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Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:20 PM

DU Exclusive: Paleologos' bizarre behavior at Suffolk U: Incompetent or part of the Gravis Con? [View all]

We all have seen the gritty 50's drama about the good hearted fighter who has to raise money to pay for his sister's operation (or some other soap opera twist) and takes a dive for a few bucks.

In the post Citizen's United era the spigots were opened at hundreds of millions of dollars started flowing into SuperPacs and we now know that not all of the money was used to buy ads. Where did some of that money go? Some of it went, as we all know, into a well orchestrated voter suppression campaign. Contractors were caught, voter registration applications were found destroyed but strangely no investigative reporters have gone after the larger question, what was the larger strategy? Who was behind it, who funded it and who implemented it. These are the questions that started with a few burglars at the Watergate apartments and unveiled the vast operations of wide ranging activities headed by Liddy in illegal campaign activities. Will today's reporters live up to the tenacity and courage of those in the 70s?

Among the questionable trends that were detected in the 2012 campaign was the sudden surge of right wing pollsters who came out of nowhere and were providing 30% of the polls in key swing states. In fact one of the pollsters' behavior was so odd that we took an in depth look at the people behind the polls and under the glare of exposure moved the pollster from his position in January to proclaiming that he had been a "manager of national campaigns" to conceding in October that "I am a robo caller, not a pollster".

But that wasn't the only strange behavior of a pollster during the campaign.

In fact another pollster, David Paleologos' (the president of Suffolk University Political Research Center and bearer of the surname of the family that, in this context is extremely fitting, is the last ruling dynasty of the Byzantine Empire) behavior is so strange that questions have to be raised as to his motivation and conduct. These are questions that Suffolk University must address.

First the facts

Suffolk University Polling Results in Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida and the actual results;


September 26 SUP finds President Obama leading by 2%.

On November 6 Virginia votes for Obama +3%

North Carolina

No SUP polls, however there are these polls:

Survey USA on October 2nd has the President up by 2.

PPP on September 27th has it a tie

On November 6 Romney wins North Carolina by 2.2%


SUP runs a poll May 6 Showing President Obama +1

SUP runs a poll September 27th showing President Obama +3

It appears that President Obama is going to win Florida by .5 of the vote

So we have a situation at the end of September where Suffolk University polling is showing the President ahead in Virginia and Florida and other reputable pollsters have NC tied (or Obama slightly ahead).

And then we have this on October 10th


With a little less than a month until the election, one pollster says the race in three battleground states is over for President Barack Obama.

“I think in places like North Carolina, Virginia and Florida, we’ve already painted those red," David Paleologos, the president of Suffolk University Political Research Center told Fox host Bill O'Reilly on Tuesday. "We’re not polling any of those states again. We're focusing on the remaining states.”

Paleologos is clearly lying because his own latest polls showed Obama ahead and where he didn't poll it was basically tied.

In light of this bizarre behavior there was an immediate reaction of astonished disbelief and then laughter at the lunacy of the claims by Suffolk University Pollster.

A sampling

Tampa Bay Times calls Paleologos "Loser of the Week"


Loser of the week: Suffolk University pollster David Paleologos. Suffolk is relatively new to Florida polling, and Paleologos bizarrely declared on the Fox News Channel that it would no longer poll in Florida, North Carolina or Virginia, because he is convinced President Barack Obama will lose those states. He clearly has little understanding of Florida, which nobody with a political brain can take for granted.

And this from the New York Magazine

Pollsters Puzzle Over Suffolk’s Decision to Call Virginia, Florida, and North Carolina for Romney

Even Bill O'Reilly couldn't believe what he was hearing: David Paleologos, pollster for Suffolk University, was announcing on Fox News that he was pulling out of Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina for good. Romney, it seems, has them in the bag. "We’ve already painted those red, we’re not polling any of those states again,” Paleologos said.

This is an absolutely bizarre decision on its face. The Real Clear Politics polling average currently shows a tie in Florida, Obama up 0.3 percent in Virginia, and Romney up three in North Carolina. There's still nearly a month left until Election Day. How could a pollster possibly call those states for Romney?

. . .

So Paleologos called Florida for Romney because their most recent poll showed Obama with a shaky lead. We're ... even more confused now.

Looking for some answers, we asked some of Paleologos's fellow pollsters what they thought of the decision. None of them had very flattering things to say.

"I think all three of those states are still toss-ups," Public Policy Polling's Tom Jensen told us. "We’ve already polled Virginia since the debate and Obama was up by 3. I don’t agree with his assessment, and I don’t know why he would have made it without even conducting any polling after the debates."

