When you look at polls that seem to be making pollsters rich, one has to question if there is any significance to them. Polls, of course are a snapshot of the particular people polled at the time and rely heavily on people actually revealing their true feelings. The results boil down to a particular question being asked.
How polls can be deceiving is demonstrated by polls taken during a recent Alberta Provincial election, held on April 23rd. On Sunday, an up to date national poll was released that saw the governing party losing by a large margin. Progressive Conservatives had been in power in Alberta for 41years. The party was challenged by the new Wildrose Party, which had one seat in the legislature prior to the election.
The Sunday poll suggest that the Wildrose Party with 41% over Alison Redford's Progressive Conservatives with 32%, while the NDP has 13% and the Liberals at 10%. The NDP and Liberals are strongest in Edmonton, where they are at 23% and 14% respectively.
The Forum Project Inc poll was conducted with a total of 2010 responses gathered Saturday evening by automated phone response.
The polling firm president Lorne Bozinoff said that the win is enough for Wildrose to capture 62 of the province's 87 seats.
Pundits were predicting a Wildrose victory. Well it didnt't turn out that way. The actual election results on election night were:
"The final seat count is not official yet, but according to CTV the Redford Tories took 61 of the 87 seats in the Legislature, the Wildrose Party ended up with 18 seats, and both the New Democratic Party and Liberal Party walked away with 4. Global TV reports 62 for PCs, 16 for Wildrose, NDP 5 and Liberals at 4 seats.
Overall the PCs received 44.1% of the vote, while Wildrose received 34.6%, the Liberals and NDP 9.8% each and the Alberta Party 1.4% of the vote. Overall voter turn out was 53%, which is low when you consider the hype that preceded this election. " Source: albertacowpoke.blogspot/ca
This is just one example of how wrong polls can be.
Election 2012 recent polls
As the war of words between incumbent President Obama and presidential hopefull Mitt Romey are heating up, polls are released almost daily.
A recent FOX News poll suggest that President Obama is ahead 9 points of Mitt Romney.
Gallup's weekly Obama Job Approval poll shows the President's Approval rating at 45% nationally, down 2% from the previous week. The Rasmussen Presidential Tracking Poll shows the President would receive 43% of the vote and 47% if the vote were held today. 4% prefer some other candidate, while 6% are undecided.
So which poll do we believe? Again, it all depends on who is being polled. Yet pundits on both sides will make hay with these figures attempting to prove their point that the attacks issued by either campaign work.
Let's be rational for a minute, if that's possible. It is summer and oh yes the Olympics are still front and centre for most Americans. That seems to negate any interest for the time being any interest in the election in November, save the hard core political addicts. Does anyone really think that farmers faced with drought, communities devastated with severe weather, really care about the election at this point? Probably not.
People may be concerned about the economy, their job and other issues of importance, but in the end they are consumed by their day to day lives.
While polls may be a useful measure for campaigns and pundits, it is doubtful that any of them reflect reality. As people turn their attention to the election, probably afcccter Labor day there might b a true measure of what the election might bring. The poll that really counts is the one on election day.