kept his nose clean since 2002 (he hasn't, as you will see from the marketing scam screencaps from the mid to late-2000's), here is who Doug Kaplan associates with - in fact, here is his Senior Account Executive at Gravis Marketing, Alan Giardinieri -

First, looking dapper on his LinkedIn

Now, looking serial killer-ish

That second photo is from an arrest for Drug Possession by the Seminole County's Sheriff's Office, on October 27th of last year.

This is not the first time Doug and Alan have worked together. The "DK Advertising" Alan lists as a previous job on his LinkedIn probably stands for "Doug Kaplan Advertising," as the listed address for "DK Advertising" is... 1931 South Prairie Dunes in Oviedo, Florida.

As we will see, the same names pop up again and again in Kaplan's past, always tied to shady consumer scams and consistently marked by trouble with the law.


Doug Kaplan has a foreclosure problem.

Looking at the photos above, you won't be surprised to learn that Doug Kaplan was the subject of foreclosure actions both in 2001 and 2002.

2001 Foreclosure:

2002 Foreclosure:

The 2001 Foreclosure action ended in a judgment against Kaplan of more than $122,000 resulting in a lien to secure payment against Kaplan's property.

Doug's foreclosure problem is not just buried in the past, and may give us some clues as to what inspired him to make his daring break into the world of polling in January of this year.

Here is a record of foreclosure proceedings against him that spanned from 2011 to 2012:


Doug Kaplan has an IRS problem.

For that, though, you will need to go back to NorCen_CT's excellent post on the topic, although I will give you a numbers summary here, using NorCen_CT's information.

NorCen_CT's post: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021569031#post1

IRS Tax Liens, by Date:

5/15/00: $28,500 (rounded)
8/22/00: $270,000 (rounded) (NorCen thinks this reads $260,000, but we believe the 3rd digit to be a 9)
10/10/00: $7,500 (rounded)
2/14/03: $34,000 (rounded)
10/6/09: $28,000 (rounded)
12/22/09: $8,500 (rounded)


Perhaps, above all else, Doug Kaplan appears to have an "associates with unsavory characters" and a "consumer scamming" problem.

This, also, has been covered in a previous post: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021570247

But we are going to use pictures in this thread, and build our case brick by brick.


Recall that address, 1931 South Prairie Dunes in Oviedo, Florida. Doug Kaplan, himself, has tied Doug Kaplan to that address (via DougKaplan.net).

Recall the names, Elite Options and Florida Reservations. Doug Kaplan, again, has tied Doug Kaplan to these two businesses, as they are listed prominently on his own LinkedIn page.

Now we will tie him to Anthony Arrigoni, with a screencap from Junkfax.org**. Mind you that Junkfax.org is not some questionable site of questionable derivation. At the bottom of this post you will see that, as noted in a prior post, Junkfax.org was founded by Steve Kirsch, a wildly successful businessman and a noted philanthropist. Kirsch runs Junkfax.org as part of his pro-consumer crusade against junk faxes. Kirsch was the founder and chairman of Infoseek (sold to Disney for a healthy sum) and has BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.

Junkfax.org = legitimate.

Here is a screencap from Junkfax.org, linking Doug Kaplan to Anthony Arrigoni, Jacob Wood (Wood is also the owner of Elite Options), and the business "Vacation Showroom" (and the subject of the junkfax.org webpage is Kaplan's own Florida Reservations).


Returning to 1931 South Prairie Dunes in Oviedo, Florida, let us examine all the businesses that www.corporationwiki.com attaches to that address. Take particular note of "I Marketing" and "DK Advertising."


Corporationwiki also directly ties Doug Kaplan to "I Marketing."


Now, there is one last connection we need to establish, and, once again, Doug Kaplan will do it for us.

Using Kaplan's "Talent.me" page, we can establish that Doug Kaplan was at Elite Options from January, 2005 to March 2009.

Okay, we're done.

Let's review what we've established:

1. That Doug Kaplan has ties to 1931 South Prairie Dunes in Oviedo, Florida (DougKaplan.net)
2. That Doug Kaplan has ties to Elite Options and Florida Reservations (DK's LinkedIn page, junkfax.org)
3. That Doug Kaplan has ties to Anthony Arigoni, Jacob Wood (Elite Options), and "Vacation Showrooms" (junkfax.org)
4. That Doug Kaplan has ties to the businesses "I Marketing," and "DK Advertising" (corporationwiki.com)
5. That Doug Kaplan worked at Elite Options from Jan, 2005 to Mar, 2009 (DK's "Talent.me" page)

6. That Doug Kaplan is tied to "Discovery Marketing" (this one hasn't been covered yet - just wait for the May 2001 FCC Citation)


Using the links shown above, we can illustrate a picture of Kaplan's activities and the activities of people Kaplan is connected to.

APRIL 2000

State of Illinois goes after Doug Kaplan's "Discovery Marketing" for misleading unsolicited fax travel offers and obtains a final judgment and a consent decree.


JULY 2000

Florida Officials probe Anthony Arrigoni and Resorts Exchange International for misleading travel offers made by "blast fax." Kaplan may be linked to this same scam, as the Western Michigan BBB targeted both Arrigoni's company and Kaplan's "Florida Reservations" simultaneously (http://westernmichigan.bbb.org/article/consumer-alert--vacation-scam-hits-west-michigan-newspapers-1673).


MAY 2001

The FCC issues a citation against "Discovery Marketing" for sending unsolicited and deceptive faxes.

