You may have heard of a website called longroom.com. It was a sophisticated polling site that removed the bias from mainstream polls. It did this in a number of ways and it did it very clearly with graphs, bias-meters, and so on. It works like this:
THE POLLSTER CALLS A HANDFUL OF PEOPLE
You can't call everybody so you have to get a small number of people on the phone and ask them questions. Already there are problems: not all demographics answer the phone in the same way (for example, Democrats who are not voting may be more likely to answer calls at home than working Republicans). Secondly, you have to get them to answer questions.
Republicans, who are fed up with liberal polling outfits won't give you the time of day. Democrats are all too happy to talk about Hillary (and how they'd really rather have Sanders).
Right there? That's a problem--no one knows for sure how those numbers really work, especially in an era of cell phones.
THE POLLSTER ADJUSTS THEIR RESPONSES
So after the pollster has some responses they adjust them. Does that sound like cheating? It is. They take the one black guy who is voting Democrat so he can get a new phone each year and they multiply him by . . . however many imaginary black guys it'll take to win. They claim this is based on how the demographics will play out in November but how do they know this?
Well, they use the census and voter registration tables, right?
As you can see, the Democrats, for the first time since they started measuring it, are outnumbered by states that lean Republican. They went from +30 in 2008 to -6 in 2015. Why? Obama.
What about the actual individual states?
Here are some. Let's look at Pennsylvania. That's an important (key) swing-state for Mr. Trump to win. Look across at the 2015 numbers: +3 Democratic advantage. Now, that's pretty good for Hillary Clinton, you'd think--right? And it would be. If Hillary were ahead by +3 in PA and +.7 in Florida, she'd be in decent shape (remember, it's 3 months out from the election. Things don't even start until after Labor Day).
So what do the polls say? Well, the polls say that's she's way ahead--by double digits in PA. That's bad, right? It would be--if it made any sense. When we look at these polls, if you dig into the "cross tabs" you can see how many Democrats vs. Republicans they polled. Was it the +3 or so that the state should be?
Here's how NBC/Marist, a "very respectable polling company" weighted PA:
In case it's not clear that's DEMOCRATS +10. In other words, Hillary is so far down in PA that a 3-point reasonable lead would still sink her. They had to go to D+10 to give her an edge.
WHAT LONGROOM.COM WAS DOING
What Longroom.com was doing was what we just did above--but better. They had additional methodologies and a bunch of very solid math behind them. They were exposing the media slant and the pollster's lies. Their site looked like this:
Like us, they took steps to anonymize themselves. Unlike us, they didn't go far enough.
THE 538 "INQUEST"
At the behest of Nate Sliver (liberal "polling god" of 538.com) his minions launched a private investigation into Longroom.com. They wanted to know "Who's Behind A Mysterious Website Saying Polls Are Skewed." Make no mistake--we know how this works--the article was an expression of frustration because they couldn't crack Longroom--so they published it. If you know what to look for and read between the lines, it's a call for informants.
It worked. Someone talked.
We have information that says someone with knowledge called Harry Enten, Silver's lead enforcer, with the goods. At that point David Brock of Correct The Record was called into "sanitize" the situation. Someone begin with a coordinated Denial of Service attack which took down Longroom.
What happened after that is sketchier. The persons behind it are missing. They were operating under aliases on the site--but we believe that Enten and Brock were able to locate them. If you don't believe people get killed for less in this business, you don't know the Clintons. Exposing the rot at the heart of the polling industry was more than enough to make sure the people behind the site would disappear forever.