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Poll No Mo’

Oct
25
2004

This site doesn’t comment about poll-driven stories for three reasons. One, you can get them almost anywhere; two, the analysis they’re rooted in is often wrong-headed and silly, which is why, reason three, I don’t believe ‘em.
Polls survey people who can be found by phone. That’s people with listed phone numbers who answer their phones. Fewer and fewer people do that every day. So the data is skewed. It’s also skewed because polls don’t do a good job of reaching households where English isn’t the first language.


Polls also query people who have voted in previous elections. This year, in particular, the number of new voters is at an all-time high. It’s unlikely that all of those new voters will go for Democrat John Kerry but I think enough of them will that it will make a big difference. Otherwise, why bother?
And while we’re on the subject have you seen all the Big Media pundits — Andrea Mitchell was the one I saw — talking about how they think that new voters will complicate the elections? The theory is that new voters will be unfamiliar with the voting process and so they’ll make mistakes. Which is a nice way of saying people are too dumb to vote, isn’t it? Pat yourself on the back, Andrea. Don’t break your arm.
Okay, so what’s going to happen? I say Kerry by a small margin, carrying – unexpectedly – Ohio and another swing state or two. Why? Because turn-out is already strong with absentee voters and you get the sense that they don’t like the current president. Otherwise, they would stay home, no? Think Andrea can work that one out?
In any event, Ohio, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico, Virginia, Michigan are all saying that record numbers of absentee ballots have been pulled. People are interested in this presidential race. And it’s going to show come election day. I think we’ll have a large group of wet pundits to show for it. Their polls have them talking to the same people which gives them the same results: An evenly divided electorate.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 10:16 AM | Permalink

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