This first screen cap establishes that "Discovery Marketing" is a Doug Kaplan company:


This next screen cap outlines the citation issued against "Discovery Marketing":



FTC v. Arrigoni: The FTC secures a stipulated final judgment and a permanent injunction against Anthony Arrigoni and Resorts Exchange International for misleading travel offers.

The judgment and injunction basically amount to a suspended judgment for $4 million against Arrigoni and REIA, to be enforced if there are any violations of the terms of the stipulation (don't send out any more misleading travel offers) (http://www.ftc.gov/os/2001/08/reiastip.htm).


JUNE 2003

Rip-Off Report Complaint against Jacob Wood and "Vacation Showrooms."

I'm just going to provide the link for this one (http://www.ripoffreport.com/travel-services/vacation-showroom-ce/vacation-showroom-ceo-jacob-wo-xc25f.htm). A man claiming to be Jacob Wood, himself, responds to the report, and you can judge the interaction for yourself.


Junkfax.org details continuing travel fax activities by Doug Kaplan and his associates. We don't know that there is anything illegal detailed here, but further down the page, a consumer claims that an attempt to obtain a refund led to a defunct merchant account and no satisfaction:



Doug Kaplan and Jacob Wood get sued by DISNEY.

Jacob Wood also gets investigated by the Florida Chamber of Commerce for... impersonating the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Some things, you just couldn't even make up.

This screencap also ties Wood to "I Marketing," the entity being sued by Disney. Remember, Doug Kaplan has been tied to "I Marketing" through information at www.corporationwiki.com.



The North Dakota Attorney General, responding to complaints over travel offers at an event call "Fargo Ribfest," secures a fine against Jacob Wood and "Elite Options," and "Elite Options" agrees to a permanent ban on doing business anywhere in North Dakota. Note that, according to Doug Kaplan's "Talent.me" (see above), Kaplan has a prominent sales role in "Elite Options" during a period that encompasses these activities.



Well, that wraps up our initial investigation into Doug Kaplan and his associates illegal and unethical activities. Keep in mind, if you have read this far and read all of the above, that this is the man behind a polling outfit that is being treated as a significant authority in depicting the shape of the race for the President of the United States. That's pretty crazy stuff.

This is what we have found in an initial investigation, although there are a few other details that we have left out in respect for certain individuals' privacy (this includes Mr. Kaplan). Would we/will we find more if we dig further? We can't say we would. But this information was compiled over a very short period of time.

On the basis of what we've found, one could say that it's possible that Doug Kaplan has reformed his ways, gotten out of the scamming business, and tried to make an honest go of it. That's possible. On the other hand, Doug Kaplan shows an IRS lien dating from December of 2009, and a foreclosure proceeding that continued into this current year. More damning is that he continues to associate with individuals from his past like Alan Giardinieri, a man who has been arrested within the past year.

Also, there's more to come in this series on Doug Kaplan and Gravis Marketing...

Future installments will include serious questions regarding the accuracy of the underlying data supporting his polling - data that seems to only be justified by either gross inaccuracies in Gravis' calculations or the suggestion that the extent of polling has either been exaggerated or entirely fabricated.

That is obviously the true meat on the bone as to questions regarding Gravis Marketing and their "polling operations."

Also, don't forget the name "Jacob Wood."

More to come in the working group's investigation of Doug Kaplan and Gravis Marketing...

* On American InterContinental University, a place that "if you can breathe and walk, you can get into," according to an anonymous professor quoted in the Chronicle of Higher Education (article reproduced at: http://www.secinfo.com/dRSm6.v17q.htm):

Here is the wikipedia link covering controversies involving the school: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_InterContinental_University#Controversy

Here is an eye-opening article detailing a Federal Whistle-blower lawsuit filed against the school, charging fraud in obtaining federal grant money (the whistle blowers, according to the article, are an academic adviser, an employee in the school's Registrar's Office, the President of one of AIU's campuses, a man who is also a vice president for academic affairs, and the school's Director of Human Resources(!)):


** On Junkfax.org and Steve Kirsch - the website is, by all appearances, a purely altruistic effort undertaken by Mr. Kirsch. As best we can tell, he created the website because he really, really hates junk faxes. He has vowed to shut down the website when the last junk fax is sent.

Here is a screencap of his foundation's webpage:


October 17, 2012

Gravis Exposed - America's Greatest Pollster Gets the Full Monty Index Updated 10/19/12 15:48 EST

Explanation of how the Gravis Working Group at DU is now operating below. The Did You Know feature will be changed frequently to add curious facts about Kaplan that will not fit into specific piece. They will be collected for the Douglas Kaplan trivia game that you will all want to play.

If you missed number VI then check it out, it establishes Gravis past known established criminal activities. There are more allegations to come from a really fine group of guys. Last we heard our statistician is going through everything Gravis Marketing has put out. He is so cautious he won't even tell us if it looks like the numbers look like real numbers or not. Got a good Did you Know update

Did You Know

Number 4 in a series of 538

In number 3 we requoted some of Kaplan's personal tweets.

Did you know that Gravis Marketing has established a very impressive tweeter following, as 'America's Greatest Pollster' you would expect he would. Here are some of the people on that list;

Nate Silver?@fivethirtyeight

FiveThirtyEight blogger (http://nyti.ms/Qp8cqb). Author, The Signal and the Noise (http://amzn.to/QdyFYV). Sports/politics/food geek.

Gary R. Herbert?@HerbertForUtah

Utah's 17th Governor


GOPAC is dedicated to educating and electing the next generation of Republican leaders.

and what appears to be hundreds of Republican Congressional Candidates.

Maybe they know that Gravis isn't a real polling company, maybe they are hoping to hear about a really cheap ticket to go to Florida on.

