Can a voter who hasn’t kept up with the races be persuaded by looking at the polls at the last-minute before casting their votes?
Are we not hurting ourself as a country if we have Congressional and Political leaders being persuaded by biased Pollings?
Republicans often quote the polls, and a lot of those polls Republicans and Fox news referred to are those that slant Republicans.
Aren’t we basing the major decisions of our country on Lies and biased decisions made for the rest of the country.
Posted September 18, 2010
Americans are considered some of the most busiest people around the world. After a Presidential election that drew a lot of attention, Americans asked again to do their civic duty. For many Americans when we turn to the news we don’t here about the candidates and issues but rather what the polls say. Their seems a lot of editorial news based off verses facts the voters can choose between themselves. It seems the candidates have to fight being defined by polls versus defining themselves.
You can’t replace substance about the candidates with polls. All polls are not legit and all polls don’t reach everyone like those who use cell phones. It is more easy to accept to the way a poll leans rather than questioning the validity of the polls.
The Rasmussen I previously blogged about is one of those Polls growing in popularity but actually is quite Partisan and polarizing. The Rasmussen Poll is a Republican poll that has a spin-off called Pulse Opinion Research. Fox News has used this polling service quite often. Anyone with $1500 can create a poll using Rasmussen poll Pulse Opinion Research. The sample questions are the same and the sampled voters used are majority republicans with very little to none minorities used. The results of these polls should slant Republicans. You maybe reading a magazine and not realized you are reading one of these Pulse Opinion Research. In Forbes Magazine they used the following Rasmussen slanting poll:
PJTV/Pulse Opinion Research nationwide survey of 1,000 likely voters tracks Tea Party support as well as provides a snapshot of public opinion about the week’s top issues. (Forbes, http://www.forbes.com/feeds/prnewswire/2010/09/09/prnewswire201009091723PR_NEWS_USPR_____DC62521.htm)
These Pulse Opinion Research Polls can have many names since any one can purchase them.
The Gallup poll has admitted at times they have used for likely voters, ‘Republicans’.
In August the Gallup poll that suddenly swung in double digits to favor Republican, when the facts were Americans were emotionally involved in a debate about the mosque a few blocks away from 9/11. After the news cycle may have focused on another News issue the Gallup poll dropped back down to 4% difference between Democrats and Republicans with a +/- 4% error rating.
There doesn’t seem to be much discussion on this but is my opinion that polls ‘Alone’ can influence voters to vote for a certain candidate and to support a certain issue. Psychologically people like to be on the side of the most and what everyone is talking about.
I previously blogged I believe some of the Rasmussen polling resemble a push-poll to feed into the fear and anxiety of Americans. There is a problem when you can take national, polarizing issues and place that assumption in the head of the voter about a candidate he or she has not done. But this is where we are instead of people relying on what informative issues we can learn about a candidate, we are left with polls, some legit or some bias, with the question remaining can polls ‘Alone’ get voters to vote majority, or vote for the underdog without understanding who they are voting for or the issue they are supporting.
A push poll does not have to sound evil, but can take a hot button issue and attribute to candidate because he belongs to a particular Political Party.
A push poll is a political campaign technique in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll. In a push poll, large numbers of respondents are contacted, and little or no effort is made to collect and analyze response data. Instead, the push poll is a form of telemarketing-based propaganda and rumor mongering, masquerading as a poll. Push polls may rely on innuendo or knowledge gleaned from opposition research on an opponent. They are generally viewed as a form of negative campaigning. The term is also sometimes used inaccurately to refer to legitimate polls which test political messages, some of which may be negative. Push polling has been condemned by the American Association of Political Consultants, and is illegal in New Hampshire.
The mildest forms of push polling are designed merely to remind voters of a particular issue. For instance, a push poll might ask respondents to rank candidates based on their support of an issue in order to get voters thinking about that issue.
The main advantage of push polls is that they are an effective way of maligning an opponent (“pushing” voters towards a predetermined point of view) while avoiding direct responsibility for the distorted or false information
The following poll questions were used to determine who was leading the South Carolina Governor’s race.
The poll conducted on Augurst 2, 2010 asked voters a variety of questions about issues facing the nation. ***On health care, 61 percent favor repeal of the national health care bill, while 34 percent say it should stay as it is. ***On immigration, 59 percent say they favor a bill like Arizona’s, while 20 percent would not like to see a similar law passed here. These issues have created a wave of emotions over these issues.
Question: What do you think is the purpose of these questions, and do you think they could persuade Voters or create a negative or positive image about a particular candidate?
Through the media, polls can be used to persuade people not about the facts on candidates or issues but what people are feeling and what people have voted a majority for. The problem with this as I mentioned before these polls don’t represent everyone,(ex.poeple who only use cell phones); and some polls are setup to slant a certain direction.
Do you think some voters cast their votes according to what polls say?
