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Archive for August 30th, 2008

 

a political pole.

On left: a political pole.

It seems that every day in the news is an article or report on how McCain and Obama are faring in the most recent poll. The news is about how a recent event effected some subgroup of voters and changed their opinion of a candidate by 2.5%, with a margin of error of 3%. Polls are all good and fine if one has to fill a full day of news reporting when there is only, say, a quarter of a day of news available.

Part of me feels that political polling is flawed in its current form. Namely that it is done (maybe not all polling) by calling home phone numbers from either voter registry or picked out of a phone book and asking the important questions (like how do flag pins make you feel?). Alright so they call home phones, thats fine, it is probably around dinner or during The Daily Show. Except recently there has been a surge of political activism in my generation, okay maybe it is more of a removal of apathy instead of activism, and I feel that we are not represented in the polling system.

Why are we not being represented? Well it is because active voters under, say, 25, do not have their own land line phone numbers. If we are in college then all we have is our cell phone (or mobile for international readers) either under our own plans or as part of our parents. After we finish college and move out to apartments, or back home, likely we would use our mobile phones more and might not have a land line installed or activated. So when pollsters call around asking us about our views we get missed since they do not call cell phones.

For this election season I won’t be looking at any of the polls. Except for the last one.

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