Trick or Treat

By Alden L. Benton

I am tired of polls.

Romney is up.  Obama is up.  No, wait, they are tied.

“Likely” voters say one thing while registered voters say another.  

Independents are unpredictable and undecided voters, at this late date, are clueless.

Enough already!

I understand the math behind polls.  With a truly random sample of 475 people, and the operative word is random, one can get a statistically valid picture of the United States within an acceptable error range. 

In many instances, the people who commission or conduct a poll bias the polling sample in order to achieve the desired result.  If you want to prove Obama is winning, then ask more Democrats in an area Obama carried in 2008.  If you want Republicans, go to corner houses.

However, the randomness of the sample is just one aspect of a poll.  How the questions are written, what order the questions appear, and, if the questions are asked by a poll-taker, the manner and tone of the questioner all affect the outcome of any poll.

I also question the usefulness of polls.  While polling may have some use in planning campaign strategy, it serves no other apparent purpose.  Does the average voter adjust his or her vote as the polls swing towards one candidate or the other?  I doubt it.

In addition, the purpose of reporting anything in the media is to provide useful information.  I know, I am old school on that issue, but even in this era of advocacy journalism, there is no utility in the mass dissemination of poll results.

At best, polls distract.  They are just that much more clutter assaulting the public’s psyche, demanding more attention and time in a world already overloaded with information. 

Instead of worrying about who is ahead in the polls, the voter, and the media, should be focused on studying the issues; the voters and the media should be exploring where the candidates stand on those issues. 

That is why the press enjoys a protected status in the Bill of Rights, and why, since the so-called mainstream media now serves as the public information arm of the Democratic Party, the alternative media — Fox News, CNSNews, World Net Daily, Conservative Talk Radio, the internet, and the myriad blogs — have become vital outlets of information.

Since we seem to be captivated by the fleeting idea of who is ahead, I offer a polling idea that may prove to be more accurate than any of the “professional” polls.

Pundits have determined that there are eight “swing” — states that could tip the election towards one candidate or the other.  The swing states are Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Virginia, Florida, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Nevada.

In order to get a picture of the potential outcome of the November 6 election, I propose a Trick-or-Treat poll. 

On Halloween night, send out 50 pairs of children dressed as Romney and Obama in the major cities of the swing states.  At the end of the evening, count the candy in the Romney bags and in the Obama bags.  The group that gets the most candies wins the poll and perhaps the election.

This idea has been tried before on a smaller scale. 

In a Virginia restaurant, they offer customers free corn chips with their meals.  The customers are offered a choice of red or blue colored chips.  The restaurant keeps an ongoing tally.  Their chip poll has been accurate.  Every year they have conducted their experiment, they predicted how Virginia would vote.

Trick-or-Treat or chip polls would be much more palatable alternative and actually serve some purpose other than information overload caused by the incessant pompous pontification by the self-appointed nattering nabobs in the mainstream media.

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©2012 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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2 responses to “Trick or Treat

  1. If I didn’t worry it would put some kids at risk, I might try your poll. It is a creative idea. Unfortunately, this election has become too impolite. I couldn’t count on the behavior of the adults, some of whom would be likely to swear at kids or otherwise traumatize them.

    One poll matters, that one on Nov.6th. Until the results of that one come out, I’m not watching news or checking any other polls. I distrust them all.

  2. The real problem with political polling is: it’s a trap. And a con job.
    Polls — particularly the “who’s winning now” versions — are shallow straw dogs that make people stupid, or more specifically, lure them into thinking with stirred-up emotions and partisan attitudes.
    Ask teenagers about their crazy stunts done out of enthusiastic stupidity. Not much thinking there, until it’s too late.
    At best, political polls, when they are honest, are merely oversimplifications of what and how people think at any given time. It’s odd how “who’s winning” polls assume they show that people believe one thing or another, so very earnestly and firmly … today. But it’s also assumed that people change their minds with every petty, irrelevant development or empty revelation in the daily news cycle. New poll, new reality, new opinion.
    So, which is it? Are you that shallow? Hey, let’s take a poll!
    If there’s a science involved in political polling, it’s the science of manipulation of the masses, not the discovery of some new knowledge.
    Some of these polls may actually be fairly accurate. So what? The “who’s winning” polls don’t impart any useful or important information — ever — so what are they it worth? Wouldn’t it be better to think for yourself and vote as an informed citizen instead of being a fool for the manipulators?
    Most media professionals and data experts love polls because they specialize in manipulating people — or they just fool themselves into believing that their tiny samples (and their self-congratulatory “wise” and “nuanced” interpretations) actually represent large segments of the public. They even claim they know what “the American people” think and believe — in all their natural diversity (individual and cultural) across this vast nation. What a crock.
    That’s why polling — especially the presidential polls that dominate all political “discussions” for the final three months of the frenzied campaign period — are a prime tool of Democrats.
    Leftist-Democrats created the 24/7 mass media we know so well. Manipulation is their game. Floods of mostly empty information are thrown at us incessantly, with one main message: “You need us to inform you protect you, and since we’re the enlightened insiders, here’s what you should know and do,”
    If their goal was to inform you, do you think they’d behave the way they do? No. They think it’s their job to manipulate your perception of facts and reality: You should think what we want you to think. Funny how the prodding, including with polls, is always into the Democrat camp.
    Leftists and Democrats are famous for saying that all of life is politics. So, they make all of life tools of politics. How else could one justify the insulting abomination of early voting and the openly manipulative practice known as exit polling? They’ve got you coming and going!
    And they laugh all the way to the bank.
    Political polls assume that you’re not an individual, or not a competent one. They don’t value your mind, and they assume that you don’t value it, either. Most polls treat people like spit, and then you’re expected to wear it, happily. That’s the Leftist attitude all the way down the line.
    When Conservatives and Republicans got involved in the media professionally — involved in their society beyond their immediate lives at home, neighborhood, school, job, and church — they fell into the Leftist trap. They took the stupid route, falling into what they should have known is an unprofessional and unethical (Democrat-Leftist) manner of conducting media, holding political discussions, and shaping public opinion. Conservatives let themselves be duped into believing that this is how it’s supposed to be done.
    It’s proof of two things:
    (1) People have lost confidence in the news media because they realized it’s a foul influence on personal and family decency, and it’s an intellectually dishonest political enterprise that often doesn’t make their lives any better.
    (2) Having a good moral core doesn’t mean you’ll think clearly or act wisely if you comport with clueless fools and crooks, adopt their ways, and believe everything they say.
    People who follow political polls with rapt, breathless attention — make themselves into the useful idiots of those who have always wanted “fundamental change” of traditional American society.
    Controlling people’s thinking and emotions is the literal goal of all forms of Leftism. It’s precisely what the Hollywood Communists (1930’s through 1950’s) did with movie scripts and images: subliminal seduction. Remember that Lenin’s favorite medium was film — the perfect form of emotional-mental manipulation. Lenin’s children created today’s media. Political polls are Lenin’s grandchildren.
    Those who avidly follow political polls, especially as a prime source of their beliefs and actions, are just Pavlov’s dogs feeding the Marxist machine.

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