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Where the Polls Went Wrong (FLASHBACK: Carter Reagan)
Time Magazine ^ | Dec. 1, 1980 | John F. Stacks

Posted on 11/02/2008 9:57:48 AM PST by FocusNexus

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 vote - a 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 elections - the pollsters' findings had closely agreed with the voting results for most of the past 30 years -how 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 ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Front Page News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: antichrist; conspiracy; elections; mccain; obama; polls
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Let's make this another historic election proving the polls wrong.

Get out and vote -- don't let the MSM select our president, by making their predictions a self fulfilling prophecy. Just think if many of the Reagan voters had stayed home, based on the poll predictions...

1 posted on 11/02/2008 9:57:49 AM PST by FocusNexus
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To: FocusNexus

Can somebody tell me why public polling is not illegal? They are obviously prone to being tainted, and can unfairly affect the outcome of elections.

In sure, they represent a dangerous path to the abridgement of our right to free and fair elections.


2 posted on 11/02/2008 10:01:37 AM PST by StatenIsland (The '08 Election: It's about the survival of our country, not making a point...)
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To: StatenIsland
Can somebody tell me why public polling is not illegal?

The First Amendment.

3 posted on 11/02/2008 10:07:02 AM PST by nwrep
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To: FocusNexus

The last two paragraphs of this story sum it up.


4 posted on 11/02/2008 10:08:32 AM PST by Ikemeister
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To: StatenIsland
Can somebody tell me why public polling is not illegal? They are obviously prone to being tainted, and can unfairly affect the outcome of elections. In sure, they represent a dangerous path to the abridgement of our right to free and fair elections.

Applause, applause, I couldn't agree more. Its almost as if pollsters are actively trying to manipulate the outcome of elections. Its a very dangerous path, you are absolutely right!

5 posted on 11/02/2008 10:08:54 AM PST by conservativegramma
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To: FocusNexus
I smell smoke, the MSM is about to find out that all their bias, butt-kissing and pandering has been for naught. We are coming to vote for McCain/Palin in numbers they can't even dream of......

GOTV FReepers.......now is the time.

6 posted on 11/02/2008 10:09:42 AM PST by ScreamingFist (Annihilation - The result of underestimating your enemies. NRA)
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To: FocusNexus

**Let’s make this another historic election proving the polls wrong.**

I would rather, instead of seeing a Reagan/Carter style Beating, See a REAGAN/MONDALE style LANDSLIDE


7 posted on 11/02/2008 10:10:06 AM PST by gwilhelm56 (HITLER offered Hope and Change!!)
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To: FocusNexus
"Re-interviewing 2,651 adults who had been questioned before the election, Mitofsky found that some 13% of the voters changed their minds in the last few days of the campaign "

This does not include the 8-12% who are undecided today.

McCain pulls it out.

yitbos

8 posted on 11/02/2008 10:11:33 AM PST by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds.")
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To: FocusNexus
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.

and here in the story is the exact reason the polls ahve been tilted to favor Obama, it is all the media has

9 posted on 11/02/2008 10:14:36 AM PST by edzo4 (Vote McCain, Keep Your Change)
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To: conservativegramma

Prone to being tainted? When the CONSISTENTLY skew the polls ONLY one direction thier is no “prone” to it.