Here are the threads to date after the second thread I started getting substantial help from other contributors. After thread 4 other contributors will be posting their own threads. Each contributor is responsible for making sure their facts are correct. But we will try and be supportive of each others contributions. Phrig has compiled an evaluation that confirms dawolf's earlier assertion that they are impossible results. We welcome a technical discussion by competent statisticians on the issue. If it sustains peer review it would be devistating. But to the working group it is a little like digging up a corpse and redoing the autopsy and coming to the conclusion that the victim died not because the roof collapsed on him but because he saw the roof collapsing and had a heart attack.

We have published hundreds of relevant facts and none of them have been challenged. Whether or not the numbers are real or made up is very interesting but also beside the point. Douglas Kaplan doesn't have the academic credentials, professional experience or standing to be included in ANY polling averages with ANY level of weight. He does have a vast experience of criminial and illicit operations that have been the focus of state and federal prosecutions.

I. DU Exclusive: Gravis Marketing exposed as a fraud October 7th by grantcart

II.Gravis Marketing Exposed II. The Evisceration of Douglas Kaplan October 14th by grantcart

III. Things are about to get a whole lot tougher for Nate Silver by grantcart

IV. Update on the Gravis Marketing Fraud investigation; Statistician offers proof of fraud in the polls. October 16th by grantcart

V. Gravis Marketing Exposed - The Financial Side of America's "Greatest" Pollster by NorCen_CT


VII. Impossible results all throughout every single Gravis poll this year

VIIa. Non DU statistician who first argued that Gravis polls had "impossible results".


IX. Message to FR and other Cons who have jumped into bed with Douglas Kaplan from Gravis Working Group

X. Gravis Working Group: Douglas Kaplan confirms our charges he is not a pollster.

XI. Magic Presto How DU moved a pollster 5 points to the left

The Gravis Working Group at DU

I posted a couple of threads about Douglas Kaplan that had damning material about Gravis Marketing that I had gotten, mostly from his own words and website that showed Mr. Kaplan was, well, a fraud. The fact that he had gone from no profile to the most used and highest rated pollster at sites like RCP and 538 as well as the most quoted in the right wing blog field (go 100 pages deep into a Gravis Marketing Google and you will see the adoration) in only 68 days would, I supposed, trigger some MSM to pick up the thread and post a story or two.

Silly me.

Instead what happened is that I started getting an avalanche of material. It went from head scratching to jaw dropping to side splitting laughter to a nice well honed deep rage. We now have a very enthusiastic committed group of some very talented researchers (much more talented than me) who are working together in the 'Gravis Working Group'.

We contacted (in some cases with well established personal connections) some of the biggest names of the MSM with an offer to hand over all of the material in exchange for a commitment to expose the entire story and they gave us the appropriate emails to the key editors. Crickets. We also tried contacting a couple outstanding progressive legal firms and ask if they could simply help us catalog all of the legal documents but they could not spare the time to go through all of Doug Kaplan's legal 'situations' and those of his known associates who appear as co-dependents in legal actions.

So the "Gravis Working Group at DU" was formed. Some will be posting and some prefer to remain anonymous. Some are new to DU but have rather exceptional research skills. Scary good.

The other part of the Gravis Working Group at DU is you. We ask that you be critical readers and test the links and the assertions. So far no fact that we have asserted about Gravis has been refuted. It maybe that given the volume and interest in getting this out during the campaign period that we get a fact misplaced. You be the jury. Don't just give a rec hit the links and read the material. You might even see some connection that we missed. Pls continue your 'finds'.

And then the other thing that you can do as your part of the Gravis Working Group at DU is to post it other sites and send it to whatever media site you think should get it. You should assume that we are too busy reading and compiling to be able to spread it to other networks. If some editor gets more than one email, what is the harm?

So this is no longer a grantcart endeavor there are dozens of people making contributions to the threads you are seeing. It is completely decentralized and I just help keep the traffic moving by updating this index. You will see all relevant threads attached to this and I will put the time and date of the last update in the title.

I will also add a "Did you know" subject at the top of the post that will list unusual facts about Douglas Kaplan.

It is clear from the hundreds of pages of material that we receive, and continue to receive, thanks to all who send us their finds, that this is one of the greatest punking of political punditry ever seen. It will be proved with county court documents, federal citations but, most of all, by the lies of a sociopathic liar like Douglas Kaplan.

But you be the jury.

Men and Women of the Jury,

I propose to you that when the full disclosure of all of Douglas Kaplan's activities and all of his known associates are documented and put in the spotlight there will be no room for reasonable doubt on the question of whether or not Douglas Kaplan was ever a serious pollster.

I also propose to you to show that he knew James OKeefe III and admired him and either started Gravis Marketing as a pure money making scheme or intended to out punk O'Keefe, which you may conclude that he has done.

This is not a victimless crime. Anybody who bought into Gravis Marketing and their status as a pollster is going to have their reputations tarnished. Bloggers on the right that embraced every poll (and hundreds did) will be tarnished with the brush of being 'gullible'. Any hard working stiff who thought that the election was closer than it was because he thought that Romney had locked away North Carolina and made a contribution was also punked.

To a greater extent however the whole political process, including the use of polls and the idea of having a national conversation during a national election is the biggest victim. Members of the jury, I put it to you that the real crime is that defendants took polling from being an aid in the conversation by finding out what people think to a cynical attempt to influence how people think.

There is a straight line from Nixon's plumbers to James O'Keefe. It appears, members of the jury, that we found a potential new O'Keefe in the making.