Below I have included parts of two articles that question the usage of polls.
CBS article Problems With Polls: National Review Online: Surprise In N.H. The Latest Example Of Surveys Holding Too Much Sway;(Jan. 13, 2007)
So while Zogby, Gallup, Rasmussen, et al., scramble to figure what’s gone wrong with their polls this primary season, I’m hoping that their polls stay broken. Media coverage of polls dominates, and not enough people are asking whether the obsession with polling is a good thing. In 1976 — the year that CBS and The New York Times announced their historic polling partnership — there were just a few national opinion polls conducted by the media each year. By 1996, there were over 300 public opinion polls conducted in just the final two months of the presidential election. I shudder to think how many polls are conducted now.
Matt Robinson examines the problems that stem from the media’s over-reliance on polls in his 2002 book, Mobocracy: How the Media’s Obsession with Polling Twists the News Alters Elections, and Undermines Democracy. Despite some significant problems with question wording, sampling error, and response bias, news organizations treat survey results as the Gospel. That, in turn, means pundits, the media, and voters create political narratives to justify the results. As Robinson observes, they commit the logical fallacy of reasoning from effect to cause.
Even people who traffic in polling data for a living admit that the media’s reliance on polls is troublesome. Kellyanne Conway, President of The Polling Company has said, “Polls have become a substitute for thought, for reporting, and for principles.” Pollster John Zogby has expressed particular concern with the rapid, overnight cycle of political polling, saying, “A combination of public demand and media demand requires that we get results immediately the next day.” Overnight polls are problematic, he says, because getting results so quickly means it’s very hard to get a truly random sample.
Further, poll results themselves influence public opinion. For instance, it’s possible that polls showing Obama cruising to an overwhelming victory created a blowback effect, which was further bolstered by the sympathy engendered by Clinton’s emotional outburst the day before the primary.
For all the talk about how to “empower voters” perhaps the easiest way to do exactly that, would be to stop bombarding the electorate with news about who the likely winner will be months, weeks, days, and hours in advance of actually voting. What could be more electrifying than stepping into a voting booth with no other guide to casting a ballot than your intellect and conscience?
De-emphasizing the importance of polls in our elections is, of course, no guarantee that voters will then demonstrate that they have either an intellect or a conscience. But fewer — and better — polls might force the media to spend more time covering the substance of a candidate’s positions rather than snapshot reactions to the candidate’s focus-grouped soundbites. This might produce slightly more informed voters who in turn elect slightly better selected bozos to public office. It may not amount to much, but given the uncertainty surrounding the most wide-open election in 80 years, this might be exactly the right time to reassess how much polling we want and need. (By Mark Hemingway; The Problems With Polls: National Review Online: Surprise In N.H. The Latest Example Of Surveys Holding Too Much Sway; Jan. 13, 2007)
This year the Tea Party and backers spent more time in the news compared to other candidates, which can do a much more to influence last minute voter versus someone who has followed the elections.
The Reid Report -‘Earned media’, poll psychology and Kendrick Meek’s mean summer ; July 13, 2010
Something in this recent Washington Monthly article by Steve Benen stood out to me (with a hat tip on the article’s existence to Peter Schorsch…) and it is this quote from Democratic Senate candidate Kendrick Meek:
On his low name-recognition statewide:
“There’s so much attention on Rubio-Crist through quarters three and four of last year, and now quarter one and two of this year. Quarter three is going introduce me through earned media to the state of Florida… People will hear from me and see the support that other groups bring to the table.”
As Benen points out, there’s nothing anyone can point to that the Meek campaign has done glaringly wrong — except perhaps fail to generate much excitement, or get to the home neighborhood before Greene did… They’re running a competent campaign, and Meek is a compelling, likeable candidate with solid party bona fides. And yet, here we are.
So what’s the problem? Call it poll psychology: the longer Meek lags in the polls, the more dollars stay in their wallets or flow to the relative safety of Charlie Crist (or Alex Sink, or the DNC, or somewhere else,) which creates a kind of narrative whiplash that causes Meek to do worse in the polls, as Democrats hedge their bets even with pollsters. Without money, Meek can’t buy critical name I.D., so down in the polls he goes again, producing the following February-July trajectory:
Poll psychology works on the media, too. Reporters gravitate toward the perceived strong candidates, and away from the perceived weak ones. Remember when not-quite ir Force Secretary nominee and then-State Sen. Daryl Jones ran for governor in 2002? No? Well then you get my point. Jones, another rising African-American Democratic star with a Clinton pedigree, couldn’t get earned media back then, because he wasn’t charting in the polls against Janet Reno and Bill McBride. Result: the media wouldn’t give him the time of day. I was working at at NBC affiliate in South Florida back then and did a story on him just to be fair. But the story was web-only. Never made T.V. … You could argue that the same thing is happening now with Libertarian candidate Alex Snitker. No polls — no money — no media.