fuck the polls, full speed ahead
why are we all running around with our hair on fire?
holy shit, all the latest polls show Biden and Trump running neck and neck. should we be freaking the fuck out, or what?
it’s maddening. the most accomplished president of our lifetime is running against a quadrice-indicted twice-impeached popular-vote-losing adderall-huffing insurrection-leading judge-threatening lawyer-ignoring witness-tampering inheritance-squandering serial-sexual-predating draft-dodging casino-bankrupting daughter-perving hush-money-paying real-estate-scamming bone-spur-faking ketchup-hurling justice-obstructing classified-war-plan-thieving weather-map-defacing horse-paste-promoting paper-towel-flinging tax-cheating evidence-destroying charity-defrauding money-laundering diaper-filling 91-count fluorescent tangerine crime-factory.
this election should be a slam dunk. instead, we’re all running around with our hair on fire.
what the fuck is going on?
we all obsess over polls. polls are impossible to avoid, and our horse-race-fixated media never stops shoving them in our faces
but let’s all come down off the ledge for a minute, and consider this:
14 months out from any election, polls don’t mean shit.
Dan Pfeiffer is a former senior advisor to Barack Obama and currently a co-host of Pod Save America. he knows his stuff, and here’s what he has to say:
At this exact moment twelve years ago, I was sitting in my West Wing office looking at internal campaign polling that showed Barack Obama losing to a generic Republican candidate. Obama’s approval rating in public polling was under 40 percent. The Democratic chattering class had not yet suffered through the shock of 2016, so they were less likely to panic, but Obama’s re-election prospects were still concerning in September of 2011.
As Chris Hayes pointed out on his show last week, it is normal for an incumbent President to be in a dead heat more than a year before the election. In September of 1983, Ronald Reagan led Walter Mondale by one point in a Gallup poll. Fourteen months later, Reagan won 58.9 percent of the popular vote, 525 electoral votes, and 49 states. In August of 1995, Bill Clinton and Bob Dole were tied 48-48 in a CNN/Time poll. Clinton then defeated Dole by more than nine points.
here’s WaPo columnist Jennifer Rubin, reminding us that the whole quote-unquote “science” of polling is broken as fuck.
First, the polling field is broken. Or, if you listen to pollsters’ complaints, it is consistently misapplied and misinterpreted. Polls didn’t come within shouting distance of the right result in either 2016 or 2020. And they misled voters about the fictitious red wave in 2022. Whatever the reasons — call blocking, excessive hang-ups, incorrect modeling of likely voters — even polls taken much closer to elections have consistently turned out to be far off base. The fixation on low-cost, horse-race coverage might satisfy the political media’s desire to project insider expertise or to appear neutral (hey, it’s the voters who say these things!), but there is no excuse to recycle highly suspect information from sources known to be flawed.
Jen also points out that the people being polled are often incoherent tribal dipshits:
Second, voters tell us utterly contradictory things. Around 60 percent tell pollsters that four-time-indicted former president Donald Trump should drop out. But then nearly half say they’ll vote for him. Which is it? There is a hefty amount of research that what voters say they want doesn’t align with how they vote. Whether it is gas prices or the war in Ukraine or the candidates themselves, respondents often give contradictory answers, suggesting they either don’t understand the question, don’t really know what they think or respond based on tribal loyalty.
so, a little perspective. this far from the election, the polls might be dead on, but it’s more likely they’re no more accurate than throwing Viking rune sticks.
and never forget that our profit-obsessed corporate-controlled media will go out of its way to create and hype drama, even where none exists.
am I saying not to worry about a thing? no, I’m absolutely not saying that. in this stupid fucked-up world of ours, there is never ever a reason for complacency.
here’s Dan Pfeiffer again:
You are right to be anxious. This will be an incredibly close election, and the stakes could not be higher. However, perspective and context can help you manage that anxiety.
all I’m saying is that 14 months out from the election, there is no fucking need to panic.
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