FiveThirtyEight.com, celebrity pollster Nate Silver’s website, has set forth detailed evidence that casts considerable doubt on last month’s shock poll showing Kid Rock leading Democratic opponent Sen. Debbie Stabenow in the state’s 2018 U.S. Senate election.
Delphi Analytica, the obscure, brand-new polling firm behind the poll, said its data showed that the glam-rock rapper earned 30 percent of support compared to Stabenow’s 26 percent support, with the remaining 44 percent undecided.
In its report, published Tuesday, FiveThirtyEight unearthed many oddities about the poll.
For example, Delphi Analytica’s raw data shows 72 poll participants in the city of Detroit. Among those poll participants, Kid Rock allegedly leads Stabenow 26 percent to 18 percent. That’s incredibly weird because Kid Rock has suggested he will run as a Republican and Detroit is a notable Democratic stronghold. Hillary Clinton stomped Donald Trump 95 percent to 3 percent in Detroit.
Additionally, the Delphi Analytica website came into existence only six weeks before it published the Kid Rock poll. The company — to whatever extent it really is a company — essentially did not exist before that.
The website is not much. It has a bit of surface sheen but it contains little information.
Critically, the people behind Delphi Analytica are keeping their identities concealed. “Delphi Analytica was founded in 2017 by a group of individuals from diverse political backgrounds, united by their affinity for politics,” the site vaguely explains. Also: “We are committed to giving a voice to the issues that have been underrepresented by the traditional polling community and we look forward to improving the political discourse.”
Delphi Analytica lists no employees or contact information for its personnel. The contact page is a form for visitors to provide information.
Domains By Proxy, LLC is the registered home of the Delphi Analytica website. Domains By Proxy hides all information about the actual people who register domain names. “Your identity is nobody’s business but ours” is the company’s registered trademark.
FiveThirtyEight tried to contact Delphi Analytica. A person using the humorously common name Jessica Lee responded. Lee refused to divulge any information about the proprietors of Delphi Analytica except for saying one guy lives in Ohio and some other people live in or near New York City.
A Google search for the terms “Delphi Analytica” produces exactly one hit: Tuesday’s FiveThirtyEight report questioning the existence of Delphi Analytica.
FiveThirtyEight writer Harry Enten, who works in New York City, asked Lee if she could arrange a meeting with the alleged Delphi Analytica employees who allegedly reside in the New York City area. Lee refused — twice, according to Enten.
A third attempt to reach Delphi Analytica produced a response from a Hotmail account using the humdrum name Stephen Lewis. The person emailing from the Stephen Lewis Hotmail account said the unidentified people who work at Delphi Analytica don’t give themselves job titles.
A fourth email to Delphi Analytica reportedly bounced back with a “host unknown” message.
FiveThirtyEight suggests that people involved in political betting markets could be behind Delphi Analytica, either in an effort to make money or just for the pleasure of trolling America.
A FiveThirtyEight source produced an alleged chatroom screenshot showing someone with the name “Autismo Jones” claiming credit for inventing Delphi Analytica and boasting about all the media attention the Kid Rock poll had received. (RELATED: Kid Rock Leads Democrat In New Poll)
Delphi Analytica’s poll could have actually moved the shallow betting markets that allow people to place wagers on elections, FiveThirtyEight’s source also explained. While a single poll this July may not ultimately affect an election next November, the people behind Delphi Analytica could still have made money by shorting (making short-term bets against) Kid Rock based on the poll. If Kid Rock later goes down in the betting markets, people with a short position would make money.
Political betting market shares concerning the Michigan Senate race saw quite a bit of action in the period immediately after the Delphi Analytica became national news.
“Whoever is behind Delphi Analytica, the group’s lack of transparency about who they are is its own indictment,” FiveThirtyEight concludes.
“Delphi Analytica’s claims may have made Kid Rock more seriously consider entering the Michigan Senate race” but it “remains unclear whether the person or persons behind Delphi Analytica conducted a poll” at all,” FiveThirtyEight also says.
Kid Rock has very high name recognition in the state of Michigan and has a loyal fan base that enjoys his brash lyrics. He also has a net worth between $80 and $120 million, according to reports, so he could easily fully fund his own campaign without outside party funds. (RELATED: Former New York Gov. George Pataki Backs Kid Rock For Senate)
Stabenow has occupied the Senate seat at issue since she narrowly defeated Republican incumbent Spencer Abraham in the 2000 election with 49.5 percent of the vote. Her popularity has grown in the years since, ballooning to 58.8 percent of the vote during the 2012 election.