Blow Up The Political Polling Profession

Axios morning email thingie:

“The political polling profession is done,” leading Republican pollster Frank Luntz told me just after 11 p.m. “It is devastating for my industry.”

I think this cycle (as compared to 2016), MPS did a pretty good job of NOT paying attention to the polls. Of course there was some seepage (how could there not be?) but we didn’t try to do any predictive or analysis  based on polling. Instead, we paid more attention to political advertising, and I think that was instructive.

All that said, political polling is another norm that is now dead. They’ve colossally failed too many times in a row. It’s magical thinking at this point to believe in them.

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23 Responses to Blow Up The Political Polling Profession

  1. donnah says:

    Polls should be gone. They have a detrimental effect on voters and can be manipulated too easily. We need to function as adults who cast ballots and wait for the results. No projections, previews, exit polls. It’s a tradition we can let go.

    I also believe we need to look at the act of voting. Time to amend the Constitution to put a fair, equal, consistent voting process that operates on a Federal scale, but managed by the states and local governments. Set universal rules, dump caucuses, make voting a week-long operation, and make sure everyone has the same deadlines. This election, tainted by virus, is a dog’s breakfast. We have to get our country better organized and cut this nonsense.

    Liked by 3 people

    • tengrain says:

      Donnah –

      There should be some uniform minimum federal standards, I agree. But no red state is going to approve any Constitutional amendments around voting. They like it as it is, and the EC essentially gives the small population states veto power. It’s a system that was designed from the ground up to be abused.

      Rgds,

      TG

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Dennis Cole says:

    The “Dumbing-down” of America becomes more and more blatant with each election cycle. I don’t know how else to account for so many people who succumb to the siren songs their reps sing to them at the townhalls and rallies, and vote against their own best interests.

    And now, with the Coronavirus shutting down schools except for “distance learning,” which puts the Poorz at a severe disadvantage, and with the rest of the students faced with having to adapt awkwardly, the future is dim, indeed.

    In my locale, the school admins are all freaking out over a new study that claims a good 40% of Junior and Senior high schoolers in the area will NOT post grades sufficient for them to graduate in the “normal” time frame, and that schooling may have to evolve into a year-round system. A good pat of that may be due to the high percentage of Hispanics and Latinos, who are being hammered harder by the combo of poverty, the Virus itself, and lack of access to the technology needed, but no one has any easy answers.

    And, I gotta admit, I’m astounded by the voting results. No way did I expect the race to be so close.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. William Heaps says:

    Pretty clear a substantial fraction of poll respondents lie. No mathematical way to correct for that. Perhaps if a reward or prize were offered if the response agreed with the final outcome. That would provide an incentive to tell the truth. How much should the prize be worth?

    Like

    • MDavis says:

      I think it is just as likely that the polls are actually pretty accurate and we are witnessing the acting out of that voting mantra “Make the vote to big to rig” – this is how it looks with the rigging in place. I do hope the vote was big enough.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Karla says:

      I’m not an expert on polling by any means, but there’s always a potential issue with not selecting a sample that somewhat accurately represents the population of voters. I also think lots of organizations are trying to do polling on the cheap and don’t select a large enough sample to lower the margin of error (or standard deviation).

      Because they’re not getting it right, I’d love for the clients of the pollling organizations to just stop buying what they’re selling. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s going to happen. Maybe if their clients asked for a money-back guarantee…

      Like

  4. Ten Bears says:

    We do everything else: bank, buy stuff, doctor appointments, register (and insure) the pickup, teach/learn, yell at clouds, zoom … there’s no good reason we shouldn’t be voting via the Internet. It would literally resolve all addressed here. And we would know, at midnite.

    No. Good. Reason.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MDavis says:

      Nope. No, no, no. Hyet.
      Too easy to hack via internet.
      How do you know, really, that I am not actually Bulgarian?

      Like

      • Ten Bears says:

        I could be some wildman living in a hut up in the mountains. Oh, wait …

        Your bank knows who you are. Let’s not get hung up in the trees, they don’t (organically ed) grow row upon row, don’t grow evenly. This boils down to the same stuff I was writing about after the appointment by an ideologically stacked panel of activist partisan vigilanties of the scion of old school, blu-blooded, Hitler financing Robber Baron money to the highest office in the land, and then again when the state of ohio (yes, lowercase) openly declared it would hand “re-election” to Cheney, and then did, if the manufacturer who manufactures automated outlets that can print your bank balance to the penny (pound, peso, peanuts) to the moment anywhere in the world at any giving time it can manufacture a voting kiosk that would print a receipt. So too voting via a secure internet connection, secure identity, all that. We have the technology, we have the ability, at least most though lacking in context, in background, information, have the ability. Suggestion otherwise issss… bread and circuses.

