By Harvey Oberfeld
June 10th, 2015
I wonder if partisan party supporters ever realize how they amuse … or frustrate …. the rest of us when they promote or pooh-pooh and pontificate over political polling results.
It must be wonderful, in a way, to have your mind made up, and not have to intellectually assess the FACTS … good or bad … and seriously examine and evaluate information BEFORE coming to a conclusion!
Just over the past week, I’ve noticed how supporters of all three major federal parties … including several personal friends … are ALL exhilarated over the latest federal poll that put the Conservatives and Liberals at 31% popular support, followed by the NDP at 30% … a dead heat in statistical terms.
And each has offered all kinds of party-style propaganda proving how it’s THEIR party that has the greatest room to grow: Victory is at hand … ALL of them insist.
But wait a minute!
These are the same people who had ridiculed, put down and vilified as no-longer-reliable or trustworthy or even worth paying any attention to the entire political polling process after the disastrous the embarrassingly WRONG polls during BC’s past provincial election.
They ALL had proffered that polling samples don’t really represent those who actually vote; the polls don’t include those with cell phones, just those with land lines; and, my favorite, the polls are skewed to get results favorable to those who pay for them.
Frankly, I wondered about that too.
And couldn’t help but notice that the polls were not only WRONG in the BC election, but also the recent U.K. election (almost none of them predicting a Conservative majority). And many cast doubt on Alberta polling that predicted an NDP win … pointing out that in 2012, the polls wrongly suggested a Wildrose win.
Not to mention …but let’s … a US Gallup poll in 2012 that predicted a Romney win or any number of polls on Fox News … for months on end … that Obama was in BIG trouble, would lose to Romney etc. etc.
Polling was discredited amongst MANY partisan political supporters.
Until now … when they LIKE what they see!
Now I keep hearing Harper is slipping, in trouble; Trudeau is gaining, heading to the top; and, Mulcair is surging, with more room to grow than anyone else! Just look at the polls!!!
The truth is, in my lonnnng experience, that election outcomes are almost always determined in the last few weeks of the campaign … especially the last two.
And they are very much impacted … clearly NOT by polls … but by promises … especially tax cuts and other bribes; performances in election debates; revelations of embarrassing information; in relatively few instances; personal popularity(especially in local ridings); and, campaign ads … including, sorry to say, negative ones.
Notice I did not mention: past policies that failed; environmental shortcomings; First Nations disappointments; disclosure failures or cover-ups or, sorry to say, even scandals …unless they are REALLY BIG … like the Liberal advertising spending and payoffs in Quebec last time around.
Those things SHOULD count … but don’t, for most voters.
And clearly neither do the polls … five months out … no matter how much the partisan pushers try to propagandize you.