Why Political Polls Do Not Matter Anymore


Ah yes, it’s another election cycle. The news media is dutifully reciting polls and the Democratic party is mandating you reach a certain polling value before you can participate in a debate. Part of me is willing to believe that last bit is the Hillary cronies trying to rig a primary once again. Read on and you just might believe it as well.

For decades after the telephone became widespread, pollsters ground out calls via phone banks using carefully worded questions to skew the results. This was the norm. You would be given a question with N response choices. None of those choices matched what you really believed. Many hung up, the rest chose the least offensive of the choices and soldiered on. In short, the poll was deliberately skewed. I get “surveys” from the ACLU all of the time designed like this. The multiple choice answers never include “you’re an idiot for asking this” as one of the answers. In their defense they have a tiny box somewhere down the form for a free-form answer. I’m fairly certain they don’t read that answer unless it confirms what they already wish to believe.

Now, let’s consider how polls are conducted in a post 3G cell phone world.

We all hate scam callers. It’s a universal bi-partisan truth. I even wrote a little scene about them in a novel I’m working on. I’ve also blogged about them numerous times.

This is the I R S. We will be issuing an arrest warrant for you unless you send us x-thousand dollars via pre-paid debit cards.

This is Windows Company calling about a virus we have found on your computer. We need you to grant us access so we can remove it.

Hello, is Brandon there?

You’ve got your own top three. Those are some of my favorites. Well, they were. I don’t get them anymore. I have a phone with a built in setting to only allow calls from numbers in my contact list. Everyone else is routed directly to voice mail. The vast majority of phone cams and political pollsters won’t leave a message.

Even USA Today has published an article about how to block unwanted calls. Some of you also either join or pay for a service where you crowdsource numbers to block. Perhaps the most famous of these is NomoRobo. Scammers have gotten wise to this which is why they now have their phone system spoof many legitimate numbers. Lately they’ve been calling from disconnected numbers. The downside to crowdsourcing numbers to block is the scammers can put legitimate companies out of business.

Who do pollsters actually get with the poll?

Old people who haven’t gotten rid of their land line and people who aren’t savy enough to block unwanted calls on their cell phone. Most likely the last group is old people as well.

This works well for Bloomberg and Biden. Old people with names other old people will recognize. It even works for Bernie because he’s been running for President for decades. What doesn’t work for Bernie is that Hillary and her cronies are most likely trying to once again rig a Democratic primary. It’s just not yet obvious which one she wants to be vice president for. It probably would have been Warren, but she’s fading fast.

If you think this is just pent up Hillary hatred (one can never have too much of that!) take a good look at the polls then take a look at the current delegate count. The current delegate leader is the gay guy, Buttigieg, yet he is polling in or near single digits in many of the polls. The unknown from Minnesota, Amy Kobuchar, is ahead of Biden in delegates and polling in single digits per many of the published polls.

What is my bias?

Personally, I was rooting for the Math guy who got out. His campaign was warming to the idea of adopting “Trickle Down With a Chain Saw” as a platform plank. I had been rooting for Tulsi Gabbard, even willing to overlook the parroting of Russian talking points she is often painted with, but not voting to impeach Trump was the final straw. I suspect it was the final straw for most and I say that as a Republican who won’t be voting for Trump. I don’t know anything about the names running against Trump in the Illinois Republican party. I just know one of them will get my vote.

I still think Bernie Sanders should have run as a Republican. He could have given the Nixon Republicans someone to cheer for. We got nothing now. Too bad, because letting Blago out of prison poisoned the well for Republicans in Illinois. Most running for re-election here won’t stand a chance.

 

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