THEY ARE DELIBERATELY TAINED TO TRY TO DEPRESS THE CONSERVATIVE VOTE TURNOUT!

~~~~~~~~~~~


10 posted on 11/02/2008 10:14:55 AM PST by woodb01 (ANTI-DNC Web Portal at ---> http://www.noDNC.com)
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To: gwilhelm56
I'd be happy with either, 1980

or 1984


11 posted on 11/02/2008 10:18:16 AM PST by edzo4 (Vote McCain, Keep Your Change)
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To: FocusNexus

TIME and the rest of the MSM already KNOW that McCain is winning, they are now in CYA mode to explain why.


12 posted on 11/02/2008 10:20:00 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: FocusNexus
One puzzling phenomenon that the pollsters have not been able to cope with, or even explain thoroughly, is the so-called closet Reaganite. For whatever reason, people clearly voted for Reagan in this election who had said they would not.
13 posted on 11/02/2008 10:20:30 AM PST by sanchmo
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To: edzo4

Just one correction, Carter won Georgia in 1980.


14 posted on 11/02/2008 10:22:40 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: FocusNexus

America isn’t as in love w/bama as the pollsters are. The continue to have to add Dems to their mixes to get the desired results.

Pray for W, McCuda and Our Troops


15 posted on 11/02/2008 10:22:51 AM PST by bray (Rezko = Obama)
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To: nwrep
Can somebody tell me why public polling is not illegal?

The First Amendment.

Then why can I not campaign right outside the voting booth? It is an unfair attempt to manipulate the outcome of an election, and trumps my right to free speech.

16 posted on 11/02/2008 10:26:13 AM PST by StatenIsland (The '08 Election: It's about the survival of our country, not making a point...)
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To: edzo4

Not only that, but that’s the reason WHY there are waaaaay more polls this cycle than any other cycle.
To spread propaganda. Pure and simple.


17 posted on 11/02/2008 10:26:26 AM PST by snarkytart
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To: StatenIsland

You can engage in “electioneering” within up to around 50 feet of most polling places. That means they have signs, and can distribute literature, even while you are in line until you come to within 50 feet of the voting booth.


18 posted on 11/02/2008 10:29:37 AM PST by woodb01 (ANTI-DNC Web Portal at ---> http://www.noDNC.com)
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To: FocusNexus
Good paragraph here:
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 actually 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.
There are a lot of people out there who CANNOT admit they will be voting for McCain, because the fear catching hell.
19 posted on 11/02/2008 10:31:02 AM PST by PapaBear3625 ("In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." -- George Orwell)
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To: FocusNexus
Gallup Poll Says Reagan Tied by Mondale, Glenn

A great old thread from 2004 about what the polls had to say before the election in years past.

Great titles for old news stories:

Poll Puts Mondale Even With Reagan (July 1984)

Roosevelt Odds For Re-election Slump to 7 to 5: Digest Ballot, Indicating His Policies Unpopular (dec. 1935)

Poll Sees Dewey Sweep Like Roosevelt in '36 Sept 1948

Carter Goes Into Debate With Lead in New Poll: Oct 1980

Perot Hurts Clinton Most, Poll Finds; Texas Billionaire More Damaging to Arkansan Than to Bush (April 1992)

20 posted on 11/02/2008 10:41:37 AM PST by machman
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To: FocusNexus
Bump to the top

An Appeal to Grass Roots America Part 1!

YES WE CAN! WE CAN WIN! WE MUST WIN!


21 posted on 11/02/2008 10:45:59 AM PST by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
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To: FocusNexus
The vast majority of polls had Reagan winning as of the last week of the 1980 campaign. Some by a healthy margin. It is true that only one or two predicted the landslide of 10% but the result final result was not in doubt if you followed the polls. See “1981 the pre election polls, a review” by CBS News.
22 posted on 11/02/2008 10:49:24 AM PST by brydic1
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To: StatenIsland
Then why can I not campaign right outside the voting booth? It is an unfair attempt to manipulate the outcome of an election, and trumps my right to free speech.

Ah yes, the straw man argument. Well, the First Amendment has many exclusions and restrictions. Yelling "fire" in a crowded theater is one, canvassing/campaigning within a 100 feet of a polling station is another. In the case of both, the balance is between your right and the hardship imposed on others due to you exercizing your right. In each case, the balance is resolved in a common sense manner.

23 posted on 11/02/2008 10:54:52 AM PST by nwrep
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To: StatenIsland

Voting it’s not a constitutional right. Show me where in the constitution such right is.


24 posted on 11/02/2008 10:57:49 AM PST by gedeon3
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To: FocusNexus

A great reminder! Bookmarked. thanks.


25 posted on 11/02/2008 10:58:00 AM PST by cvq3842
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To: brydic1

“See “1981 the pre election polls, a review” by CBS News.”

LINK? The article you are citing sounds more like the MSM trying to justify their total bias and being wrong.

THIS article says:

“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.

At the heart of the controversy is the fact that no published survey detected the Reagan landslide before it actually happened. Three weeks before the election, for example, TIME’S polling firm, Yankelovich, Skelly and White, produced a survey of 1,632 registered voters showing the race almost dead even, as did a private survey by Caddell. Two weeks later, a survey by CBS News and the New York Times showed about the same situation.

Some pollsters at that time, however, were getting results that showed a slight Reagan lead. ABC News-Harris surveys, for example, consistently gave Reagan a lead of a few points until the climactic last week of October. “


