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Why Polling Doesn’t Work

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Thoughts on New Hampshire

Ok, it is 8:27 MST. We are still waiting to see how this shakes out on the Dem side. Here is what I want to talk about – polling. You know that Obama was polling at double digits in New Hampshire. The pundits are freaked out, and how did this happen? I will tell you my perspective.

The first thing is that people lie to pollsters. I lie to pollsters at every opportunity. Why? Strategy. I am going to tell the pollster I am voting for the guy I want to lose. Let’s call that candidate ‘Benny’. I tell pollsters that I am voting for Benny. I do this for two reasons. I want to lull the opponent (Benny) into a false sense of security. Second, because I don’t want my candidate to rest on their laurels. Take nothing for granted in politics, ever. I want my candidate thinking he/she needs to get in there and fight for every single vote.

Here is another reason pollsters are of no value – most of their work is done by landline home phones. Guess who has land line home phones, and are available at dinner time to answer the phone? Old people. This was a big issue during the Kerry/ Bush election. They aren’t changing this strategy, because old people vote in blocks like 85%… whereas young people don’t really vote at all. If we raffled off an xbox at every election… maybe.

In 2004, master pollster John Zogby was on one of the shows election night. He said “Kerry in a landslide”. He said this because Kerry had the youth vote, the mobile phone vote, the people with a life vote. Let’s call this the ‘wireless vote’. Problem was – young people were happy to stop and talk to a pollster, but they don’t vote.

Here is another reason why the pollsters really fuck everything up, in my eyes. By announcing today that Obama was a foregone conclusion… it tells voters two things: If you are for Obama, he is a lock so you don’t have to vote. However, if you support Hillary Clinton, you better get your ass out there. She needs every vote. So, Obama voters are then over confident and not so urgent about getting to the polls.

These are the reasons, to me, why polling holds little virtue. To be fair, for full disclosure, I watch MSNBC exclusively for election coverage. These guys manage to have fun, and aren’t afraid to have over opinions without shielding themselves and qualifying every content.

* just in as I finish this post… what you already know as of 8:46 pm MST > Clinton has been declared the winner.

Post Script:

I was watching Edwards’ speech. I like the guy, but this speech is tired politics. He is talking about Timmy, a legless, headless, and armless torso who was denied braces by big business health-care, on account of him not having a head. John Edwards will fight for him. There is a little girl who is not only unemployed, faceless, and thoughtless, but nameless. NAMELESS, America. In fact, turns out that is why she can’t get a job. Some of you have two or maybe three names. John Edwards will fight for the armless, legless, and nameless torsos of the working class. After all, his father was a stick farmer, or something like that.

Know who I really like at this stage? Elizabeth Edwards! She, to me, embodies class, passion, heart, and enthusiasm. She should be running. Where do I stand? Well, I was an Edwards guy with leanings to Obama. However, after watching Obama just speak… I am leaning in the direction of Obama whenever this thing careens into Colorado for a vote.

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About Lono

  • Baronius

    Lono, your Edwards is spot-on. You should be writing parodies.