The Price of Bad Polling – 11.24.20

For those of us who listen to Howie Carr, we know the fake news is reporting fake polls.  Unfortunately, low information voters don’t know that they are being hoodwinked in order to suppress their vote.

How many times do these polling failures have to occur with no consequences?

Remember when, within days of the Special Election, the Boston Globe predicted Scott Brown was going to lose to Martha Coakley by 10 points?  Even low information voters knew that lie was bigger than Barack Obama telling us we can keep our doctors.

When I ran the ballot question repealing automatic gas tax hikes, every poll predicted our loss.  In fact, the last survey before the election we were losing by 10 points.  Not only did we win, but more people voted on our ballot question than the Governor’s race.  These pollsters did not even know what was motivating people to go to the polls.

Four years ago, Hillary had the election in the bag.  Wrong!

This Presidential election the fake polls had Florida and Texas in jeopardy for President Trump.  From the actual results, it is abundantly clear that Biden was never a threat.  However, saying that Trump was in trouble in these GOP-leaning states helps keep our voters home.  

Polls are not news.  At this point, we can safely conclude that they are a campaign tactic used to sway the election.  

Just look at the November 3rd election night coverage how the media called states.  Virginia was labeled a Biden victory even though Trump was ahead for hours.  The media refused to predict Trump winning Florida until almost every vote was counted.  The reports on Texas were significantly delayed.  It looked like a complete wipeout for our President.  That affects late voting states like Arizona.  An average voter is not going to stand in a line for an hour if the election has already been lost.

While I am not for over regulation, fake polling is a problem that must be addressed.

Before Kellyanne Conway left the White House, she correctly pointed out that no pollster was fired for their 2016 failure.  If you are a news network paying for these polls, wouldn’t you have wanted your money back?  There were no lawsuits filed for bad polls.  No pollster paid a consequence.  They did not even get a Facebook disclaimer as we all get right now for mentioning the election.

So how do we resolve the polling situation?  

We need to use campaign finance laws.  Corporations are not allowed to donate to campaigns.  A phony poll used to suppress turnout should be labeled as an in-kind contribution.  Hence, if the Boston Globe promotes a poll that predicts Brown’s loss by 10 points and Brown wins within the next 7 days, then the Boston Globe should be fined.  

While we all understand that polls swing, the fake polling law should be implemented within 10 days of people voting, so that the media can no longer use these polls to influence the outcome.

Being a firm believer in the free press, we cannot stop the media reporting on Election night until after all polls close.  However, they should only use real data, not their predictions.  If they use exit polling, then they can be subject to a fine once again.

Lastly, if these reforms are not accepted, then I am going to set up Honest Howie’s Polling firm where Republicans always come out the winners.  Without calling one voter, I bet I can predict far better than big firms.  

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