Saturday, August 16, 2008

What Polls don't show

When you read about polling data this early in the race, it's good to keep in mind one thing.

All polling groups survey only people they think of as likely to vote, or as already registered to vote. In most cases, they select names of folk who have voted in the last election or in the last two elections.

So, if a campaign is doing a good job at registering new voters and activating registered people who haven't voted lately, the pollsters will often miss these folk. George W. Bush, for all his faults, managed to really turn voters out on election day in 2004 resulting in a surprisingly strong victory.

Tracking polls especially survey a small group of likely voters over and over again to see how their opinions of the candidates change. To some extent they are more or less a referendum among that group of people based on the latest news coverage. However, they do not really account for changes in voter demographics.

So the final outcome depends a great deal on activity going on behind the scenes as both campaigns attempt to register and enlist new voters, and on election day make sure all their supporters go to vote.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

President of the United States should be held to a higher standard!
I dropped out of high school ( 10th Grade ) To join the United States army. I scored so high on my entrance exam that I was given a choice as to what ( MOS ) Job I wanted in the Army.
I chose The Nike Hercules Missile system as a crewman and nuclear weapon specialist for surface to air missiles. After successful boot camp I went into my Advanced Individual Training school. ( AIT ) The time was January of 1976 The school was in Fort Bliss Texas. When it came time to move into a Top Secret classroom environment, I was the last person given a Top Secret clearance and had to sweat making it into the class.
The reason and the point I am making was that the United states government had to send government officials in to my old neighborhood in Anchorage Alaska, where I had lived and talk to many of my neighbors and friends to determine if I had Ever used drugs or alcohol and to determine my character. I later found out that there were two individuals that knocked on residence doors and asked specifically about Marijuana use and other drugs.
During my work with nuclear weapons (I was 17 years old) I was continually in front of the Battery Commander and asked specific questions regarding drug use and or Past or present Alcohol abuse. If a person in my unit were even suspected of past or present use of drugs regardless of when it occurred he or she would not be permitted to work with or around Nuclear weapons.
The army regulation is AR50-5.
My question is how in the world can a commander in chief (The President of the United States) Admit to past drug use and be allowed the entire nuclear arsenal that the Military commands at his disposal.
As a footnote: In my Barracks were the photos on the wall of the chain of command. Starting with my 1st sergeant and going to the commander in chief. (The president) This is still in every Barracks in the Military!
If I would have been denied my clearance, and at the top of the chain of command was a person who admitted to drug use, How would I have felt. Better yet, how does the commander in chief circumvent this military law? Even if he is a civilian commander of the Armed forces how can you be allowed to control this nuclear arsenal after admitting to past drug use when no military personnel would even be allowed to get near one?

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