26 posted on 11/02/2008 11:03:30 AM PST by FocusNexus ("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." -- Vince Lombardi)
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To: brydic1

“The vast majority of polls had Reagan winning as of the last week of the 1980 campaign. Some by a healthy margin. It is true that only one or two predicted the landslide of 10% but the result final result was not in doubt if you followed the polls. See “981 the pre election polls, a review”by CBS News.”

Your statement is COMPLETELY INACCURATE.

I found the article you are referring to and it says the opposite — it says what the TIME Mag article I just posted says, that the polls were wrong and Reagan surged in the last few days, but the polls DID NOT show that.

Here is the link for everyone to see.

THE 1980 PRE-ELECTION POLLS: A REVIEW OF DISPARATE METHODS AND RESULTS

Warren J. Mitofsky, CBS News

http://www.amstat.org/sections/SRMS/proceedings/papers/1981_011.pdf

“There has been much speculation about what went
wrong with the pre-election polls of 1980. All
the major published polls seriously understated
Ronald Reagan’s margin of victory over Jimmy
Carter (table i) based mostly on interviewing
completed late in the week before election day.”


27 posted on 11/02/2008 11:10:26 AM PST by FocusNexus ("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." -- Vince Lombardi)
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To: FocusNexus

The difference: Reagan had a debate the Thursday night before the election. That, of course, was the historice “there you go again” debate that fully displayed the Reagan charm.


28 posted on 11/02/2008 11:11:22 AM PST by LoveUSA (I'm for "Big Mac and the Cuda")
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To: gedeon3
Voting it’s not a constitutional right. Show me where in the constitution such right is.

Article IV. Section 4 - Republican government

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

29 posted on 11/02/2008 11:20:34 AM PST by MozarkDawg
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To: FocusNexus
My vote for the silliest paragraph in this ridiculous exercise in rationalization:

The public opinion industry has christened Caddell's thesis the "big bang" theory of the campaign: 8 million voters moving to Reagan in 48 hours. To a large extent, most public opinion researchers support this theory, although many do so with major qualifications.

30 posted on 11/02/2008 11:23:16 AM PST by snowsislander
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To: FocusNexus

One thing this shows is what I’ve said in other threads: the media will never, never, never report poll results favoring the Republican candidate, at least at the Presidential level.

There are only two possible outcomes of a Presidential poll: either the Democrat is “comfortably ahead,” or the poll is “too close to call.”


31 posted on 11/02/2008 11:23:34 AM PST by Steely Tom (RKBA: last line of defense against vote fraud)
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To: FocusNexus
Go to page 4 of the article and actually read the results and you will see that of the 28 different poll results during the last week only 5 indicated a Carter lead. The others indicated a Reagan lead. The most misleading polls were as expected the CBS NYTimes and the Washington Post Poll. But clearly Reagan was in the lead in the final week of the campaign and according to Writhlin of the Reagan campaign their internal polls indicated Reagan in the lead almost throughout out the campaign.
32 posted on 11/02/2008 11:27:42 AM PST by brydic1
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To: MozarkDawg

Yes, the Constitution requires every state to have a republican form of government. However, the is no Constitutional right to vote for President or Vice President of the United States.


33 posted on 11/02/2008 11:30:27 AM PST by My GOP
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To: MozarkDawg

I still don’t see a constitutional right to vote for president of the US.


34 posted on 11/02/2008 11:34:20 AM PST by gedeon3
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I think we should start a campaign with the motto
Vote Obama 2008 2012!
Obama is young. People who want to vote for him can vote for him in 2012, AFTER he has proven he can accomplish something positive.

He's got plenty of time to save the world, if that is his "destiny."

So far, Obama has given his Illinois constituents slums, homes they could not afford, bad schools, and abandonment of babies who survived abortion.

It's not a pretty picture.

Voters are making this decision for their children, too.

They should make sure they are not throwing away their children's birthright to be free to succeed.

Obama needs to be tested.

35 posted on 11/02/2008 11:35:11 AM PST by syriacus (The MSM has questioned Obama for 2 years. It took a plumber to get Obama to admit he's a socialist.)
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To: brydic1

Read it more carefully — the point is the huge difference weightings can make. The polls they are showing with Reagan in the lead are “unweighted”, before the MSM manipulated them to show better numbers for Carter, which was published.


36 posted on 11/02/2008 11:36:47 AM PST by FocusNexus ("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." -- Vince Lombardi)
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To: FocusNexus

No doubt, the MSM will weight the polls to the disadvantage of the Republican candidate but even so the polls clearly indicated a Reagan lead. My own sense of how that election was going to go doing some private polling in my area indicated the landslide that actually happened. I do not have any such feeling of such a likely result in this election.


37 posted on 11/02/2008 11:44:34 AM PST by brydic1
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To: brydic1

We don’t need a landslide, just a definite McCain win.

I think it’s still possible, even likely, IF the McCain voters get out and actually vote.

Otherwisze we might as well cancel all future elections, including this one, and let the MSM tell us, based on their biased polling, who will be our next president.


38 posted on 11/02/2008 11:49:35 AM PST by FocusNexus ("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." -- Vince Lombardi)
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To: brydic1
