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Take Your Polls and Shove It

pollsdd.pngThis late in the election cycle, it starts to feel like nobody is talking about anything else. Like many others of the leftward persuasion, I’ve felt really skittish about getting too comfortable with the lead Obama appears to have at this point — while most polls since the final debate show a double-digit lead nationally, the last 2 elections (2000 & 2004) were so deeply bruising, I feel like the residual trauma isn’t going to allow me to relax until Thanksgiving. And these polls are killing me:

From Zogby:

Democrat Barack Obama’s lead over Republican rival John McCain has grown to 12 points in the U.S. presidential race, with crucial independent and women voters increasingly moving to his side, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Thursday.
Zogby said McCain, 72, appeared to have lost the traction he won after the third and final presidential debate last week.

From the AP Poll:

The presidential race tightened after the final debate, with John McCain gaining among whites and people earning less than $50,000, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll that shows McCain and Barack Obama essentially running even among likely voters in the election homestretch.
The poll, which found Obama at 44 percent and McCain at 43 percent, supports what some Republicans and Democrats privately have said in recent days: that the race narrowed after the third debate as GOP-leaning voters drifted home to their party and McCain’s “Joe the plumber” analogy struck a chord.

What the fuck? Who to believe?

When you add in the issue of unacknowledged or implicit racism, then show some footage of the absolutely 100 percent completely maddening Sarah Palin, my blood pressure skyrockets. Needless to say, I’m not sleeping too well at the moment. And then today AP came out with a poll showing McCain pulling even with Obama. So here’s the deal: fuck the polls. I’m going to go volunteer for the campaign. There’s just a couple weeks left, folks. Lets make ‘em count.

(Editor’s Note: Woah, Molly. We know you’re new around here, and that you’re sleeping with one of the writers, but we don’t advocate direct action around here. Our self-righteousness is lazy, thank you very much.)

| Comments (14)


I read somewhere that the AP poll that had them within a point was totally skewed because something like 40% of the pool was made up of Evangelical Christians.

They are always messing things up.

Polls are so freaking counterproductive. If we didn't have them, candidates couldn't cynically feed us back what we say we want. There would actually be an outside chance that someone would say what they really believed and intended to do once in office. But even worse is feeding poll data back to the people. Dude, if you can't be bothered to vote unless your candidate is losing, or worse you decide who to vote for based on what other people are saying, then stay the fuck out of the booth in the first place.

(Editor’s Note: Woah, Molly. We know your new around here, and that you’re sleeping with one of the writers, but we don’t advocate direct action around here. Our self-righteousness is lazy, thank you very much.)

You guys are so funny.

I wouldn't worry too terribly much about the Bradley Effect in this election. I think Obama's done a tremendous job of mobilizing African-American voter turnout, which has historically been very low. It's my hope this will counter any Bradley effect (y'know, as long as the Republicans are prevented from engaging in any [more] voter fraud).

according to Salon.com Obama is expected to win by a landslide. I'm still incredibly nervous though. I can only hope that people too stupid to look beyond his skin color are also too stupid to operate a voting machine.

For those of us who have been saying, "What the hell, America?" for the last 8 years, it may be best to have a friend or loved one censor the polling information that we see. I'd like only the "good news" - the way Fox News comforts conservatives.

Now let's all sing Cumbiya.

OK, I've been following this like a crackhead with his connection, though ya know, not in a bad way, and I've come to a few conclusions.

The "enthusiasm gap" is way underrated by the pollsters simply because it's almost off the charts.

They can't seem to differentiate between regular "registered voters" and new registered voters. This means that the pollsters lump in the new excited and invested voters with the same ones who haven't voted for years.

When they count likely voters, they discount the young voters because of their historic tendency to not vote. The motivation of that age group is, from what I hear, is overwhelming and not being accurately portrayed.

This really is a new day.

Do you feel better now?

And oh, your husband spelled "whoa" wrong.

Both 270towin.com and fivethirtyeight.com track the important count - the electoral count. 538 in particular has loads of poll geek data. Either site should make you feel better - unless your name is Palin

Oh, and if your name is Palin, just let me say, real quick: Fuck You

Bill, I think they have the right idea in discounting the young vote. Every election people say that my generation and those after me are going to "rock the vote," and every year, the numbers don't change. I don't trust my generation to do anything right, and god help us, one day we'll be running this country.

3L, you can't judge by what they SAY they're going to do. I agree. What they've DONE however is a different matter.

They are volunteering in unprecedented numbers, registering in record numbers and overwhelmingly supporting Barack. We're going to be able to bring it home. Trust me.

PS, when you are running the country, remember to keep an eye on the assisted living facilities. I'm just saying.

I like this new contributor. Let's just hope she doesn't sue anyone for sexual harassment.

You're right not to trust the polls - don't read 'em; don't trust them; but check out http://www.electoral-vote.com/ for a daily state-by-state electoral vote update and click back through the previous days' results to watch the pretty colors change. Personally, I'm more than a little disappointed that all the news is about the polls, and the ads, and the spin, and none of it is about the issues. Here's what I said in a blog just after the New Hampshire primary (never trust anyone from New Hampshire, either):

It seems like the Clinton campaign was universally declared dead yesterday, but now those rumors seem to have been grossly exaggerated, or premature, or results were misinterpreted, or the margin of error is now 100%. At least some of the voters seem to be ignoring the media hype, the millions of dollars in advertising, the polls, the pundits, and the Vegas odds-makers to vote for their favorites in this bizarre beauty pageant! Why isn't anyone reporting on the woeful performance of the media and the polls, to say nothing of the pols? Hell, if we judged the media and the pollsters as harshly as the media judges the campaigns (not the candidates, mind you, just the campaigns), we wouldn't have anything to read tomorrow. Thousands of telephone operators and media hacks would be out of work and we'd be stuck reading about issues like Iraq, Iran, healthcare, and Britney Spears' extended entourage.

Note to Editor: Woe unto your spell-checker - "whoa," not "woah"