Monday, September 17, 2012


 Distrust them.
At least for now. Presidential election polls make little sense until after Oct. 15th most years..because of a maddening tendency for Americans not to make up their minds until the last minute.
And there is always lurking an "October surprise."  Who knows what they might be, if indeed it ever happens, but it has in the past and that can change things...quickly.
The conventions, both, ignored foreign policy. This week that's campaign topic number one. Who knows what next week might bring? (hopefully a new War on...Poverty, or how to counteract the growing income inequality of our citizens).
It was supposed to be about jobs...but the impact of the economy appears to be less, now that some economic indicators are improving...slowly.
Maybe the polls will reflect this; maybe not.
But not all polls are created equal. Which do you trust? (none, right now, too early).
But even supposedly reputable polls, using accepted methodology vary widely.
An AP story last week exemplified this. In Florida one poll had Obama up by 2 points, another by 4, while a third had Romney by 3. You can NOT square these. Something is wrong. Even if we knew their MOE--the margin of error, but that wasn't in the AP story. (Do not trust any poll that does not tell you some basic facts...size of sample, how conducted, and MOE are essential).
It's not just Florida. In Minnestoa one poll had the president winning by 10, another poll only 7. (And it's still too early).
In my own thinking, a MOE of 3-4 percentage points is acceptable, though I don't like it. And the pollsters are starting to fudge, some trying to tell us that maybe 5-6 points are OK. They're not.
The respected Bluegrass poll run by the Courier-Journal has Romney winning Kentucky right now (it's too early) by  53 to 39, with a MOE of 4.1. Don't like that. If 4.1, why not 4.2, or 4.6..gotta draw the line somewhere. Mine is 4.0.
BTW, that (early) poll means Obama may be as high as 43, and Romney as low as 49. Or Romney may be as high as 57, and Obama as low as 35. Quite a swing there.
So, pay attention my fellow the issues, not the alledged polls. (Already I've been called by 3-4 "push" polls, which under the guise of a legit survey, actually try to further some candidate by the way the questions are phrased..pushing the results, not reflecting your views).
And do vote. Nothing is more important.
When you come out of the polls, should there be an "exit poller" there, run do not walk away. Do not stay and answer their questions. They will want to know how you voted..and too many Americans have died over the years preserving your rights, one of the main ones being our secret ballot to give that right away so easily now.
I'm just sayin'...

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