Guest Piece From Gregg Updike
Why do we pay attention to the Polls? For that matter why do we keep electing and reelecting Democrats? Why do we keep listening to the lying media especially when it pertains to President Trump? In every case, all the above are at least 90% wrong with truth and policy.
Yesterday’s NBC-Wall Street Journal “Poll” came out and said that Biden has a fourteen (14) point lead on Trump. That is flat out wrong as no presidential candidate, especially a largely successful incumbent, ever loses by anything near double digits.
I have always been fascinated by polls and their supposed influence which they are not supposed to do. At best, polling is an inexact “science”. If you were to look at how polls are conducted and want to assume they are on the up and up, you must realize it often takes hundreds of calls to get one respondent to actually talk to the pollster.
Assuming the poll is fair and unbiased, a huge assumption especially now, there are too many variables that are beyond the control of the pollster:
- Land lines which often tend toward to a specific older demographic voter versus cell phones
- Respondents deliberately lying to or deceiving the pollster
- Shy Republican/Trump supporters either not responding honestly or are genuinely fearful of retribution by the Left’s anti-democracy radical mob. Who wants to expose themselves to grief when people are getting attacked, shamed, or assaulted for wearing a red (not necessarily TRUMP MAGA/KAG) hat, getting their car or home trashed for a MAGA/KAG bumper sticker or yard sign?
- With all the telemarketing, who wants to divulge any sort of personal information to any cold-calling stranger?
The reality is most polling organizations are set up to manipulate and influence public opinion rather than reflect a snapshot of public opinion. This phenomenon occurs when polls are designed to be the news story which has been increasingly occurring on a grand scale since at least the Clinton administration.
It is often said that statistics don’t lie, but statisticians do, and pollsters are nothing more than statisticians.
Now, sprinkle in the agenda of most polling organizations:
- Oversampling one political party over another – I am amazed they report the polling sample. The actual breakdown is close to 33% Democratic, 33% Republican, and 33% Independent. With all the #Walkaway movements, there is no way a poll that oversamples Democratic voters would ever be accurate.
- Asking loaded questions designed to elicit specific responses. I have responded honestly to a handful of pollsters over the years and have qualified many yes or no responses with certain caveats. The pollster patiently listens and acts like he/she is taking my input, but they do not as there is no option for them to do so. The one size fits all question is designed to generate a desired result and works as well as the one size fits all government programs like Obamacare.
- When there is an effort to get an equal number of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, ZIP Codes are often employed to ensure they question soft suburban “educated” Republican women and men who are predisposed to reject Trump or any other strong conservative just because the Democratic Party’s platform sounds nicer. (One must wonder why so many liberals/moderates identify as “Republicans” and why so many “Reagan Democrats” who are basically conservative still identify as Democrats?)
- Another trick is to poll adults, versus registered voters, versus LIKELY voters. Likely voters are really the only ones who matter because they are the ones who are likely to actually vote. Age, Race, Gender, employment status and location are all variables that are sought to influence the poll’s results.
- Swing states versus the whole country. Oversampling California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New Jersey voters rather than Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina voters, not to mention the deep red states, also contribute to skewed results.
- The actual number of the poll respondents – anything under a thousand in a big state or nationally is a big red flag where accuracy is concerned.
- The “margin of error” anything over three percent should render the poll result meaningless.
The most important factor to consider when listening to these poll results is who is conducting the poll(s). There is no confirming audit as to the truthfulness of the poll results and the “internals” of the given poll are suspect when organizations like the Wall Street Journal/NBC or the ABC/WAPO and other Leftist outfits, including universities, conduct opinion polls. They are so biased in all their ‘news’ with so many “anonymous sources”, especially concerning Trump, why wouldn’t they just flat out lie about their polls? I am surprised they admit to the political registration samples and other obviously biased criteria; I guess they want to try to show some honesty and assume that the vast majority just reads the bad news for Trump headlines. When there is no confirmation of their polling criteria, why admit to the oversampling of Democrats by ten percent?
Some polls are more creditable than others and the best, most accurate, polls usually have no media or network affiliation. The best pollsters often ask these questions or use these matrixes:
- Ask the respondents if they are willing to be polled again during the election cycle.
- Ask the respondents who their friends or neighbors are voting for.
- Poll only likely voters.
Finally, no one should pay any attention to any wild outlier polls, or any polling organization that reports a ten plus lead for any candidate, and then tightens up the race near the election to protect their reputation. Also, no one should pay attention to any poll with outrageous results three or more months prior to the election as so much can change (the death of Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, Trump getting Covid-19, changing economic reports to name a few examples) in the month prior to the election. Always be aware of the agendas behind the organizations who conduct the polls; if they always report Trump stinks, what “public opinion” do you think their poll is going to reflect which is designed to dispirit the conservative vote?
What I would really like to see are the political parties’ internal polling results; they tell a much more accurate picture of public opinion – watch how the campaigns change their message on a dime – like when they drop the anti-police narrative and distance themselves from Antifa/BLM for example. Policy shifts are all driven by internal polling. Particularly on the Democratic side since at least the Clinton era; these people live and die by polls and focus groups.
That is all.
Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is the only real conservative alternative to Drudge, and deserves to become everyone’s go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.