In July, shortly after rumors circulated claiming that rock star Kid Rock — whose real name is Robert James Ritchie — would run for United States senate in his home state of Michigan, a poll surfaced online that appeared to carry good news for Kid Rock fans and for Republicans. The poll showed the 46-year-old Ritchie, who has no political experience outside of recording a song titled “If I Was President,” leading three-term Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow, 67, by four percentage points.
The poll stunned political observers and thrilled conservatives, receiving widespread coverage on conservative sites such as The Daily Caller, Gateway Pundit, and numerous others. But now, extensive research conducted by polling analyst Harry Enten of the data journalism site FiveThirtyEight.com appears to have uncovered a possible, major problem with the Kid Rock poll.
It just may be fake.
While Enten writes that he was unable to conclusively determine whether or not the poll, conducted by a previously unknown firm known as Delphi Analytica, is real or not, he nonetheless found a number of inconsistencies and suspicious facts about “Delphi Analytica” and its operations.
“Delphi Analytica isn’t a polling firm in any traditional sense, and it’s not entirely clear they even conducted the poll as advertised,” he wrote, in his lengthy article published on Tuesday.
Read Enten’s detailed, 3,800-word report on the possibly fake Delphi Analytica Kid Rock poll by visiting this link.
The first apparently suspicious fact noted by Enten is that Delphi Analytica’s website did not appear until July 6, less than three weeks before the poll supposedly showing Kid Rock at 30 percent to Stabenow’s 26 percent — with 44 percent who “prefer not to answer” — was released.
Almost as soon as the improbable poll went online and immediately went viral, critics raised doubts about its authenticity — starting with FiveThirtyEight.com founder Nate Silver.
Folks, be careful retweeting polls from pollsters you’ve never heard of. It’s easy to start a website, post a fake “poll” and get clicks.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) July 24, 2017
Even the highly conservative site Hot Air expressed skepticism about the poll — despite the fact that its alleged results showed outspoken Donald Trump supporter Kid Rock in the lead — publishing an article headlined, “Can We Trust That New Poll Showing Kid Rock Ahead Of Debbie Stabenow In Michigan?”
Enten notes that Delphi Analtyica’s site provided no information on who actually owns and operates the company, saying only that it was created by “a group of individuals from diverse political backgrounds, united by their affinity for politics, who wanted to create a grassroots public polling organization.” That vague description “should set off immediate alarm bells.” according to Enten.
“Transparency is one of the central tenets of the polling industry. But no individuals are listed as employees on the Delphi Analytica website. Additionally, the site is registered to Domains By Proxy, LLC, a service that keeps the names of a website’s registrant or registrants hidden,” Enten notes.
Enten also notes a number of details in the Delphi Analytica poll which he flags as questionable. For example, the poll shows Kid Rock leading Stabenow in the city of Detroit by eight percentage points, 26 percent to 18. But as Enten notes, the city is overwhelmingly Democratic. In the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton trounced Trump in Detroit by 95 percent to just three percent.
As for Kid Rock, while he has not officially confirmed that he will run for Stabenow’s senate seat, he has created an authorized “Kid Rock For Senate” online site, nd is selling t-shirts and baseball hats emblazoned with the slogan, “Kid Rock For US Senate” through the site.
[Featured Image by Charles Sykes/AP Images]