Of Polls and Politicians

The Brexit vote wasn’t even close. Good on ya, John Bull. For better or worse, the British people have taken control of their future, not left it to faceless, unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels. The polls, as usual, weren’t close either.

What’s the deal on polls? They seem farther off more often than in the past. (Yes, I remember 1848.) Could it be that their samples are no longer representative of the populous? Many folks have posited that.

Or, may I suggest, in this age of weaponized statistics, polls err more often because they aren’t intended to discover what people think as much as to alter opinions? Polling has become a hidden persuader. Politicians substitute opinion polls (and focus groups, etc.) for leadership.

The pollsters have happily obliged. Today we are bombarded with numbers of doubtful providence trying to persuade us that “all right-thinking people” hold this or that opinion.

Personally, though contacted, I have declined to be surveyed for several decades.

Maybe I’m part of the problem.

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2 thoughts on “Of Polls and Politicians

  1. Another reason polls aren’t always on the money – people don’t always tell the truth in exit polls. Hence a surprise. I also decline by not answering the phone when contacted for a poll. And decline telemarketer/political garbage calls from places in S.C. Nevada and Milwaukee. I’ll be happy when the campaigns are over. Too looooooong.

    • Knowing that, Britain outlawed exit polls.
      Though one poll, taken just before the election, was released just after the polls closed. Don’t know what they intended, but they looked stupid, as they called it wrong.

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