- Mar 27, 2013
- Reaction score
IMO, polling is impossible to do anymore. Even if your goal is to actually do an accurate poll (which isn't the case in many polls -- they're funded to influence vs inform), how could you do it?One of the reasons that polling is SO difficult, is that the composition of Trump voters is very hard to sort out.
Besides the polling being significantly off by underestimating these non-traditional voters and “shy Trump voters“, I believe that there are a couple factors that won’t show up in the polling.
One is that I’m hearing that the RNC has put together a very significant ground game that is key to the “get out the vote” campaign, whereas Democrats have for some reason lessened their effort in this regard. The RNC is relying on personal contacts to assure Trump voters get to the polls, and I’m sure this is especially significant in key battleground states.
The other thing that I think could be a factor is that the Democrats have relied significantly more heavily on mail-in ballots for voting. Whether they are delivered by mail or dropped in a ballot box, a percentage of them will be disqualified for various reasons, like failure to sign or failure to enclose in the required envelopes. People voting in-person have a near 100% reliability of their vote being recorded accurately.
- People that get asked to be part of the poll know they can game the system, just like you see "independent" or "republican" voters in these threads claim they're all of a sudden voting for Biden. Here it is easy to go back and time and call them out on their lie, but a pollster can't do that. You can claim to be from any party and to be whatever minority or gender you want.
- Even if you could do a history check on everyone to try to determine if they're telling the truth about their party affiliation and such, how do you reach a non-biased representative sample of people? It used to be everyone had a landline - one number for each family and you talked with whoever in that family picked up the phone. I don't know anyone that has a landline anymore, obviously they still exist, but it's not a huge percentage anymore. And for cellphones, I have five numbers. Does that mean I have a five times greater chance of getting included in a survey so people like me are over-represented in the polls?
- And even if you could get a non-biased sample pool of people, how do you actually know who's going to vote? Specifically, if they're using Absentee ballots, how do you know who's going to follow the rules correctly (which apparently was a HUGE issue in the primaries where significant percentages of ballots were rejected).
- And even if they do vote and follow the right procedures, how do you know they won't change their mind when they do vote? IMO in a poll people are much more likely to say they're going to vote for Ye or JoJo or even Howie, but when it comes time to actually do it, they're not going to waste their vote (Spoof being the exception of course).
So, I go back to what I think is the most significant tell.
- Successful politicians are the ones that win elections, it's as simple as that. They have figured out what it takes to read the voters and to adjust their campaigns to whatever it takes to get their votes. When you see a candidate make a major switch in their adverts or such, there's a reason for that change. The politician knows they need to make that change to have a chance to win. You're seeing huge pivots in Minnesota and the other swing states of Democratic candidates distancing themselves from Biden and basically no Republicans distancing themselves from Trump. And we are seeing Republicans running adverts trying to tie their Democratic opponent to Biden. As one data point, the opposite was happening in MN in 2016, back when Trump lost the state. That's the biggest tell.
- The second is voter enthusiasm. Trump has a HUGE ground game in the midwestern states, Biden has zero. He didn't even have a ground game office in Michigan until recently. Word of mouth is huge in getting out the vote, and the Biden camp doesn't have anything going on that front.
- The third is the downstream ballot. Are there significant issues happening on the lower races that will get people out to vote? This year in MN, there really isn't. Other years, there have been (e.g., Right to work laws, gay rights laws, etc.). So this year, it's 1 and 2.