Morning Greatness: ImpeachmentTV Continues as Iowa Caucus Looms

Good Monday Morning

Here is what’s on the president’s agenda today:

  • The president has lunch with the Vice President

Impeachment should wrap up this week, the persecution and harassment will not

Previously on ImpeachmentTV, in nail-biting cliff-hanger, the Senate voted down calling witnesses. The Democrats and their terror proxies in the media complained that the GOP wouldn’t allow any witnesses for Trump’s trial, exploiting the average person’s knowledge of impeachment procedure. The House brings a case to the Senate for trial and the House is responsible for assembling the best argument to impeach the president. In this instance, the House just wanted to be able to say they impeached the president. Making an actual case to do so was less important since they had the numbers to get their impeachment and throw some chum to the wild mob they have been whipping up for more than three years. The Democrats and the terror media assert that the Senate has a responsibility to call witnesses they couldn’t bother to call. They say that Trump obstructed the House’s abilities call witnesses but that’s why we have a judicial branch, to mitigate disputes between the executive and legislative branches of government. Obama went to court plenty to preserve or assert executive privilege and we heard not a peep from the Democrats. There’s a reason the House handles assembling an impeachment case against the president: it can continue working while the Judiciary Committee puts together an impeachment case, but the Senate has to shut down entirely for the impeachment trial. Do these idiots think that the Senate won’t face the same resistance and assertion of executive privilege that the House saw? Gimme a break. Again, they just wanted to be able to say they impeached the president.

At 10am, the Senate will reconvene with four hours of closing arguments from the White House attorneys and the House Managers. After rejecting witnesses, Cocaine Mitch didn’t have the votes to continue with closing arguments and an acquittal vote that would have kept our precious flower Senators in the chambers late into the night. All parties came to an agreement to continue on Monday with closing arguments and then Senators will make speeches arguing for or against acquittal on Tuesday. Lordy. They will vote on Wednesday to acquit or convict the president. Why Wednesday? So that Trump can’t brag about acquittal at the Tuesday’s SOTU.

Is this over? No way.

The final impeachment vote is near. Here’s a look at the big week ahead
Jerk. CPAC declares Mitt Romney ‘NOT invited’ after Senate impeachment witness vote
Lamar Alexander will vote to ‘acquit’ Trump in Senate impeachment trial
No one believes this, Graham hasn’t done squat. Lindsey Graham Reveals Burisma Witness Wish List, Pledges Hearings On FISA Abuse
DOJ reveals 24 redacted emails related to Trump’s involvement in Ukraine aid freeze
O’Brien says National Security Council officials did not leak Bolton transcript
Yep. Ask Harry Reid about unintended consequences. GOP senator warns Republicans could impeach Biden if he wins White House
Rep. Adam Schiff won’t say if House will subpoena Bolton to testify
Schiff: Senators who fail to convict Trump will not be ‘off the hook’

Iowa Caucuses are tonight

The buzz about the Iowa caucuses centers around the peculiar pulling of the CNN/Des Moines Register caucus poll. I have a background in political polling and survey research so let me share my thoughts with you.

Ann Selzer runs this poll every four years. Selzer is very reputable in the survey research community and this is her flagship product: the Iowa caucus poll. All polls start with the creation of a survey instrument crafted to be free from bias and with the right questions to get the appropriate data to achieve the research objective. One way a survey deals with various biases is to rotate the order of lists (like candidates names) and rotate the order certain sections of polls if the poll has different topics. Perhaps you are called for a poll that asks about several different political races but also some local community issues. Chances are high the order of poll questions and the order of candidate names or options will not be the same as the next guy that gets a call to take the poll. This is how we reduce primacy bias where respondents tend to pick the first name or option on a given list.

Many times, a polling company will design the survey instrument and design the sample frame which is the random sample that mirrors the population expected to turn out and vote or caucus, but outsource the actual calling to a call center. Some firms have their own call centers in house which means they have more control over the fielding of the poll. Outsourcing the fielding of a poll entails a fair amount of trust that the survey will be executed as intended by a subcontractor. There are unscrupulous call centers but that’s a story for another day.

Thoughtful and conscientious call centers will review the questionnaire with the phoners before it goes into the field, including going over the pronunciation of the names, titles and subjects in the poll and answering any questions the phoners might have about the survey. Proper nouns are often phonetically spelled out in software used by the interviewers just to make sure pronunciation is correct during the survey. Another feature of a good survey research outfit is that they quality control their interviews, which means interviews are recorded and reviewed not just for accuracy but also to evaluate their employees. Call centers train their callers to “fight the refusal,” when a respondent wants to terminate in the middle of a survey which renders the survey unusable. Reviewing the interviews help train phoners but also help pollsters refine their techniques. It also provides a record just in case something goes sideways.

