Skip to comments.Where the Polls Went Wrong (Reagan/Carter 1980)
Posted on 10/05/2008 12:44:48 PM PDT by tatown
Reagan's landslide challenges the pulse-taker profession
For weeks before the presidential election, the gurus of public opinion polling were nearly unanimous in their findings. In survey after survey, they agreed that the coming choice between President Jimmy Carter and Challenger Ronald Reagan was "too close to call." A few points at most, they said, separated the two major contenders.
But when the votes were counted, the former California Governor had defeated Carter by a margin of 51% to 41% in the popular votea rout for a U.S. presidential race. In the electoral college, the Reagan victory was a 10-to-l avalanche that left the President holding only six states and the District of Columbia.
After being so right for so long about presidential electionsthe pollsters' findings had closely agreed with the voting results for most of the past 30 yearshow could the surveys have been so wrong? The question is far more than technical. The spreading use of polls by the press and television has an important, if unmeasurable, effect on how voters perceive the candidates and the campaign, creating a kind of synergistic effect: the more a candidate rises in the polls, the more voters seem to take him seriously.
(Excerpt) Read more at time.com ...
"If the pollsters are united on one point, it is that they are not solely to blame for misleading the public; the fault must be shared with the press, they say, which has never fully understood the limitations of surveying.
Says Cuff Zukin, poll director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics: "We are overconsumed with predicting what will happen. Polls predicting who is going to win the election are worthless. First, they can be very inaccurate at the time of the election be cause they are only accurate at the time they are taken.
They do not predict the future." Agrees Marquette University Sociologist Wayne Youngquist: "The media want the pollsters to be seers. We want them to do more than they can."
Negative voting, large numbers of undecideds, low turnout all these factors made polling this year more difficult. Says Caddell: "This is the first election in which the voters didn't really like either candidate much.""
And this was before cell phones. How many today have no land line?
Reagan’s dead, and McCain’s No Reagan.
Until we get a handle somehow on the media & school systems, I don’t hold out much hope for the future.
-—the fault must be shared with the press, they say, which has never fully understood the limitations of surveying.
I argue its evident the press doesn’t care rather then ‘never fully understood’.
Why beat around the bush? The story could cite 50 examples of the MSM misrepresenting poll numbers.
How’s this for a nightmare scenario.....
McCain refuses to slam the Democrats for Fannie-Freddie/subprime mortgages, yet he wins anyway. The media refuses to report the actual election results and says that Obama won. Obama supporters celebrate in the streets. McCain then concedes the election because he doesn’t want to appear “divisive”. He tells his supporters to put “Ccuntry First”, and promises them that he’ll reconsider drilling in ANWR when he returns to the Senate.
Haha. Americans loved Ronnie. Even back then the Democrats had no grasp of reality.
Put the hallucinogens away.
Everett Ladd, director of the University of Connecticut's Social Science Data Center, says flatly: "I am 100% certain that there was no 'closet Reaganism' in this election." Other pollsters tend to agree. But there is some evidence that suggests otherwise. Before the election, only 7% of the blacks surveyed by New York Times-CBS News said they were going to vote for Reagan; Election Day exit polling showed that 14% had ac tually cast their ballots for the Californian. But when re-polled by New York Times-CBS News, only 6% of blacks admitted they had voted for Reagan.
Never mind the Wilder Effect. There is a Closet Republican Effect!
You’ll never get a handle on the Main Stream Media and the Main Stream Schools.
Conservatives will have to create alternative “parallel” institutions for both.
Boy, do I remember this one. “Too close to call.” On election night I settled in, ready for a long night of nailbiting suspense . . . and when NBC’s election coverage signed on at 7:00 PM, John Chancellor was shocked, his face pale, as he looked into the camera and informed us that all indications were that there would be a decisive victory for (gulp) Ronald Reagan.
“McCain’s no Reagan.”
But Palin is.
I remember it the same way! On the way home from work, I heard on the car radio that the election was too close to call. Then I voted and went home to watch the results. And, guess what? Ronald Reagan won a landslide victory! What was the media thinking? What were the pollsters thinking? Were those statements honest? Or were they part of a continuing propaganda campaign to encourage one side and disspirit the other side? Since that time, I have ignored all polls, except the final poll — the election returns, themselves!
I am one of them. NH will get my straight-republican ballot within the next few weeks.
If McCain did that, Sarah Palin would shoot him with her moose gun. At least I'd like to think that she would at least think about it.
I have heard many times that you cannot study a system without affecting change on that same system. While that may be a gross generalization, I do believe that the more we are saturated with polls the less accurate they will become as they either cause voters to change their opinions, or affect the liklihood of a voter actually going to the polls.
Then: Are you going to vote for the incumbent President or a washed-up grade B cowboy movie star?
Now: Are you going to vote for the hope to the world, or be a bigot and vote for an old washed-up brain dead jet jockey?
No. She isn't.
It’s one of my fond memories. I came out of the college cafeteria, glanced up at the television in the lounge, and asked myself: “Why don’t they have any results yet? The map is still almost all one color. And then I realized....”