For that reason we are not going to simply discredit Gravis Marketing the polling company but we are going to use the disinfectant of transparency to expose Douglas Kaplan and all of his known associates. We are not going to stop when we have made our point. We are not going to stop when we have achieved absolute agreement by all observers that we have found a low level con trying to cheapen our political process.

We are going to proceed to make Douglas Kaplan radioactive. We want all of his friends to shy away from him so that when it comes to their next con Doug doesn't get a seat at the table. We intend to atomize the public profile of Douglas Kaplan so that it becomes an object lesson to the next guy who thinks that it might be possible to follow O'Keefe and punk the political process. We want them to know what happened to the guy who started Gravis Marketing and in 68 days became 'Americas Greatest Pollster'.

And any news organization or pundit that thinks that Douglas Kaplan's Gravis Marketing is a serious national polling company then you are not drawing to an inside straight you are betting that aliens are going to land before December 31, 2012 and that Bigfoot will descend and he will be speaking fluent Navajo.

You can fool us once.

The next time we organize.

Previous "Did you Know" Posts

Did you know that Douglas Kaplan is such a prolific liar that he can't keep straight which college he is pretending that he went to:
Here Doug says that "I entered Valencia and Devry University"

and yet in another CV he states:
BA, American InterContinental University
International Business | Class of 2008
Florida International University - College of Business Administration
Advertising | Class of 2003


Number 2 in a series of 538

Did you know that at the time that Mr. Kaplan was busily getting ready to launch Gravis Marketing and himself as America's Greatest Pollster he was also active in doing other things.

Now even though Doug is looking at huge IRS liens, foreclosures he is still looking for ways to make money. All the while this 'non partisan pollster' is preparing to launch Gravis Marketing he also sets up a SuperPac so that he can raise millions and millons of dollars and spend them on partisan races?

Did you know at this same time he was also purchasing the website




Number 3 in a series of 538

Did you know that Doug Kaplan was a tweeter maniac. You have an entire graduate course just on trying to figure out the thinking of America's Greatest Pollster just from his tweets. Apparently obsessed with the Casey Anthony trial he had hundreds of tweets about it even as he was supposed to be setting up Gravis.

Now for a 'professional partisan national pollster' do these tweets look normal to you?

@RasmussenPoll quit being such a hack.
January 4, 2010 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

He is retweeting JamesOKeefe:

RT @JamesOKeefeIII: WSJ reports on the new NPR phone calls recordings... http://online.wsj.com/article...
March 10, 2011 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

Gives a shout out to Glenn Beck

I guess Glen Beck is nor so crazy @HuffPost Front Page Star Van Jones Led Anti-American Rally Day After 9-11! http://t.co/ULtbaZm
March 31, 2011 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

Not a fan of robo calls

Campaign Season must be around the corner #robocalls are starting to ring my phone.
April 19, 2011 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

Just watched Bill O. I love Donald Trump. We need a real person not a diplomats who can lead our country. Trump has me sold.
March 31, 2011 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

RT @rukiddingme66: Obama N secret meets with Muslim brotherhood, BHO is out 2 destroy Isreal and us. American Jews are stupid if they cant see whats happening
February 11, 2011 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

October 16, 2012

Update on the Gravis Marketing Fraud investigation; Statistician offers proof of fraud in the polls.

There is a small working group that includes some very very talented researchers who have gone way beyond my modest little initial postings.

A short teaser. There is more to come.

We now have a small mountain of hard cold facts that will show a long sustained career of shadowy marketing and fraudulent activity by Kaplan and his other known associates.

There will be no doubt in the end that Kaplan was not a pollster and had some financial interest in misrepresenting himself and the activities of Gravis Marketing.

Let me make this absolutely clear. No doubt. None.

The information is so categorical, and so voluminous that it will raise substantial questions as to how the polling community could be so completely duped.

We have reason to believe that even the claim to attend DeVry, not a particularly bold claim, may not be true.

In fact the only fact that Kaplan has put out that we cannot refute is this one


By the age of 14, I had read several books

One DUer visited Gravis yesterday

No one was there but made the following report

The office is about 10x10.. very small with 4 small desks inside.

Our earlier post has opened up a new front on Gravis Marketing as a fraud.

A statistician has examined his numbers and found them to be statistically impossible

dawolf at logarchism.com


has published a statistical exam of Gravis Marketing and concluded that the numbers published are not statistically possible given the sample size. You need to follow his careful point by point argument to get the full weight but this chart gives you the idea:

That article has become the foundation for a thread at Intrade:

https://www.intrade.com/v4/forum/ (there is no direct link to the thread, you have to go to the political discussion forum)

thanks to EmeraldCityGrl for the heads up on that
October 15, 2012

Things are about to get a whole lot tougher for Nate Silver

From the Political Wire

Too Tough to Forecast?


Nate Silver: "If the current polls hold, predicting the election outcome will boil down to making a series of educated guesses about the relationship between state and national polls, and between the Electoral College and the popular vote."

"There have been plenty of elections before when the outcome was highly uncertain down the stretch run or on Election Day itself. But I am not sure that there has been one where different types of polls pointed in opposite directions. Anyone in my business who is not a bit terrified by this set of facts is either lying to himself -- or he doesn't know what he's doing."

Well Nate if you are going to trust every Tom Dick and Doug Kaplan that comes your way you are going to make a mess out of it.

You are actually going to have to look at the pollsters and start throwing some of them out, and give others only a token weight.

But when you are flooded by polls from the right wing including Gravis, ARG, Purple Strategies, WeAskAmerica and Rasmussen you are being played, and being played badly.

