If the question is asked properly to a population selected scientifically, they often provide an accurate projection. But pollsters can twist a question or spot select respondents to try to gain results to affect what people think and create a tectonic shift in public opinion. One example of this is in Nevada's Senate race.
Polls tell a story.
That's the problem with polls. If the question is asked properly to a population selected scientifically, they often provide an accurate projection.
But pollsters can twist a question or spot select respondents to try to gain results to affect what people think and create a tectonic shift in public opinion.
One example of this is in Nevada's Senate race. I have said in columns several times that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will probably keep his seat in November.
Sharron Angle is a crackpot. But beyond that, Reid only needs a plurality of the votes to hold on to his seat. He skated in six years ago and it looks like he will again.
But a few polls recently seem to say otherwise.
Could I be wrong? I could be. But I don't think so.
Rasmussen and Fox News both did polls this week that showed Angle with a slight lead over Reid.
Here's the problem: There are seven candidates in the race. Neither Reid nor Angle will receive 49 or 47 percent of the votes cast.
Reference Suffolk and PPP polls taken during the same time that show Reid with a 2 to 3 percent lead over Angle and the five dwarfs.
Those other five candidates will receive a significant number of votes.
Reid and Angle both poll poorly in favorability ratings. The other five candidates will get a lot of "none of the above" votes.
That benefits Reid since people of Nevada have a history of voting for him, and he isn't as goofy as a three dollar bill.
Polling only the two of them has no relevance to how the actual election will turn out. I would hate to presume that Fox News and Rasmussen might try to slant the results of their polling.
Maybe it was an honest mistake brought on by incompetence instead of insolence.
When does 'The Architect' get his reputation rebuilt?
After Christine O'Donnell beat Mike Castle to become the GOP nominee in Delaware's senate race, Karl Rove - dubbed "The Architect" for leading George W. Bush to two terms in the White House - was eviscerated by his fellow right-leaning bobbleheads because he had the nerve to speak ill of a Republican candidate.
Rove was upset that O'Donnell - whom he noted had said wacky things and had a closet full of personal finance and education skeletons - had won because it hurt the GOP's chances of taking over the Senate.
They all took their turn smacking Rove and he cowtowed and begged the forgiveness of Rush Limbaugh and the Foxtones.
I wonder how long he will wait to scream, "Scoreboard!"
Every poll - no matter how slanted or hopeful - shows O'Donnell swimming upstream, trailing by at least 16 points. Most polls show close to a 20-point spread.
A recent Fox News poll shows that her vanquished primary opponent would still lead her general election opponent by the same large margin.
The debate between O'Donnell and Democrat Chris Coons on Wednesday night probably won't move those numbers in her favor.
Asked which recent Supreme Court decisions she disagreed with, O'Donnell said, "Oh, gosh, um, give me a specific one."
The moderator refused to offer a clue since the question was directed at a person who hopes to hold a seat in the body that confirms Supreme Court Justices.
"I'm very sorry. Right off the top of my head. I know that there are a lot, but. I'll put it up on my website. I promise you," O'Donnell said - hopeful that someone from her campaign staff could find something to put on her website about one of those silly court thingies that she probably disagrees with.
No wonder Sarah Palin endorsed her. If O'Donnell had a single-mother-daughter on "Dancing With the Stars," they could be twins.
O'Donnell's primary win was a general loss for the GOP.
It would take a special kind of magic to turn the tide with only three weeks to go.
Halloween is only few weeks away, but I don't think there is a strong enough potion to pull that off - at least not in Delaware.
Contact Kent Bush at email@example.com.