Suspicion of poll, jobs numbers takes hold on right

As the presidential election reaches its apex in intensity, so have arguments from the right that polls and economic statistics — the numbers used to explain the 2012 campaign — are not to be trusted.

The theory that many polls are under-sampling Republicans (and thus overstating the support for Obama) has become widespread on the right, as many supporters of Mitt Romney asserted this week during rallies before the first presidential debate. …

A similar phenomenon emerged on Friday when conservatives expressed open skepticism of new monthly employment figures issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. …

Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric (the former parent company of NBC News), set off a firestorm by insinuating that the administration manipulated the jobs numbers because they were so incredible.

“I have no evidence to prove that. I just raised the question,” Welch explained later in the day on MSNBC. [cont.]

Michael O’Brien, NBC News