Dec 20 2007

Are Wild Polls Nothing But Christmas Distractions?

Published by at 11:44 pm under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions

Never before has the Presidential election attempted an incursion into America’s sacred time to give thanks and pray for peace and solidarity. Never before has politics intruded so much on Christmas (and hopefully never again). The candidates’ desperate attacks and dirty tricks are ringing a harsh dissonant note against the backdrop of Christmas caroling, and friends and family uniting to celebrate a man who tried to bring people together in peace – not to divide them with heated rhetoric. I cannot help but notice this state level race to be first in the nation in the primaries is actually turning into a disaster as politics poisons a perfectly good American Holiday meant to transport us away from the daily grind to a happier place – even if it is a fleeting and brief escape.

I also cannot help but notice the polls started going haywire as we entered this last week before the big end of year break. We all know the problems with polls over the summer holidays when Americans are distracted with vacation and family. We all know weekend polls are highly suspect and erratic because of the fact catching people at home willing to talk politics becomes nearly impossible. They focused someplace else. So why would Christmas be much different? In fact, it is one of those condensed and universal breaks that effects all of America, and therefore would suffer the most in terms of capturing a representative sample of American opinion. All of America is pretty much focused on one thing right now – and it ain’t politics.

Does anyone else find it coincidental that the die-hard, social conservative, choice of Mike Huckabee is surging while the more ‘average citizen’ candidates, with broader generic name recognition, are sliding just as the attention of most Americans turns away from politics? The only ones paying attention are the die hard political junkies! The same could be said of the Edwards surge as well, being the darling of the more dedicated and fanatical left.

I am an engineer/scientist type who knows measurement or sampling is critical in reaching solid conclusions. For example, the global warming fanatics ignore or miss major atmospheric drivers (e.g., water vapor) in their models and therefore make conclusions that don’t even make sense with today’s world weather patterns. Their sampling is incomplete – it misses a driving force that dictates the outcome. There is a good chance that pollsters are missing most of America because most of America is busy with Christmas and tired or uninterested in politics. The fact the polls are actually getting wilder the closer we get to Christmas (not the Iowa caucuses or NH primary) seems to indicate to me there is a strong connection someplace causing the changes (and the divergence in results).

But not to worry, like all good scientist testing a hypothesis I will make a prediction which, if it comes true or not, will prove or disprove my theory. My prediction is that after the New Year is past the polls will show a ‘surprising’ shift back to about where they were at the end of November. They may not go all the way back, but they will get back to within 3-4 points for each candidate. If I am not correct in this hypothesis then the polls will not head back to around the November levels (give or take some honest drift in public opinion).

I for one find the wild results coming from all the polls, which also point in very different directions (Edwards is winning, no Clinton, no Obama) all within a few days, a sign the sampling has gone bad, not the voters are swinging wildly depending on the hour of the day and which pollster is calling. We shall see!

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Are Wild Polls Nothing But Christmas Distractions?”

  1. YOur Huckabee supporter poster checking in. There is a problem with this. If Huckabee who you deem for some reason not a “average citizen’ candidates” is surging because of political nerds then why is McCain who I guess you would think is a “average citizen” candidate perhaps showing traction and upward movement ?

  2. AJStrata says:


    I was trying to point out the Huckabee was not a nationally well known name.

    McCain’s surge could be the same thing, bad poll samples. The theory is reasonable – the only question is it correct. We have to wait and see.

    This is how real scientists uncover new knowledge – we question, probe, predict. Most times we are wrong. Each time we learn something.

  3. Terrye says:


    I think a lot of people like Huckabee because he is not as hateful as some of the other people out there. And btw, he is not a member of the impeach Bush crowd like you said once. His complaints about the Bush White House appearing arrogant were absolutely mild compared to complaints from other Republicans every day. And he does not say he will abandon Iraq, like Obama. Nor does he say he will let Iran get a bomb…nor does he say he will ignore Islamic extremism. He is more religious than I am but I think a lot of people consider his message to be positive and appealing.

    I am not committed to anyone as of yet. I think it is too early to pick anyone…. but I think that some people have misrepresented Huckabee because he is not considered one of the big boys, the regular names that people hear everyday.

    This support might be more genuine than you realize. Or he might be another Howard Dean.