DPF’s been on an anti-environmentalist binge recently, with a series of posts about Patrick Moore, a (1) former environmental activist at Greenpeace in the 1970s and (2) lobbyist for the logging and nuclear power industries (DPF omitted one of those two facts, see if you can guess which); a post about ‘global warming dirty tricks’, a post entitled ‘more anti-science from the Greens’. I teased him about this on twitter, writing:
I’m guessing your polls now have soft-National voters leaning towards the Greens?
And he responds here.
This is a half-serious theory I developed during the election campaign. During the final weeks Kiwiblog got pretty weird, with an increasingly hysterical run of posts attacking Winston Peters, culminating in the (inaccurate) announcement that Winston Peters was an ‘illegal candidate’.
Why was DPF so exercised about Peters? All the polls had him well under 5%. My theory was that the public polls were historical, but because DPF is the National pollster he had access to the overnight quantitative polls his company conducts for them, and that showed Winston surging. So based on nothing more than DPF’s posts attacking him, I predicted that Winston was on over 5%, which turned out to be true.
Now, I don’t know what National’s polls actually showed regarding Peters. Or if they show that soft National voters are trending Green. And I believe DPF when he says:
Now the reality is I decide what to blog basically when I read a news item, or if someone brings something to my attention by way of blog comment, twitter or e-mail. I don’t have a library or inventory of stories held in reserve, which I release based on what the polls are indicating.
Because I work exactly the same way. I blog about what I’m interested in, and it’s generally reactive. But you blog about what you read and hear in conversation, either intentionally or unintentionally, and DPF gets to read the internal polls and market research carried out by his company for the National Party and discuss them with the Prime Minister and his staff, and it would be pretty weird if none of that informed his choice of subjects. And the supposition seems reasonable enough: the PM’s popularity is trending down, while the Greens have come out swinging this year on issues that have broad public support.