I was just watching a discussion on PBS about presidential polls.
They said that conservatives are claiming that if you read the polls a certain way, Mitt Romney is really winning, all while saying that polls are useless anyway.
Well, I do agree with them on that second point. Polls are pretty useless. Maybe even harmful.
Look, educate yourself about the election. Learn about the candidates and issues that will be on your ballot (not just the presidential race).
And then ignore the hell out of every poll you see.
That is a chart of 472 polls this year (source). As you can see, they’ve been all over the place, each poll different from the others. And each dot is another poll and where they put the candidate. See those red dots in the top half? Those are polls that put Romney ahead, often at the exact same time as other polls put him behind. It’s useless data.
Don’t decide that because your side is winning in opinion polls, you don’t need to bother voting because it’s “in the bag.” And don’t decide that because your side is losing in the polls, that there’s no point in going out and voting if your side is going to lose anyway.
Don’t think for a moment that some people who put out polls aren’t counting on you staying home because of how they’ve framed their poll results. Don’t fall for that old trick. This election is far too important to let the media decide the election for you, no matter who you support.
The polls don’t matter on Election day. What matters is the votes that are cast. Not the Fox News poll where they ask the question in more conservative demographics, or the MSNBC poll where they ask the people in more liberal areas.
The polls are skewed, but your vote is not subject to spin (although if you use a punch-card ballot in your precinct, make sure you don’t leave any hanging chads).
We don’t need another fiasco like in the 2000 election.