Will someone please get Curtis Hubbard a column at The Nation and leave the editorial page editing to someone less partisan, like Dan Haley?  Again, Hubbard’s true (blue) colors came shining through over the weekend  when he called out the right for [gasp] voting in his online poll.

Last week, the Denver Post asked readers to vote in its poll that posed the question: Assuming state House Bill 1224, which limits gun magazines to 15 rounds, will become law, how would you vote on a 2014 ballot measure to overturn it?  The response options included:

  • For.I oppose the limit and would vote to overturn the bill.
  • Against.I support the limit and would vote to uphold the bill.
  • Unsure. I haven’t decided yet.

Hubbard was hot and bothered because the poll didn’t swing his way.  According to Hubbard, 70% of respondents would vote to overturn the ban.  So, what’s the problem?  Hubbard is mad because the right has finally caught up to the game of the left – rallying troops who care about an issue to vote in an online poll.

In yet another Hubbard Fail, he tries to explain to readers how this happens and fails miserably, meanwhile missing a more interesting story in the process.  Hubbard tries to offer a sneak peak into the online message board “Free Republic”, which is an outlet for “independent, grass-roots conservatism on the web. Gather at Free Republic to check notes, plan strategy, and talk about the issues,” according to its web site.

Here is how Hubbard petulantly describes the online community:

“An organized effort to influence results of an online poll is called ‘freeping.’ The name is a nod to an online forum called the Free Republic, whose members are called ‘freepers.’ They’re notorious for pushing results of online polls in one direction or another — notably on Second Amendment issues.”

This online grassroots organization has been around since the 1990s, and is highly effective at mobilizing its online followers – the way any grassroots organization should and does.  MoveOn.org and Change.org engage in similar strategies.

The most interesting (and most ignored) question in Hubbard’s piece was brought up by a user on Free Republic:

“‘Basically someone has hacked it and are adding an average of 26 votes per minute to the ‘keep the ban’ column,’ one freeper lamented.”
Hubbard never denies the charge, never explores the possibility.  That the poll had been hacked may not be accurate; however, it’s worth addressing.  Hubbard was wrong to call out the right for mobilizing their activists while mentioning the left in just one sentence.  Then again, just shows readers that Hubbard (as well as online polls) “should be viewed with skepticism.”