At The Hill by Rodolfo Cortes Barragan, contributor
For several election cycles, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) - a self-proclaimed “non-partisan” private organization that sponsors the debates - has required a 15% average in hand-picked polls as the criteria for debate inclusion. This threshold makes it difficult for candidates outside of the traditional Democratic and Republican parties to appear on stage.
Like most Americans, I’ve generally accepted these polls at face value. However, a review of publicly available information shows that not only are most of the polls in question inherently unscientific, but that the CPD and its hand-picked pollsters are engaged in a concerted effort to elect establishment candidates in general, and Hillary Clinton in particular.
There are five polls being used to inform the 15% average. Two of these show blatant scientific problems: Fox News polls under-samples independents by more than 20%, and the CNN-ORC poll admits to dramatically under-sample Millennials. The polling staff have failed to return repeated requests for clarification. This level of unresponsiveness is unheard of within the formal scientific community. Thus, are the polls scientific?