Home > JoeRants > It’s just a-polling (get it…?)

It’s just a-polling (get it…?)

October 28, 2011

One of my regular blogs (Mark Evanier’s newsfromme.com) mentioned talking with a pollster on the phone today, and got me thinking about polls and why I don’t believe them. First of all, they’re so often wrong. The polls tell you that the election will go this way, and then it doesn’t go that way.  Shocking.

Of course, we want to believe polls can be correct, and I’ve taken statistics, so I understand the basic math and how it should work, but there’s a key thing that polls never seem to take into account.

When a pollster calls and wants to ask you questions, do you speak to them? I don’t.

Of course, it’s possible that I’m abnormal (ask my wife…), but I’m willing to believe that I’m not. I’m busy and I don’t have respect for polls anyway, so I don’t bother to answer them.

I have to imagine that there’s a lot of people like me, people with better things to do than answer polls. Which means that there an entire demographic of people who aren’t included in poll data – the busy. Dare I even be full of myself and say the hardworking, somewhat intelligent?

Now imagine all the stupid poll results that you see that suggest, for instance, that Herman Cain or Michele Bachmann are viable candidates for president. Now picture those polls with a line under their title “* hardworking/busy/somewhat intelligent people not included amongst those polled.” Suddenly, many poll results make a lot more sense, don’t they?

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