Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I hate polls

I really do. There is something so manipulative about them. For instance we look at the averages at RCP and I wonder how is an average any more accurate than the individual polls which often as not bear little resemblance to one another. For instance Mason Dixon has a poll out with Allen ahead by 4 and Rasmussen has a poll out with Webb ahead by 5. They can't both be right.

I have caller ID and an answering machine. I screen calls and I have never been part of a poll. How can the polsters know they are really getting a realistic representation of the public? Is that even their goal? Is the intent to manipulate or measure public opinion?

In Iraq this last month there has been a spike in American casualties. An election here, Ramadan there, together with a military offensive have combined to drive up casualties. I had hoped that Democrats would refrain from using dead Americans to help win the election. But I have already seen ads using these numbers. Perhaps I am being unfair but it seems to me that the people killing American soldiers are working hard to get Democrats elected and Democrats are accepting their help. I remember back in 2004 when Bush used fleeting images of 9/11 the Democrats said he was exploiting the dead for political gain. Who is exploiting the dead now?

Here in Indiana Ellsworth is running more like a Republican than a Democrat. He is refusing to even talk about Nancy Pelosi. He is a prolife, progun, antiamnesty, promilitary, anti big government kind of guy. I wonder what he will do once he is forced to make a choice and either live up to the promises he is making to Hoosiers or vote with his party? Because the two are mutually exclusive.

Once the dust settles and all the absentee ballots are counted and we know who won which polsters will have been right? After all someone has to be. I guess.


Fresh Air said...

Well the media has really set itself up for a fall this time. They have been so pro-Democrat and so ardent in their insistence that the donkeys are coming back to power that anything less than a complete takeover of Congress will leave them looking silly.

I guess we'll see soon enough. Here's hoping to twin defeats: the Democrats and the media.

But I repeat myself.

David Thomson said...

The early voting seems to indicate good news for Republicans. Yup, I am getting to believe that the GOP will pick up two U.S. Senate seats. The Democrats won't know what hit them.

Fresh Air said...


Here's my guess on the Senate:

Likely losses: Pennsylvania
Possible losses: Ohio, Rhode Island, Montana
Holds: Missouri, Tennessee
Possible pickups: Maryland, Minnesota, Michigan
Likely pickups: New Jersey

I would guess you'll see +-1 seat in total.

JB said...

"I have caller ID and an answering machine. I screen calls and I have never been part of a poll."

I have personally received two robo-polling calls this week but have answered neither.

This is all a big sham, and on Nov. 8th we'll get to peek behind the curtain. The might wizard will not seem so impressive.

Knucklehead said...

I have refused to participate in at least two telephone polls over the past couple years. I am a guaranteed voter and they will never get me to answer their polls.

David Thomson said...

This is an off year election. The typical Republican is much more likely to show up on election day. No, I'm starting to believe that this will prove to be a blow out. Also, John Kerry has put his foot into his mouth. He is such a nice guy for helping out the Republican Party. Did the evil Karl Rove slip Kerry a few bucks under the table?

Unknown said...

John Kerry is such a moron. Democrats have no business making fun of Bush's intellect when guys like Kerry are the best they can do.

Syl said...

re the RCP average, I read somewhere that of the partisan polls this year there are twice as many Democrat polls as Republican. That would certainly skew the averages.

Someone (perhaps at polipundit?--a place where I don't agree with everyone but love the enthusiasm) said the MSM discovered RCP in 2004 and now is gaming their averages.

I kinda doubt it's a conspiracy. But the fact there is such a difference in quantity between Rep and Dem polling this year is something to take note of.

Syl said...

Another factor. Some have noted the general accuracy of polling the week before the election in 2004.

But mid-term polling is a different animal. Senate not so much because area codes don't cross states, but House polling is made difficult because of the weird shapes and sizes of the districts. The only way a pollster can know for sure they are getting results from voters IN the district is by going from registration rolls. Expensive. So not all pollsters use them.

Syl said...

As for my being called by pollsters, I have my phone unplugged. :)

It's been unplugged almost all year. I only plug it in when I have to call the drugstore to renew my prescriptions. :)

I hate the telephone.