Did you really think that with hundreds of millions of dollars going around that they wouldn't try and play the ref by flooding you with a lot of right wing polls?

October 15, 2012

Late breaking Exclusive DU: Kaplans twitter reveals distaste for Ras, affection for O'Keefe

His twitter account has been identified and appears genuine as it has pictures of his son on them consistent with other photos, by someone named clownseven (ironically Kaplan's last comment at DU he was called a clown and made a comment "from a clown&quot


I would guess that just about anybody can now see that Gravis Marketing was a set up from the beginning.

The guy doesn't even like to be robo called, lol.

I am travelling tomorrow and cannot read it all but here are a couple of interesting


@RasmussenPoll quit being such a hack.
January 4, 2010 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

He is retweeting JamesOKeefe:

RT @JamesOKeefeIII: WSJ reports on the new NPR phone calls recordings... http://online.wsj.com/article...
March 10, 2011 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

Gives a shout out to Glenn Beck

I guess Glen Beck is nor so crazy @HuffPost Front Page Star Van Jones Led Anti-American Rally Day After 9-11! http://t.co/ULtbaZm
March 31, 2011 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

Not a fan of robo calls

Campaign Season must be around the corner #robocalls are starting to ring my phone.
April 19, 2011 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

Just watched Bill O. I love Donald Trump. We need a real person not a diplomats who can lead our country. Trump has me sold.
March 31, 2011 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

RT @rukiddingme66: Obama N secret meets with Muslim brotherhood, BHO is out 2 destroy Isreal and us. American Jews are stupid if they cant see whats happening
February 11, 2011 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

There are a lot of pro Israel postings like this one, probably 90% are related to Israeli issues:

Pollard received the same sentence as Aldrick James and Robert Hansen. People did because of them. Pollard did the same thing sandy Berger
February 1, 2011 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

Some on the left seem so happy about the wiki leaks files. I guess some love to see America hurt. It is Christmas for Mother Jones and Crew.
October 22, 2010 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share
I love this guy! Italian PM Berlusconi:I Feel Israeli;Ensuring Israel's Security & right to exist and are ethical and moral for Italians”
October 10, 2010 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

Not a fan of Jimmy Carter

JImmy Carter is a disgrace http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news...
September 20, 2010 from Twitter - Comment - Like - Share

and then there is this priceless gem
October 15, 2012

Gravis Marketing Exposed II. The Evisceration of Douglas Kaplan

Part III: New DU member provides twitter link and starts a whole new exposition.


Part One Here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021489250 Many thanks to the many co-investigators that supplied many valuable links so I don't have time to individually thank each of you. This went way over the time I budgeted, there was just so much material on Kaplan. This should get some attention. If not there will be a follow up around Wednesday or Thursday.

If someone could screenshot the various websites, especially those at Gravis Marketing and Kaplan. I expect some heavy scrubbing is on the way.

Gravis Marketing Exposed: Stage II the Evisceration of Douglas Kaplan.

This post has 3 parts;

The first is the summary of what is known. Everything in this part is based on fact or published statements, most of them by Douglas Kaplan. Every assertion is made with a footnote in parentheses () and detailed below so that it doesn't distract from the initial reading. Many of these facts were dug up by others and I have tried to credit their contributions.

The second section details the facts and describes each attribution in context.

The third section deals with the problems that have been noted in the actual polling again each statement is backed up with attribution.

The fourth section, if needed will be what happens after these facts have been digested. I hope to get to it by Wednesday or Thursday.

Gravis Marketing makes it to the 'Big Show'.

Part One The Summary of What is Known

This isn't a story about an ambitious(2.1) small time(2.2) con artist/fax spammer(2.3), right wing confidant/Republican booster wannabe (2.4), with limited math skills(3.1), who with a limited educational background(2.5), no direct polling experience(2.6), a limited grasp of the political process (2.7), a startling pedestrian ability to communicate effectively about the political process he claims to be an expert in(2.8), who has become the most dominant polling source from many key swing states (3.2) despite some glaring mathematical deficiencies (3.3) and becomes the highest weighted pollster for Silver (3.3) and most frequently used by RCP (3.4) and also despite the fact that he has no effective business plan and states that he is deriving zero revenues(2.9), has an outrageously adolescent professional portfolio(2.10) and an embarrassing display of testimonials(2.11) with an apparent failed attempt to become a partisan political money launderer(2.12) all the while claiming to be non-partisan (and listed by Nate and RCP as such)(2.5).

No it isn't a story about all of that. Yes all of that is objectively true and will be layed out in a systematic matter but that isn't the big story here. The big story is about the lack of standards in the profession of political polling and how those who have gotten to the top of the polling evaluation mountain got punked bad and exposing the fact that they have no objective hold on the people who are supplying them their raw material.

Imagine for a minute that you are Scott Rasmussen. Now Scott was raised a Republican and like most people that age (including me) revolted at Nixon and became a Democrat. Scott and his father started ESPN (which is now owned by Disney) and when he sold his shares at the age of the age of 28 started amassing a Romney like fortune and is currently estimated to be worth $ 600 million. He didn't major in statistics or political science but graduated from DePauw University and has an MBA from Wake Forrest. Scott works hard to provide the Republicans with a respectable although universally perceived biased polling vehicle where FOX and the Republicans can go to get numbers that support their position as best they can. Now imagine that you are the same Scott Rasmussen and one day you wake up and realize that your position as the go to guy(2.14) for the right has been replaced by Douglas Kaplan. You go on FOX almost nightly and Kaplan has a couple of interviews on an obscure Russian Govt radio program (2.15). So you get curious and you find the personal web page for Kaplan and this is what you are looking at;


Doug Kaplan was Born in Brooklyn, New York, I grew up as the middle child of seven siblings. Early on, I developed a love of project development. By the age of 14, I had read several books . It was at this time that I knew what I wanted to do with my life. Upon graduating from high school, I entered Valencia and Devry University, I quickly found work developing my first project for Discovery Marketing. I learned a lot with the company, as I was responsible for their first national campaign. The most important lesson I learned was the importance of pushing the envelope and not being afraid to take risks. My technique has continued to evolve to the present day.