My own sense of how that election was going to go doing some private polling in my area indicated the landslide that actually happened. I do not have any such feeling of such a likely result in this election.

Thanks for that historical perspective. Do you have ANY indication that we are going to pull this thing off? Forget a landslide for McCain - even that he is going to win?

39 posted on 11/02/2008 12:16:13 PM PST by nwrep
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To: gedeon3; My GOP
Let's try it this way, the definition of Republic:

republic n 1 : a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and is usually a president; also : a nation or other political unit having such a government 2 : a government in which supreme power is held by the citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives governing according to law; also : a nation or other political unit having such a form of government Source: NMW

In the context of the United States, both definitions apply.


A system whereby the elected officers and representatives, chief of state not a monarch, usually a president, are elected by the citizens who are entitled to do so, have the right. If we did not have this right, the phrase would not be used in subsequent amendments.

As with Amendment X, the Founders didn't think that every single thing/detail had to be spelled out in simple English in order that it be comprehended by posterity.

40 posted on 11/02/2008 12:20:59 PM PST by MozarkDawg
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To: StatenIsland

Polling would be illegal. If it demoralizing effects tended to help the Republicans.


41 posted on 11/02/2008 12:50:13 PM PST by Mad_as_heck (The MSM - America's (domestic) public enemy #1.)
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To: nwrep
For what is worth:

I have been a election judge in my precinct for many years and know first hand many of the voters. It is a conservative precinct in a conservative city and county in a bellwether state. After all, this precinct and county voted for Goldwater in 1964. I believe my precinct will vote for McCain but the margin of victory will be substantially reduced from 2004. People are blaming Bush and the GOP for the nations problems be it rightly or wrongly. It does not really matter, they are much less inclined to support the GOP this year than in years past. I suspect we will lose not only the presidency but a good many seats in the House of Rep and the Senate but almost as bad we will probably lose the governorship, and many seats in our state legislature.

Most people think we have been tremendously ill served by the Republican President who has so little leadership ability and the Republicans who have so disgraced themselves from Cunningham to Foley and continuing now to Stevens during the last two Congresses.

Since Obama was not really a factor in an administrative or legislative capacity during the last 8 years, he will escape any portion of the blame.

42 posted on 11/02/2008 12:56:56 PM PST by brydic1
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To: FocusNexus

When the pollsters are so politically biased they become irrational and make the polling questions biased as well.

They can’t simply ask, “Which Presidential candidate are you voting for?”

Instead, they ask questions such as, “Do you prefer a candidate that gives you a middle class tax break?”, then assume only Obama is doing so and mark the person as voting for Obama.

They also poll “Republicans” in libral cities. They assume Republicans that might vote for Obama in Atlanta represent Republicans in Denver or Witchita, so they skew the results taken from Atlanta as results representative of the entire US.

The pollsters also have been adding fudge factors. They poll what they call scientific respresentations then add a more for Obama by saying that “probably” more blacks than average will vote this year and those blacks will be voting Obama.

I take these polls with a grain of salt.


43 posted on 11/02/2008 1:00:55 PM PST by CodeToad
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To: gedeon3

“Voting it’s not a constitutional right. Show me where in the constitution such right is.”

Are you seriously that ignorant of the United States Constitution???


44 posted on 11/02/2008 1:02:46 PM PST by CodeToad
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To: woodb01

Electioneering at 50 feet? What state are you in.

I am an election judge here in CA and it is 100 feet from the entrance of the voting room.


45 posted on 11/02/2008 1:44:38 PM PST by Not gonna take it anymore
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To: PapaBear3625

I was just polled by Rasmussen. I lied through my teeth. I doubt that I’m the only one.


46 posted on 11/02/2008 1:53:55 PM PST by fretzer
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To: gwilhelm56

Too much to hope for. I’ll be satisfied with any result, no matter how narrow, that keeps Obama out of the White House.


47 posted on 11/02/2008 2:35:24 PM PST by WOSG (STOP OBAMA'S SOCIALISM - Change we need: Replace the Democrat Congress)
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To: fretzer

“I lied through my teeth.”

WHY?

that’s only helping the whole media GOP vote suppression tactic.


48 posted on 11/02/2008 2:37:59 PM PST by WOSG (STOP OBAMA'S SOCIALISM - Change we need: Replace the Democrat Congress)
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To: CodeToad

**Are you seriously that ignorant of the United States Constitution???**

they’re right... Nothing in Constitution...
Voting is NOT a NATIONAL thing.. there are 50 state elections. We vote for our local, state etc and vote for Electors for President... WE DO NO VOTE FOR PRESIDENT. that is the ONLY “”National Office” we just tally electors for the Electoral College.

Trust us, or REread your Constitution. If you don’t have one ... Why the F*** NOT?? Heritage.Org has been giving them away all year .. mine is right here next to my printer.


49 posted on 11/02/2008 3:22:40 PM PST by gwilhelm56 (HITLER offered Hope and Change!!)
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To: gwilhelm56

The quote is “Voting is not a Constitutional right.” Voting most certainly is. Your post is gibberish.


50 posted on 11/02/2008 4:10:13 PM PST by CodeToad
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