Polls How Accurate Are They?

I have written several articles voting. A list of links have been provided at bottom of this article for your convenience. This article will, however address different aspects on voting.

This article was originally published in July, but due to the proximity of the Presidential Election, I decided that now was a good time to update it.

A lot of the polls and surveys out there are product sales through Swagbucks. My spouse did that for a while. But they are all geared towards getting the answers they want. If you are accurate, you tend to get blocked out. I have talked to people that have done voter polls, they are very limited in there questions and seem to lead you in the direction they want you to go. We use a survey program for patient satisfaction  at the hospital I work at.  We had to take a class to make sure we used the appropriate language so that when they answer the survey they understood the questions being asked. If you have to go to all this trouble,  it seems to me that there is something wrong with the poll. Are we starting to see a trend here?

A lot of the polls are run by the news services. If you have read my blog, you will know that  they are liberally  biased. They were also wrong when they predicted that Hilary Clinton would win the 2016 presidential election.  So there track record is suspect,  and they are biased to begin with. Also of note, liberal activists are more likely to take the time to answer the survey and polls. Most conservatives won’t take the time to complete them.

So, because of the population’s demographics and the inherent inaccuracies of the polls themselves and the obtuse language used in them, they do not provide an accurate picture of the voting population.

One of the biggest mistakes that political analysts, especially those who spend a lot of time on Twitter, often make is they assume voters are as engaged in the process as they, or their audiences, are.

The reality is that, largely due to media fragmentation, the “average” (more accurately, “median”) voter is even less educated in comparison to us news junkies, who have never had more information instantly available than what we can easily ­access today.

Consequently, at least half of the massive electorate for a presidential general election has been, whether we like it or not, paying very little, if any, attention to the race at this point. Any information they have gleaned from all the media coverage of specifically the Democratic contest has been largely by accident, and their base of knowledge would be roughly that of what the least enthusiastic person at the Super Bowl party you just attended possessed about the ­Kansas City Chiefs.

It is obvious that the vast majority of the population simply want to know who the best person for the job is, but through very little fault of their own, they are not being given the proper information with which to make that critical determination. Part of the blame goes to a gutless and compromised news media that, for various reasons, has no self-interest in harshly vetting candidates. I mostly blame the pollsters who have been remarkably unimaginative and, frankly, overly politically correct in their methods, which have provided voters with mostly meaningless and deceiving data.

For context, many years ago I was briefly a polling analyst for the Quinnipiac University polling unit, and periodically I have commissioned three rather high-profile national polls of my own. Here are some observations about how the polling industry is badly failing Democratic voters who just don’t want to screw up what might be the biggest voting decision of their lives:

  1. National head-to-head polls are almost totally irrelevant, except maybe those between Joe Biden and Trump, because huge portions of the general-election population don’t really know much about any of the other Democratic candidates yet and because Trump’s 2016 Electoral College advantage has rendered any margin over him that is less than 6 points largely meaningless.
  2. Pollsters should completely drop the national head-to-head polls and instead do head-to-head polling only in the very key states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, and maybe a couple of others. Astonishingly, there has not been even one major head-to-head poll in Pennsylvania (arguably the most important state of all of them) since early November of last year!
  3. When pollsters do head-to-head polling, they should be far more descriptive regarding the two choices rather than, at most, just labeling one person as a Democrat and Trump as a Republican. Adding just a few key words to each candidate when asking for a presidential preference would likely produce a treasure trove of information about how a general election might go.
  4. Pollsters should have the courage to directly test how specific negative attacks, like those Trump would obviously use against each of the major Democratic contenders, might impact their standing against Trump in the key states.

Specifically, pollsters should be testing not just a voter’s choice of candidate, but also their knowledge of critical facts about each person. They should also be “push polling” each option (providing potentially negative information about a candidate both before and after asking for their ultimate choice between a particular Democrat and Trump) to gauge whether a certain line of attack would likely be effective against them.

Resources:

nypost.com, “Why the 2020 presidential campaign polls are misleading,” By Jihn Ziegler;

Postings on Elections and Voting
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2020/10/07/president-trump-is-being-accused-of-not-accepting-a-loss-in-the-2020-election/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2020/09/27/who-controls-the-voting-process/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2020/09/27/voter-fraud-with-mail-in-ballots-fact-or-fiction/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2020/09/26/polls-how-accurate-are-they/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2020/09/10/is-china-helping-biden-become-president/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2020/09/09/voting-along-party-lines-is-old-school/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2020/08/23/what-happens-to-president-trump-if-he-wins-the-election-but-he-loses-the-senate/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2020/08/06/voting-in-november/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2020/07/18/can-president-trump-win-again-in-2020/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2020/07/10/if-you-are-voting-for-biden-consider-psychiatric-help/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2020/06/06/voting-in-america-in-the-era-of-the-pandemic/

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