Gary Langer, who runs the ABC News/Washington Post poll, quipped tartly, "With that kind of foresight, we should find out who he likes in the fifth at Aqueduct."

SurveyUSA CEO Jay Leve was harsher. "This guy from Suffolk is obviously a jackass," he said.

David Paleologos extremely bizarre behavior and attempt to throw three swing states into the Romney camp didn't just happen. Here is the context. Please note from above the last polls done in VA, NC and FL:

On September 12th we predicted that the Romney Campaign (as opposed to the SupePACs) was likely to experience cash problems. Eight days later the New York Times confirmed that the official campaign funds were going dry and the Romney campaign would borrow $ 20 million to make it throught the end of the month:



Things are looking bad for the Romney campaign's finances. It must be frustrating to look over to the SuperPACs that are awash with an ocean of money and not have enough money to pay for the expensive infrastructure of the campaign. Overhead, Rent, Polling, Transportation, Staff and so on, cost tens of millions a month and cannot be subcontracted outside the campaign. Ironically campaign funds are well regulated and transparent. If you don't believe that just ask John Edwards who ran into massive legal problems on a technical question of misusing campaign funds.

Somehow something has to be done to get more direct donations into the Romney campaign, or they will have to take out more loans which like the first one, will be reported.

Now we have the Gravis miracle.

After 7 non Rasmussen polls in a row show Obama ahead in North Carolina. A brand new pollster comes out with a radically different result.

On October 6th Douglas Kaplan presents the Romney campaign with a magicial result North Carolina is now almost double digits for Romney, he's up 9. As the first highligted link shows we have released a number of articles showing that Kaplan has no academic or professional experience in polling and a checkered (to be kind) past. Under scrutiny he admits that he is not a pollster and that some of his polls "are not very good".

But on October 6th these are the numbers that the right wing media has been thirsting for. The media eats it up and the RW blogosphere explodes and Gravis becomes the most quoted pollster on the internet and becomes a production line of favorable state polls. On October 24th Gravis will anoint the Romney campaign with another blessing of a +8 showing. Along with a few happy Rasmussen polls North Carolina is moved to a lock for Romney.

North Carolina is critical because Romney has to switch 4-5 states from Obama 2008. He has Indiana and Missouri and the next one should be North Carolina which the President won by a hair. If he cannot win North Carolina by a large margin he is not going to be able to flip ANY other state.

So the October 6th poll showing a huge swing for Romney will be great news if it can be believed.

Enter David Paleologos' absolutely incomprehensible statement on October 10th in which he disregards his own and other polling and states that NC, VA and FL are not only going for Romney by large margins (which none did) but that the margins are so wide that no other polling is even necessary.

My, my what a wonderful set of circumstances that show a complete reversal of fortunes for Romney (and which we know by the election day results are completely untrue) that triggers a flow of new contributions back to the campaign.

Just as Kaplan has been discredited it is now appears that David Paleologos was part of a larger con.

Of course we 'could' be wrong and that David Paleologos is, like Kaplan, just an incompetent pollster that happens to produce statements that save Romney's ass.

Part of a conspiracy to create a false meme to help a campaign or utterly incompetent, in the words of another pollster, a jackass, which do you think fits, David?

This is the question that we will be addressing to Suffolk University, the trustees, the administration, the faculty and the students.

Why would you keep a professor that is either corrupt or incompetent.

When James Keefe III pulled his fast one on ACORN we weren't fooled but we were slow.

Fool us once shame on us. Fool us twice and we organize.

We will be following up to bring the bright light of DU onto the incompetent and/or corrupt pollster David Paleologos in our next article. In this case the offense is on many levels. We have an academic using his position to spread false information on the behalf of a campaign and go on partisan media to promote it. But it goes even more than that because David Paleologos didn't just work with bad data he tried to shut down lines of inquiry. This is absolutely unacceptable in any self respecting academic institution and violates everything that a University stands for. It must be held accountable.

Last time we had a number of people join DU and provide us confidential material. We checked it against numerous sources and when verified released it. To date none of the essential facts have been disputed. If anyone reading this has inside information and would like to share it you can join DU and send me DUmail and maintain your confidentiality. We had numerous members of the Gravis Working Group who we only identified by a number and whose real names I never learned.

For the record: The New York Times and Nate Silver have not responded to any of the facts that we have brought forth about Douglas Kaplan and his own admission that "he) is not a pollster" hopefully by painting a larger context they will see the significance and do their duty.

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Reply DU Exclusive: Paleologos' bizarre behavior at Suffolk U: Incompetent or part of the Gravis Con? [View all]
grantcart Nov 2012 OP
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