I am currently a freelance professional, working from my private office in Orlando I enjoy meeting other professionals and following the latest trends. I enjoy attending conferences and symposiums, as well as adding more books to my reading list. Although I am highly sought after, I am always open to new projects. No job is too big or too small. Call me today at 407-242-1870.

Maybe he clicks around and finds out that Douglas Kaplan is the one that is sued by Disney, who now owns his beloved ESPN, for running a fax spamming con (2.3) and that Nate Silver gives this guy more weight than he does you (3.5)

Well if that little mental exercise didn't make you smile then you might either be Scott Rasmussen or possibly Nate Silver.

Nate Silver is one of the most interesting guys that popped out of the 2008 elections. Unassuming and one of the ultimate sports fans he used his BA in Economics from the University of Chicago to quantify one of the loves of his life, baseball and developed Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm a statistically driven model that works to predict future professional success based on a players past statistics (for details go to Wikipedia).

Nate uses the same discipline and posts under a pseudonym and eventually on his own website. Very successful he licenses the site to NYT and becomes the 'Better Housekeeping Seal of Approval' for polls.

In 2008 there are two very exciting primary races each of which generates hundreds of state wide polls which are followed by a historic and equally exciting general election with another cascade of polls. All of which works to Silver's strength. The more polling the more accurate his modeling is going to be.

Now in 2012 the Democrats have no primary and the Republicans have a dreary affair with a dragged out coronation. When the GE gets in full gear you have a media and Silver's modeling system that demands more and more polling data. It is an unquestionable thirst. Silver's model is based on two assumptions;

1) That published polls follow similar methodology even though they may have some measurable biases.

2) The bias of one side of the polls can be fairly balanced out with polls on the other side and with some simple weighting techniques.

This OP will show that when Nate let Gravis into 'The Big Show' he really dropped the ball. More than any other person in the game, Nate is the gatekeeper on who should be consider a minimum professional standard for a professional pollster and at least in regard to Gravis Marketing, a company with no real academic or professional standards, was allowed to slip in and undermine the whole process. Nate simply accepted the pollster based on the initial product being consistent with other product and never looked behind the curtain.

If one campaign or even individuals wanted to influence the national Electoral College models then all they would have to do is to publish acceptable looking polls and then as the race tightens flood the airways with numbers for the ever hungry media and blogosphere and presto states turn from light blue to purple and from purple to red. If you are having difficulty with fund raising (as has been reported about the Romney campaign) then presto the polls show a tighter race and you are not observing the race but helping one side become more competitive.

Part Two: The Evisceration of Douglas Kaplan.

Most of what is here is either the result of Douglas own words or court records reflecting his previous activity.

It shouldn't have been necessary. After the first thread Gravis Marketing should have been laughed off of the internet. While most of the reactions at other sites were the same as DU there were a couple of responses that need responding to:

1) So What If Its A Stock Photo. The start of the previous thread had a stock photo of an experienced looking businessman and was followed by Kaplan's own use of a goofy looking frat boy. The point wasn't that he used a stock photo but that when it came to using his own photo he apparently doesn't possess enough self awareness to realize that it is a very unprofessional presentation for a national pollster.

2) I don't see a smoking gun. the smoking gun would be to match telephone records with the times published or to show time cards, or to let a reporter examine your records and observe a polling cycle. But all of that is really beside the point. Our purpose is not to bring in a verdict but to serve an indictment. It’s not for us to prove that everything Gravis Marketing is putting out is wrong, it’s to show that he should never have been allowed on the main stage. There is more than enough for that limited purpose.

3) Nate doesn't give it much weight as shown below Nate gives it the maximum weight in swing states.

Now for the particulars;

2.1 Gravis Marketing as ambitious.

Before August 9th we can find no polling results for Gravis Marketing.

In the last 66 days they have become the most proficient pollster in swing states, and with the average of polling the most influential in the combined polling results.

Here are examples from RCP polling summaries


Before August 16 there were 40 polls completed, none by Gravis Marketing. In the 66 Days since Gravis published there have been 16 pollsters with published results:

Gravis Marketing 5
Rasmussen 3
NBC/Marist 2

Of the last 26 polls all have Obama ahead in Ohio except for 2 from Gravis and one each from ARG and WeAskAmerica, all Republican pollsters.

Prior to Gravis there were 56 polls. Since Gravis started in 8/9 there have been 29 polls;

Gravis 4
Ras 3

And 15 other pollsters with 20 polls.

Before Gravis first poll 8/9 there were 15 polls and after 21

Gravis 3
Ras,ARG, CBS, Denver, PPP, Purple all have 2

But it isn't just by quantity that Gravis Marketing throws big weight around

Go to Nate's 538 for North Carolina. http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/author/nate-silver/

Gravis Marketing has a single entry showing Romney 8 points up. Nate gives this poll more weight (maximum 4 bars) than Rasmussen (1 and 3 bars) and High Point University (2 and 1 bar).

then there is


where Gravis has Romney winning the AA vote


Black 40.34 Obama 2.12 Other 57.54 Romney 100.00 total

and he still gets the highest rating. Sorry about that Scott.

