CNN chose to edit footage from its focus group on the Vice-Presidential Debate to make it seem that members of the group who were not voting either Republican or Democrat were undecided when in fact, they had declared that they were voting for a third party.
Justin Smith, a member of the focus group, shared this post on his Facebook page:
According to Smith’s Facebook post, there were more members of the focus group who had decided to vote third party than those who were voting for one of the two old parties.
But rather than follow up that question by asking which third party candidates the focus members were voting for, that line of questioning was cut off, and the footage was edited out.
Then they re-shot the segment and replaced “third-party” with undecided. Smith writes in more detail thirteen hours after the event:
What happened was they asked us for the first time if any of us were now decided after having watched the debate. 5 said that they would vote for Clinton. 2 said that they would vote for Trump, and 12 said that they would vote 3rd party. They then said they were going to re-shoot it, except this time they changed “3rd party” to “undecided”. Some of us asked about the third party option, and they ignored us. They then said they were going to shoot it again, and still asked for “undecided” voters and left out “3rd party”. A lot of the members voted “undecided” because it was the only option other then Trump or Clinton.
When faced with that questioning technique, Smith did not even raise his hand during the third round of questions.
But most people did raise their hands for “undecided,” because they felt it was the only way to register that they were not voting for either Trump or Clinton.
Justin Smith spoke to LibertyBuzz this afternoon and described how the focus group was originally set up and went into further detail on what happened.
Justin Smith had been contacted by Alan Newman Research to participate in this focus group about three weeks before the Vice-Presidential debate.
Smith had taken part in focus groups before, but the topic was usually about music or favorite song choices. A qualification for being chosen for this group was being undecided at the time of the initial contact.
Alan Newman Research considers 33 people in a focus group to be ideal, but only 28 showed up for the event. They all watched the debate together, and afterwards they polled for who was voting for whom, which was taken four times.
The first time it was 2 for Trump, 5 for Clinton and 12 voting third party, with the rest not raising their hands. After that, the question was changed, and they were asked who was for Clinton and who was for Trump, and who was undecided.
According to Justin, there were 12 who raised their hands as undecided the second time, but it was a somewhat different group of 12 from the group that was voting third party. Some of the members of the focus group asked about the third party option, but that was brushed aside by the pollsters.
The third time the count was taken, more of the third party people changed their vote to undecided, as a way to register that they were not voting for Clinton or Trump.
By the time of the fourth vote, which was the one that was telecast live, there were 2 votes for Trump, 5 for Clinton, and 20 people raised their hands as undecided. Justin Smith, disgusted by this method of changing the outcome, did not raise his hand at all. Watch the video below.
There appear to be many more people out there who are voting third party than the public is aware of. Mainstream media, such as CNN in this case, try to reshape the news to reflect an imaginary world in which there are no third parties.
Rather than voting for the Libertarian Party or the Green Party or the Constitutional Party, voters who have not decided to vote for Trump or Clinton are presented as undecided, as if the two old parties were the only available choices and anyone who has not chosen one of the two is still trying to decide.
LibertyBuzz reached out to CNN for this news story, but they declined to comment.