Why you can’t trust polls

So, fun little personal anecdote.  I had a political survey taker call me yesterday evening and ask me questions about which candidates I intended on supporting in the upcoming presidential and gubernatorial elections.  I almost felt bad for the poor girl asking me the questions, because I kept pointing out how the questions were biased towards driving responses toward a specific answer, and she would laugh and giggle like I was being funny.

Two of the questions stand out in my mind – one was along the lines of “Would you rather have a candidate with years of Washington experience, or one who will bring change and new ideas to the established system”; the other was “on the Iraq war, would you rather we stay in for as long as it takes, or withdraw in a responsible manner and focus on Afghanistan”.  Which is sort of why you can’t trust polls, because when the questions are phrased like that, of course I want change and new ideas in Washington, but I want them to be smart ideas and good change.  And with the Iraq question, yes, in fact, I wouldn’t mind if we weren’t in Iraq – but I’m guessing that my definition of “responsible withdrawal” is a hell of a lot different from Barack my socks off Obama.

At the end of it all, the girl on the phone asked me “even though you’ve indicated you’re currently supporting Senator McCain, what is likelihood that you’ll end up voting for Obama?”  I replied, “Unless he completely reverses his policies on gun control, taxation, energy, and pretty much everything else, there is no chance.”

I love biased questions.

4 thoughts on “Why you can’t trust polls”

  1. It wouldn’t surprise me, she sounded all deflated when I said I’d never vote for Obama or Jill Long Thompson.

  2. I would have answered, “I will vote for Obama when he promises to jump into a Volcano on Inauguration Day.”

  3. Another reason my distrust of the Media has grown so much, they gloss-over anomalies and treat these *complete artifacts* as if they were legitimate and real.
    Obama would flip-flop on that Volcano thing, you know to conserve energy or not to offend Pele or something.

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