2.2 Gravis Marketing as a small small business.

It is listed under numerous profiles as having 2-4 employees.


You can see the small little strip office below at Google maps and it houses the following business, oddly enough Gravis Marketing isn't even listed as a tenant.;

Central Florida Environmental?
Integrity Restoration & Remodeling?
Levan's Catering?
Mars Financial Group?
Micro Innovations?
Music Teachers Collective?
Pro-Co Inc?
Pro-Rehab Contracting Inc?
Products Llc JB?
Solutions of America?
Total Water Treatment, inc?


2.3 Douglas Kaplan legal difficulties as a marketing fax scammer.

What did Kaplan do between DeVry and becoming the nation's most influential pollster?

He had a small level con operation as a massive fax spammer. There is a lot of evidence here so I will summarize what we have;

Here is a Rip Off Report (yes I know that RipOff Report is a shake down artist)


Douglas Kaplan is the owner. He's a little weird quiet guy who talks behind everyones back. He doesn't say anything to anyone directly because he isn't a big fan of confrontation. his cell# is 407-463-2157 you can call him directly for a refund. he has money. or e-mail him at dougkaplan32765@yahoo.com

Also they only take check by phone. Doug wasn't able to get a merchant account cause noone trusts him at all--actually come to think of it--the resorts he's selling the vacations for doesnt know he's involved otherwise they wouldnt deal with him--so they use other names....

Here is a legal citation by the FCC


With about a dozen business aliases I don't think its too much to call Kaplan a small time con, do you Mr. Silver?

It has come to our attention that your company recently sent
an unsolicited advertisement to a telephone facsimile machine
(see attachment). Pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection
Act of 1991 (TCPA) and the Commission's rules, it is unlawful to
use a ``telephone facsimile machine, computer, or other device to
send an unsolicited advertisement to a telephone facsimile
machine.'' 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1)(C); 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(a)(3).

In addition to the violation identified above, it appears
that your company has also violated the provisions of the TCPA
and the Commission's rules that require any person or entity who
sends a message via a telephone facsimile machine to clearly mark
``in a margin at the top or bottom of each transmitted page of
the message or on the first page of the transmission, the date
and time it is sent and an identification of the business, other
entity, or individual sending the message and the telephone
number of the sending machine or of such business, other entity,
or individual.'' 47 U.S.C. § 227(d)(1)(B); 47 C.F.R. §

That was in 2001. In 2005 he was sued by Disney for using their name in fax marketing scam



According to the suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Orlando, Wood and several other defendants representing I Marketing Co. of Oviedo allegedly marketed "Disney" vacation packages without Disney's permission. Unsolicited faxes showed images of Disney characters; customers who called the toll-free number allegedly were told they had reached the "Disney Reservation Center" or "Disney Reservations."

And so it goes with Mr. Kaplan’s previous 'marketing' expertise.

2.4 Right Wing Confident and Republican booster

Kaplan was recorded as a part of a Republican meet up site, now washed clean

Ben Sep 18, 2012 9:14:00 PM


Would you look at this! The jig is up, Doug!

He also has been a donor for Republicans and when Limbaugh started his campaign to try and boost Hillary to keep the primaries going he contributed to Hillary.

Kaplan also lists two media appearances;

One is with the Voice of Russia (more on that later)

And the other is



Ed Dean is a radical right radio show that boasts he is slotted between O'Reilly and Sean Hannity

If you go to his website he lists a bunch of regular contributors, including somebody by the name of "Bamboo Bob" but alas
does not thank Kaplan, even though Kaplan lists it as one of his two media outlets.


2.5 limited educational background

With Mr. Kaplans' penchant for self promotion I believe that he would have told us if he had graduated. All we have is that he 'entered' DeVry.

(from above)

I entered Valencia and Devry University,

2.6 No previous polling experience

Prior to August this year there is no evidence of Kaplan being connected to a professional polling firm, and the junk fax spamming is the only marketing we have seen from him.

2.7 Limited Grasp of the Political Process

Here we make our first visit to an actual encounter with Kaplan at the AngryBear blog


He was able to con Voice of Russia into believing that he is a national pollster and they included him in a talk show


Doug joins the team of nitwits at 5:00

First of all you hear them talking about a Capitol Correspondent/Gravis Marketing poll. Try to find any January poll under Gravis or Capitol Correspondent.

You can hear his co conspirator prompting him on. It sounds about the same sophistication you can hear at a Star Bucks. No real gravity to what he is saying, "Paul wants input at the convention" etc.

At 25:31 he starts blathering about South Carolina, that is just weird and seems completely unaware of how Republican primaries are run, especially NH, Iowa, and SC. He pulls out of his ass that "South Carolina is the most socially conservative state in the country". Well the very socially conservative Republican Party in Iowa that almost always votes for the guy that is closest to being a minister wins would be astonished to hear that.

All he can come up with is that it is in the 'South' and that it is 'Conservative'. He seems unaware of South Carolina's past importance of a winner take all state in the Republican's front loaded system and the changes to the rules in this year's Republican Primary.

Time and again he apologizes for Republican vulnerabilities like Gingrich's wife and Romney's offshore account.
His insight states that he thinks "Republicans are torn with Romney".

2.8 a startling pedestrian ability to communicate effectively about the political process he claims to be an expert in.

In the Angry Bear Blog

There are just weird statements like

The poll was conducted when Sandra Fluke in town in August. We polled woman and asked them
Numerous questions. So you should look at the questions we asked.

