I can understand why it is that people who depend on ABC or NBC or CBS or such wonder what is going on with the bouncing presidential race polling, if they’re even into wondering anything about presidential politics yet. But to have folks that are Republicans or professed conservatives and get their news from talk radio, right-leaning webs sites or Fox News, what are you doing?
A good deal of the political polling being passed off today as scientific is anything but. Publishing a poll that over-samples Democrats (the most prevalent type of polling perversion) by 13% isn’t seriously attempting to inform the voters of where American sentiment lies at any point in time; it’s purpose is propaganda. Such a poll has no purpose other than to discourage the opposition’s voters from voting … period.
Another polling issue informed voters must be aware of is who exactly is being counted in these “scientific” polls. The most common form of polling is to ask questions of anyone who answers the phone and is willing to be questioned. Such polls result in the least informed output, as the respondent isn’t qualified (in terms of what experience they base their responses on) by the pollster.
People answering political polls are then further qualified as adults, registered to vote (or not) and the poll providing the highest quality of results, likely voters. So, when looking at a poll, note who it is that is being polled.
Polling firms have different methodologies of determining the likelihood a respondent is to qualify as a likely voter. Regardless, at this point we’re picking fly poop of of the pepper by trying to determine the best method for choosing “likely” voters.
So don’t let a pollster be the source of your discouragement.
There is one further issue about polling that has confounded even the most honest pollster for a few decades. That is something referred to as either the Bradley Effect or the Wilder Effect, describing wild swings in actual election results from the polling immediately preceding the election. Both Bradley and Wilder were running for Governor (California and Virginia, respectively) and the theory was postulated that the large difference between the final polling and actual results was because some voters wanted to be seen as hip by telling pollsters they were “voting for the black guy” and then in the privacy of the voting booth, voted the other way.
Many “experts” have declared the Bradley Effect dead, partly as a result of society becoming more sophisticated about race and most recently, as a result of Barack Obama’s election to the presidency.
I say bunk! The Democrats and their media partners have so over-pushed the notion that anyone who doesn’t agree with Obama has to be a racist that a great many regular, every-day Americans are fearful to even casually mention to fellow workers that they are thinking of not voting for Obama.
As no one I work with has any doubt as to my political bent, I’ve even had people confide to me that they haven’t even let their fellow workers know they didn’t vote for Obama in 2008 for fear of being tagged a racist. Chris Matthews, Rachael Maddow, and their cohorts carp night after night that anyone who won’t vote for Obama has to be a racist … clearly there is no other reasonable answer.
Even Obama plays along with this canard, never correcting anyone espousing such notions.
So how do you think many people are going to respond to a pollster when asked who they support for president? “I’m not going to be saddled as a racist, by golly!” This even applies to those polled through automated polling. “Who really believes that in today’s technology world that my responses will remain anonymous?”
So we are going to continue to see polls showing Obama and Romney neck and neck, both because of skewered polling and people being cagy with pollsters … until the final week. Then we should start to see Romney gaining a slight lead, as the polling firms know that the only polls that count for the record (and their livelihood come next election season) are the polls right before the election.
Nothing has changed since the 2010 elections to dissuade conservatives, Republicans, Tea Party adherents, and all those independents who are against Obamacare from wanting to change leadership in Washington. If anything, those same sentiments have only grown stronger as a result of the Walker wins in Wisconsin and the Supreme Court ruling against liberty on Obamacare.
So why in the world would we expect Obama to be doing so well now? Even more so with the economy still in the dumps and now the Middle East in flames and Obama fiddles.
Oh … and the last thing to watch for is the exit polling results. Do you really think someone who was cautious when answering an automated poll is going to tell an actual human pollster that “he didn’t vote for the black guy?”
Remember that on election night when both of Chris Matthews legs begin wildly twitching before the actual results of Romney’s six point win are announced.