The story about the pulled CNN/Des Moines Register poll raises my hackles. First of all, Selzer is no hack and since this is her premier product, “the gold standard,” it’s hard to believe the execution of this poll would not be conducted with the utmost attention to detail. According to CNN, “It was brought to CNN’s attention earlier this evening someone questioned for the survey raised an issue the way their interview was conducted. That means the results of the poll would have been compromised.”

“We weren’t able to determine exactly what happened during this person’s interview, and we don’t know if it was an isolated incident,” he added. “So out of an abundance of caution, CNN and Des Moines Register and the company who conducts the poll decided not to release tonight’s poll.”

On the Des Moines Register website, a statement read “The Des Moines Register, CNN and Selzer & Co. have made the decision to not release the final installment of the CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll as planned this evening.”

“While this appears to be isolated to one surveyor, we cannot confirm that with certainty. Therefore, the partners made the difficult decision to not to move forward with releasing the Iowa Poll,” the statement reads.

The Des Moines Register poll went on to explain, “Today, a respondent raised an issue with the way the survey was administered, which could have compromised the results of the poll. It appears a candidate’s name was omitted in at least one interview in which the respondent was asked to name their preferred candidate.”

If you are recording your interviews, you can answer that question and remove the offending phone interview. Easy peasy. Now, some states are two-party states, which require consent to record a phone call from both parties on the phone. Iowa is not one of those states so assuming the poll was conducted in house or sent to a call center within the state, those calls should have been recorded. We don’t know if this poll was in house or outsourced and, if so, if it was outsource to another state.

I’m not saying that it’s not possible a name was not pronounced correctly and I’m not saying that someone couldn’t enlarge text so a name is left off a list. That is a software related issue. I’ve never seen software that lets a phoner enlarge text like that where the choices for a question would be impacted, what kind of bogus product would do that? If this is true, it would be true for every survey conducted with enlarged text that included a list. This was just now discovered on one of the most important political polls? Doesn’t pass the smell test.

The whole affair is very suspicious. Perhaps more information will come to light and my questions will be answered.

Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

Iowa caucuses: Who is ahead in the polls heading into Monday
How precious. John Kerry, in now-deleted expletive-laced tweet, addresses report he was overheard planning 2020 run
Report: Bernie Campaign Spends $1.2 Million On Private Jets, Leads Democratic Field
Poll: Biden’s lead shrinks to 5 points in South Carolina
House Majority Whip: DNC shouldn’t change rules for Bloomberg
The Critical Fight Inside Democrats’ Establishment Primary

China Coronavirus update
U.S. will send more flights to bring back citizens from Hubei province – Pompeo
US Restricts Travel From China Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
Coronavirus claims first life outside China
2nd person-to-person transmission of coronavirus reported in US; 1st death confirmed outside China

Other morsels:
Punxsutawney Phil predicts an early spring after not seeing his shadow
London stabbing attacker identified as Sudesh Amman, ex-con with terrorist record
South Carolina GOP lawmakers introduce bill to name highway interchange after Trump
Washington Democrats Push Mandatory LGBTQ-Focused Sex Ed for Kindergartners
Ilhan Omar Paid over $500,000 to Alleged Lover’s Firm
Donald Trump: ‘Little’ Michael Bloomberg Wants a Box to Stand on at Next Debate
J-Lo and Shakira Super Bowl Halftime Show Features Kids in Cages
‘Out Of The Political Closet’: Bill Kristol Says He’s A Democrat Now. Twitter Reactions Pull No Punches
Alleged Al Qaeda Leader Arrested In Arizona, Where He Taught Driving School
Google Employees Used Company Resources To Organize Anti-Trump Resistance Events
Washington Examiner Sacks Breaking News Editor For Sharing Lewd Viral Video
FDA approves first drug for treatment of peanut allergy in children
Bloomberg’s $10M Super Bowl ad posts misleading stat on child gun deaths
Trump, in Super Bowl interview with Sean Hannity, predicts fall of Pelosi: ‘Radical left is gonna take over’
Four centenarian World War II veterans honored at Super Bowl LIV
Stephen King quits Facebook over concerns of ‘false information’
Thai doctor says new drug combination treated coronavirus patient
Facebook, Google and Twitter crack down on fake coronavirus ‘cures’ and other misinformation
Egyptian officials say militants blow up Sinai gas pipeline

And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!

About Liz Sheld

Liz Sheld is the senior news editor at American Greatness. She is a veteran political strategist and pollster who has worked on campaigns and public interest affairs. Liz has written at Breitbart and The Federalist, as well as at PJ Media, where she wrote "The Morning Briefing." In her spare time, she shoots sporting clays and watches documentaries.

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