top of page
  • Writer's pictureQuintus

Poll-Axed

Voters are keeping their cards close...


Voter poll
Breast your cards

Amazon is taking over a world where the vast majority of Americans, if the polls are to be trusted, shop local and are avid readers. I’ve never been a spread sheet kind of guy, but the most striking thing about poll data is how astonishingly wrong the poll data is.


The problem is two-fold, the first of which is that polls only show what people want to admit. For years all the marketing data showed that flyers would pay extra to not be corralled like errant cattle by the airlines, and yet when it comes time to throw the money down, nearly everyone will agree to be brutalized to save a few bucks. Hillary Clinton’s lopsided advantage in the polls – with a better that 96% chance of winning – was thrown off by the fact that while democratic leaning voters were perfectly willing to admit they’d vote for Clinton, a vast swathe of Republicans were keeping their mother shut. Which brings us to the much larger problem in the general polling data.


Earlier this summer, a poll conducted by Politico of GOP county chairs showed that 29% of the chairs supported Trump to DeSantis, who weighed in on the same poll at 14%. This is the same sort of thing that most of the polls are reporting. The poll was sent to all 3,000 GOP county chairs in the country. 133 responded. The most telling thing about the poll isn’t how 133 responded, but that 2,867 did not. To be clear, 113 is 4.43% of 3,000. To be clearer, this wasn’t a random sampling – these were dedicated political nerds. In a poll of GOP county chairs responding to a poll about the Republican presidential nominee, 95.5% did not respond. Even accounting for incompetent by the post office, secretaries and cleaning staff, you might lose 200 or so, but not 2,867. That’s a lot of interested parties not responding.


There is an old saying that runs: “No man is truly married until he understands every word his wife doesn’t say.” And any husband who can pull that off will admit that divining understanding out of silence is more art than science. And with that in mind, we’d do well to listen to what they aren’t saying, which is probably something along the lines of: “We don’t want any part of this.”


So Trump looks like a shoo-in in the Republican polls, but 4.43% isn’t enough to secure a nomination. What this points to is that the vast majority of Republicans are simply keeping their mouths shut and weighing their options. It also suggests that they may not break the way the pollsters are predicting.


For Trump, a big, solid Iowa win will almost ensure a Trump/Biden geriatric rehash. A loss or even a narrow win in Iowa would up-end the primary. And that’s when those 2,867 GOP, or 95%, of county chairs are going to start showing their cards.

Another poll suggests that some 65% of American would consider a third option. Mind, being “open to the option” and putting your money on the barrel are two entirely different things. Just ask JetBlue customer who claims to value their human dignity. Still, 65% of the country willing to consider a candidate without even knowing who it is, is poll that’s saying something else entirely. If there is a third option, or a fourth, that stands to reshuffle the American political deck for a generation.


On the other hand, if either Biden or Trump wins, we’ve just kicked the reshuffle down one more election.

Comments


bottom of page