EGI Notes

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Questions on Polling

Trump.

"Opinion polls" tell us that the majority of Americans - including a majority of Republicans - wholeheartedly support illegal alien amnesty. That's the drumbeat of news reporting on a weekly basis.

If that is so, if that is true, then why do other polls tell us that Donald Trump has risen so sharply as a candidate among Republican voters after making strong remarks against illegal aliens, remarks that the usual suspects complain are "offensive?"

You'd think the opposite should be true, no?  

I don't watch "FOX" or read any mainstream conservative papers, but I wonder if any of those conservative sell-outs have even noticed this inconsistency. The reality is of course that opinion polls on controversial subjects are designed to create opinion, not measure it.

All you need to do is (1) craft the questions in such a way as to lead the polling subjects to the desired answers, (2) pick a polling sample which is as non-representative as possible and skewed in favor of the desired answers. and (3) report the results in a breathless and misleading manner.

Given the most folks are conformist sheep, hearing that others allegedly believe "X,Y,Z" will make these folks also inclined toward "X,Y,Z."  The same principle holds with news reporting, editorials, etc. Jeb Bush has been created into a "front runner" by virtue of the mass media repeatedly reporting him as such, even before he officially announced a candidacy.  It's the "jump on the bandwagon" herd mentality. As another example: ever wonder why, in election time, people put signs on their lawns and stickers on their cars proclaiming their adherence to a candidate?  What's the purpose?  Simple: to create the sense to the lemming observer that "hey, lots of people are supporting this person, that's what everyone is doing, they must be right and good, so I had better support the candidate myself." Why else spend the time and money on something so stupid?

As well: let's assume for the moment that opinion polls (at least sometimes) do reflect public opinion. What does that tell us about the public that their opinions on major issues and personalities are so fickle and can be so easily swayed by recent events and propaganda? It always amazes me when a President's approval ratings move up and down so quickly, based on some sort of recent event or speech.  Don't the people being polled have any convictions whatsoever?  For example, imagine a President who represents everything a person opposes, whose actions and speeches work against that person's interests. You'd expect that such a person would, when polled, give the President a rating of "disapproval."  Why then should that suddenly change a month later to "approval" because "the economy grew by 0.001% this quarter" or "employment rates increased by 0.25%" or something or other happened which does not in any material way change the underlying reality of what is happening? 

And some people still support "democracy?"

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