        That there are those who would thwart that is a problem, indeed The Problem.

        Bet you’ve a ‘phone’ in your pocket (or within reach) …

        Liked by 1 person

      • MDavis says:

        Okay, Bulgaria was a dumb one liner.
        But I have been alerted by a demonstration that made a mid-western poll worker literally cry.
        They did a test, casting votes, checking that the votes cast were being recorded correctly, and then they went to the guy running the demo who had been sitting outside the erstwhile polling place.
        The results he predicted were exactly what came out of the tabulator. (not sure of terminology)
        He’d loaded the tabulator with the results he wanted for this demonstration. It didn’t matter what votes went in, the desired results came out of the other end.
        That poor lady. The demo just blew up her world.
        Of course, a paper trail might have been used to correct the outcome. Try that with electronic-only voting machines, though.

        Like

      • sos says:

        By definition the bank (and you) knows who you are AND how much money is in your account. Voting is defined (in this country) by the secret ballot verifying who you are and NOT knowing how you vote. Auditing the vote totals is impossible with the current state of internet security. Experts have been working on this very issue for years and are years away from any sort of secure method. Maybe someday?

        Liked by 1 person

    • Karla says:

      Read anything by @Jennifer Cohn, for example, this thread:

      In IT, we know that often the weakness in security is people. Like with Podesta in 2016 – he clicked a link in a phishing email and opened their email up to hackers. There would still be uneducated people who can be fooled into giving up access.

      Liked by 1 person

      • MDavis says:

        Thank you Karla. That link is disturbing but not really surprising. People have been saying for years now – Vote, to big to rig. This is what they have bene talking about.
        Also, I heard that in the PA vote count Biden’s votes went down. Not they number went down from what was expected, they actually changed to fewer votes for Biden between one revewe and a later one. I haven’t independently verified this, but it sounds all too likely, and also another reason for abandoning exit polls. Those were just starting to make it too obvious that something is really wrong with our voting system.

        Like

      • Ten Bears says:

        Yes, thank you Karla. In my early day’s in IT we had a rather rude yet accurate acronym: BKU, between keyboard and user (we’ll ignore ID10T for now). That was twenty-five years ago. I stand by my observations: we have the ability, the problem is the users, and those who would manipulate them. The same damned people who won’t hesitate to use a credit or debit card to buy some googaa from Jeff Bezos (or Sam Walton) online, or weasel some fool with promise of lottery winnings. People who haven’t a freakin’ clue as to the login algorithms Facebook uses to identify them every time they pick up the phone (who needs a 666 chip, eah?), how their Safeway card pops ads up in their feeds. Technology is not the problem, security is the problem. And as you say, and this in fact applies not just to the topic at hand but across the board, that problem is an ID10T problem, BKU.

        Again, let’s not get hung up in the trees, they don’t grow row upon row, evenly.

        Like

  5. Franky, I am tired almost to death from talking friends I believed to be fairly bright down off the ceiling. It is tedious, but I do what I can, on a case-by-case basis. Really, I tell them, with increasing sharpness, “The votes are in, and they are being counted. Hit the bong. Take a few shots. Open the box of wine. Take a nap. Just shut the fuck up. No one really cares about your self-induced anxiety. Please go away.”

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Redhand says:

    I’m DONE with polls. “Won’t be fooled again.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Bruce388 says:

    Maybe the theory about shy trump voters was correct. I wouldn’t admit to supporting the piece of shit, either.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I was already doing my best to ignore the polls.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. sos says:

    Or you know, science the shit out of what happened and try to fix the models. I know what a scientist would do.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dennis Cole says:

    C’mon, kids! You know the tune!

    “All around the Federal Courts,
    Herr Drümpf was causing trouble;
    And when it all was finally done,
    There was nothing left but rubble.

    A million for each suit that gets filed,
    And a million for each lawyer;
    But when it comes time for strict budget cuts,
    They bring in a sawyer.

    He wants to go to the Supreme Court,
    He wants a quick decision;
    But if you ask me what it is that I see,
    I say, ” It’s just like the Inquisition!”

    Like

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