In late July, a poll was released which gave Kid Rock an edge over Sen. Debbie Stabenow
— giving plausibility to the rap-rocker's teased
(but as of yet unconfirmed) bid to be Michigan's next Senator.
The story quickly went viral, and was even shared
by Kid Rock. However, a new analysis from FiveThirtyEight
suggests the poll could be fake news.
As FiveThirtyEight's Harry Enten points out, there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of the poll — which was purportedly conducted from July 14 to July 18 and indicated that 54 percent of respondents who had a preference chose Kid Rock to Stabenow's 46 percent (44 percent of those polled were reportedly undecided).
The first dubious fact: Nobody knows what the fuck Delphi Analytica is. The firm’s website came online July 6, just weeks before the poll was supposedly conducted, and offers little in the way of transparency. Its website simply says it "was founded in 2017 by a group of individuals from diverse political backgrounds, united by their affinity for politics, who wanted to create a grassroots public polling organization."
Furthermore, no employee names are listed on the Delphi Analytica website, and the site is registered to Domains By Proxy, LLC, which keeps the identity of the website’s registrant hidden.
FiveThirtyEight's Enten attempted to contact Delphi Analytica using the email listed on the site — it connected Enten to someone named "Jessica Lee," who did not provide the name of Delphi Analytica's owner. Enten asked if he could meet with someone on the team; Lee declined.
Then the whole thing gets even weirder. Later, Enten says he was direct messaged on Twitter by a source who follows betting markets. The source shared screenshots from a gamer's chatroom which appeared to show members of a betting market called PredictIt claiming to have created Delphi, bragging about the publicity the poll was generating.
In short, the source believes the people behind the Delphi poll were attempting to manipulate the betting market.
There's more that casts doubt on the poll, including a "relatively frequent appearance in both polls of the answer 'unknown' for both age and gender, and the number of respondents whose location is just listed as a state, with no city." The poll also showed Kid Rock leading Stabenow 26 percent to 18 percent in Detroit — unlikely, Enten says, due to the fact that "there just aren’t very many Republicans in Detroit."
In a statement, "Lee" denied that Delphi was created to manipulate betting markets. Yesterday, Delphi tweeted a link to FiveThirtyEight's analysis (titled "Fake Polls are a Real Problem") with the hashtag "#FAKENEWS."