Thursday, June 23, 2005


News rooms across the nation have elevated polls to almost mystical status. Because of that, polls themselves have become almost meaningless. The latest McCain-Hillary poll has McCain beating Hillary in all major categories with an overall lead of 11 per cent.

Zogby Poling, you may remember, blew the last election by a mile, and then cried crocodile tears rationalizing his effort to influence a Kerry victory. And while it’s utterly stupid for Zogby to push his polls for a desired result, it does illustrate how pointless poll results have become.

The major media have created polls to justify preconceived notions while attempting to create the news instead of just reporting it. The more they’ve done this the less they’re trusted. Voters in particular have become more sophisticated about how questions are worded and asked. I haven’t run a poll to write this post, but my gut tells me that people no longer trust polling as in years past.

Finally, with the advent of so many polls and with every aspect of politics influenced by them, they no longer hold sway over voters. Those polled frequently now give false answers to many polling organizations skewing them even further and making them even less valid. Can’t say as I’m too upset about this.

Bill and Hillary Clinton lived by polls. Their lack of leadership reflected a dependence on others to tell them how to “lead.” Hopefully, those days are over. If Zogby is correct, which is way to early to determine, I’d consider that a good thing.

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