Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Against Campaign Finance Reform

The media taking polls, and then reporting them as news is another reason to be against campaign finance reform as its' understood. That is to limit either the money individuals, corporations, and groups can donate, or how much a candidate can spend.
If you think about it, a poll can be whether knowingly or not made to support one candidate or another and still be completely scientific. Each election brings about different group stratifications that can be manipulated. Women, older voters, new voters, african american voters, etc. Adding or subtracting their mix or weight in a given sample drastically changes the results. For instance, there is a DMR poll from Iowa that has Obama +7 over Hillary using their formula projection for 2008. David Yepsin reports that using the same 2004 formula that has been celebrated as accurate would yield Hillary +2. Since the paper endorsed Hillary, the front page screaming headlines of Obama aren't as suspicious, or are they? Maybe the news side supports Obama, and the editorial supports Hillary. Maybe the paper felt that they should even the score between Hillary (paper's endorsement), and Obama (last poll projected winner). Maybe the paper wanted to raise expectations for Obama or crush the spirt of the Edwards people.
The point is the paper has influenced a federal election. It is not arguable that it has helped Obama to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. If the poll had shown like most others Edwards and Clinton fighting at the top, and Obama sinking, it would have been CW. Now it seems from the last few polls, its' Clinton and Obama on top and Edwards sinking. Regardless, this paper's reporting of a poll has impacted the race as much as any 527 or a candidates own advertisements. That is why it is ridiculous to restrict individuals and groups but not the media. The answer is to have freedom. Full disclosure. Then have free and fair elections.

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