At one point one obvious Republican supporter gives this priceless advice to Kaplan

DOUG, STOP CORRESPONDING WITH THESE IDIOTS. You make yourself look unprofessional by engaging in a comment section, especially when you write with numerous typos. Not sure a legitimate pollster would feel the need to waste his time in a place like this. That's for people like me who want to find out about your poll, and now I think I have my answer.

2.9 Has no effective business plan and states that he is deriving zero revenues

Kaplan at Angry Bear

You are the one talking about me Trust me I'm far from a republican operative or taking marching orders from Rush. I do wish the GOP would hire us because this is allot of abuse for putting out polls on my own dime.

. . .

This will be my last comment, I have gone above and beyond responding.
This is automated polling, just like PPP and the rest. We do live polling as well, however it is cost prohibitive. Push Polling is a completely different thing, which are not part of our polls.

These are self funded, we believe the we have an non-partisan perspective that is not out there

2.10 has an outrageously adolescent professional portfolio



2.11 Embarrassing display of testimonials

But they do have testimonials, all politically related.

There is "Cindy L" in Oregon and "Chris Young" in Rhode Island, both very satisfied and anonymous.

Mike Hardin is very happy with "Doug and the rest of the folks" at Gravis (pretty impressive for a 2-4 employee company).

Mike is also a political consultant (probably a roommate from college) but if you Google Mike Hardin political consultant all you get is the Gravis referral page, and this letter to the editor in Sacramento:


The Democratic legislative leadership makes me sick. How dare they place themselves above the thousands of state employees who suffered through furloughs for almost two years and face them again. Speaker John A. Perez derides the California Citizens Compensation Commission. Of course, this is a blip in terms of the budget mess. But why not suffer together through this recession? The political scientists quoted throughout the article are no better. What are they thinking?

Now there is some very sophisticated political analysis.

Leaving us with a single actual political candidate who endorses Gravis Marketing.

And he is a 'Democrat', Chris Benjamin.

Except it turns out that Benjamin is also a fraud:


Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/01/4532351/state-officials-pay-cut.html#storylink=cpy

After it was revealed that Chris Benjamin, a municipal judge and part time political consultant, is having serious personal financial problems, questions are being raised about his ability to manage public funds. Benjamin is most infamous for switching parties to run for the State Senate as a Democrat in 2008.

Either Benjamin was one of these guys that takes money to run as a Democrat so that the Republican can win easily or he ran as a Democrat because he thought he might make money it doesn't really matter.

And that is Gravis Marketing's great success and only identified public client.

2.12 With an apparent failed attempt to become a partisan political money launderer

People want a 'smoking gun'. What about this. Kaplan, the so called non partisan pollster tried to set up a Super Pac so that he could manage media dollars and take a cut. Now, Mr. Silver would you consider this normal behavior for a national pollster, a 'non partisan' one at that?.


Committee Name: Protect Candidate Speech Pac

Treasurer: Douglas Joseph Kaplan

Committee Designation: Unauthorized

Committee Type: PAC

After Citizens United Kaplan just wanted a little share of all of that Koch money, just like any national pollster.

2.13 Kaplan as non partisan

Even though he is obviously slanted he continues to be noted by both RCP and Silver as 'non partisan'.

III. Part Three Looking at the Problems of Gravis Marketing Polls.

There is a lot to be covered here so I just included some basic points. If needed this can be dealt in more detail. So many anomalies. North Carolina gives only 1 in 4 independents going to Obama, in Colorado more AA support Romney than the President, Michigan, Gravis is the only pollster to put the state into the EOM.

3.1 Limited Math

The blog Angry Bear had an interesting encounter with Kaplan where he feebly came on to defend Gravis:


I recently read the entire results of the Gravis August poll of Pennsylvania preferences for Senate and President. I found the document to be sloppy and amateurish. Worse, I found a glaring mistake in the tabulations. I pointed out the mistake both on the Gravis blog (my comment was deleted by the blog administrator) and via email directly to Doug (still no reply after 12 hours).

Here is the mistake ... follow along:

The executive summary of the poll states that 46.76% of respondents support Tom Smith for Senate and that Smith leads Sen. Bob Casey 47% to 24% -- a difference of 23 percentage points. A few paragraphs later, the executive summary says that Smith leads Casey by 19 points. The pie chart accompanying the executive summary shows 46.76% for Smith, 28.06% for Casey, and 25.18% undecided.

The news release announcing the poll's results, meanwhile, refers to Smith receiving 46.76% support. Later, it says "the Polling shows a close race for President and Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey with a decent lead."


A look at the poll's cross tabs reveals a serious mistake in the calculations. According to the cross tabs, 234 respondents said they would vote for Casey, 195 would vote for Smith, and 70 are undecided. Percentages are:

Casey: 46.89%
Smith: 39.08%
Undecided: 14.03%

Either Gravis fails at basic math, or it is intentionally misstating the poll's results -- I don't know which is worse.

I see many other problems with the methodology -- a poll conducted just one weekday afternoon; way too many respondents over age 50; too many whites; female and minority support for republicans that defies national trends, etc.

But this error is simple math. How could Gravis so seriously misstate the poll's results? How is it that they have any credibility in any polling work?

3.2 Who has become the most dominant polling source from many key swing states

As detailed in 2.1 Above

3.3 Becomes the highest weighted pollster for Silver


Start with North Carolina and work through the swing states. Nate consistently gives Gravis Marketing a full maximum 4 bar rating

3.4 Most frequently used by RCP

For Ohio, Florida and Colorado Gravis Marketing has more polls posted at RCP than any other since Gravis started producing. See 2.1 for the numbers.

No time for proof reading so apologies for syntax and spelling erros. tks.

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