I’ve got to get up in a few hours to go volunteer on election day, but I want to go on record here with something that I’ve been saying for weeks but just haven’t had time to write up.
The polls this year have been, whether through incompetence or malfeasance, utterly useless. I think this is related to a few things:
- Tendency for Obama supporters to *really* like to talk about their having been saved by The One. Think about it, how many Obama supporters have you been approached by with breathless stories of their pending salvation. On the other hand, how many McCain supporters did you only find out were McCain supporters when it came up some other way. The numbers of people who are declining to talk to pollsters this year is huge.
- Social conformity. There’s a great article linked from Zombietime which describes not only how this works, but why it doesn’t matter. In any case, it’s driven by the unprecedented ferocity of the Obamacons attacks on any dissenting voice. Fortunately, for the time being, the Democrats in Congress only want to rob workers of their secret ballots. They’ll come after voters after that, but at the moment American voters will be alone in their polling booths.
- Extension of media bias. Most of these polls are sponsored by the same news organizations that have spent the last two years trying to convince us that Obama had already won. Polls are not clear mathematics. They, like the temperature prediction models that create global warming alarmism, are based on highly subjective equasions and weightings which try to predict turnout. This year, they are overwhelmingly weighted toward a Democratic turnout model which looks nothing like the past. In a nutshell, they’re based on the assumption that all those first-time voters who turned up to put President Gore and President Kerry into office will turn up this year in massive numbers. What do you think?
Here’s the real reason The One has been encouraging all three of these things. To get you to stay home. If you believe your candidate is going to lose in a landslide, then why bother showing up to cast your lone ballot. But first of all, we know better. And second of all, first time voters don’t. The same forces that are supposed to keep conservatives at home out of despair will more likely keep liberals at home chilling their champagne.
And here’s the proof. Both campaigns have excellent internal polling mechanisms that should be as reliable and accurate as anything out there. There’s no reason for a campaign to feed itself biased data even if it encourages the media to feed biased data to the public. The campaigns use this internal polling to determine where they have the best shot at winning.
And when you look where BO, McCain and Palin have been hanging out these last few days, a lot of it is in places that those media polls say Obama’s already got sealed up tight. So why would Obama be spending his precious last few campaign days in Pennsylvania, a traditionally blue state, if the polls preducting a landslide for him are accurate.
Answer: he wouldn’t, and the polls are anything but accurate.
All you have to do is vote today. So. Go. Vote!! And tell your conservative friends to do the same!! Oh, and make sure your Obama friends know that if the poll lines are too long they can cast their ballots by text message through the American Idol numbers. 😉
Update: OK, you may have already heard this, but apparently my predictions above were not precisely correct. 😉 That said, see the post above for why this election feels a whole lot closer than it should have been given Obama’s structural advantages.