• Mike Devx

    We were discussing polls a week ago, and whether they should be trusted or not.  The consensus back then – for most – was no, do not trust them.

    Now we have a whole slew of polls stating positive results for Romney.  And suddenly conservo-pundits are announcing the poll results rather breathlessly, and none of them are expressing the same kinds of comments about not trusting these polls.

    Seems a little inconsistent to me.  Perhaps even hypocritical?  Or disingenuous?

    One thing I think you can take from the polls is that some sort of shift *did happen as a result of the debates.  But if you didn’t believe the poll percentages before the debate, why would you believe the poll percentages after the debate?

    I think the most recent Pew poll just changed their sampling weighting from +6 Democrat to +3 Republican, and they have a 12 point shift in favor of Romney.  Um… DUH.  An automatic 9 point shift and an additional 3 points of momentum?  More people “self-identifying” as Republican?  Band-wagon effect?  Who knows? What can you trust?  Do you trust such pollsters’ models?

    And another thing about such “shifts”:  You see shifts after conventions too.  But those shifts are called “bounces” for a reason.  Because they dissipate.  I am supposing that the shift that has happened is among weakly-aligned voters.  They were marginally for Obama, and now they’re marginally for Romney.  Give them any sort of news favoring Obama – ANY sort of news whatsoever – and they’ll be right back in the Obama camp.  If they’re as shallow as I think they are.  Or perhaps more fairly, as shallow in their *support* for either candidate as I think they are.

    To me, VP debates are entertainment and ought not to count for much.  But perhaps among this weird thing we call the Dancing-With-The-Stars (I can’t be bothered to be serious) American electorate, a VP debate is just as meaningful as any other TV event in their unexamined lives.

    As for me, I’m still not going to be paying very much attention to the poll numbers. I don’t trust the methodologies, and I don’t trust the bias.  Though I don’t yet believe they are engaged in deliberate deception, I don’t think they’re capable of getting it right.  And I certainly don’t think they can catch the *depth* of voter decision-making.  Is a change in vote DEEP, or is it shallow?  Will it persist, or will most of those in the “shift” change their allegiance back to where it usually resides?

    I take it all with a grain of salt. Or maybe a whole shaker-full.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    I’m with you, Mike.  I don’t trust the new polls anymore than I trust the old polls.  With only 9% of all callers responding, and with the pollsters having a terrible time trying to figure out what model will work for this election, the polls are for amusement purposes only.

    I find much more interesting the dismay my Dem friends expressed on facebook, or those people who have told me that they’re seriously reconsidering whether to vote for Obama in 2012 after having seen, not only his lackluster performance, but Romney’s masterful one.  These bespeak a sea change that I wouldn’t have imagined a month ago.

    For the first time in a long time, I am cautiously optimistic.  The polls are fun, but the ground swell feels real.

  • Charles Martel

    I’m hoping that a lot of people will behave as I did in 1980 when I went into the booth to cast my vote for Jimmy Carter.
    I was still a doofus leftist, so I saw Ronald Reagan as a horseman of the Apocalypse, not even dimly perceiving the close-to-great president he would become.
    Despite my still-gobsmacked mindset, I just couldn’t bring myself to vote for Jimmuh. I rationalized my not casting a vote for either Carter or Reagan as the best way to accommodate my doubts.
    I didn’t realize then that I had taken my first huge step toward adulthood and political sanity. If I couldn’t bring myself to vote for a progressive deep thinker like Mr. Jimmy The Proto-Obama Carter, perhaps I was starting to come out of a fog?