LATEST POLLS SHOW NOBODY KNOWS WHO IS VOTING FOR WHO DESPITE ELECTION BEING TWO WEEKS AWAY
October 21 2012
Washington, D.C. – For much of the Presidential race the decision that the American people were making was pretty clear. Barack Obama was very much in lead, well in the lead, trouncing Mitt Romney in almost every category and then came the debate.
That debate, which Romney clearly won and showed himself to be a human being after all, helped to shift the nature of the election. It fundamentally shifted the electorate and made the race more even, even launching Romney ahead of the President at times, in what seemed like a slam dunk for a long time.
Polls, of course, are not always indicative of voter trends and have a tendency to change and tighten as the election looms, but they are a barometer of the mood of the electorate and one that all sides in political debates use to gauge and influence opinions. Unfortunately this time around that has been very difficult in large part because no one seems to know what it is they are going to vote for, with the polls swinging dramatically in some cases or not at all in others because people just don’t have any idea what they are doing, on the whole.
“We try to keep our eyes on the boat and do the best job possible. We're going over some additional tweaks with our methodologists to make sure we're on top of it,” said Frank Newport, the editor in chief of Gallup, one of the more prominent of polling things.
Gallup has been widely divergent, more so than other polling things, which is slightly weird.
The Gallup ranking puts Romney six points ahead of Obama which isn’t even close to what 18 other major polls say.
“Polling is a very imprecise science to be sure and in the case of the Presidency, especially one that has for some reason become hotly contested, they are even more difficult to use as measures of actual voter preferences. In particular the national poll is troublesome because it’s totally irrelevant. The only ones that matter are the state polls and those are usually much, much different from the national ones,” said Scrape TV Political analyst Gabriel Kinsey. “Of course these things shift constantly anyways so it’s not like it matters day-to-day. It’s kind of like an NBA game where the first half really doesn’t matter at all, the last two minutes are usually already decided, and everything else is really fluid. Unlike an NBA game though this thing helps decide who’s President.”
Most polls put the race at a statistical tie which is something that is very unlikely to play out in the actual election.
“Obviously by the time people actually get to the voting booths they are going to have to decide. This hemming and hawing is not going to work forever and they are going to have to make decision, one way or the other, as to who is going to be their President. It has to happen eventually,” continued Kinsey. “It’s still a couple of weeks out so they can still take some time to make up their minds but they do need to decide eventually, though of course they don’t need to tell pollsters what that decision is so that could throw things off there for awhile longer.”
It’s not clear if the candidates have even decided yet.
Edward Bastil, Political Correspondent