You can say you read it here first, but if the election results of the 2012 presidential election come out as vastly different from what the majority of polls predict this year as I suspect they are, the election polling accuracy, or more to the point, inaccuracy, may very well force the major networks to overhaul how they do polling, much like they were forced to do in 2001 as a result of the exit polling debacle that happened with the Voter News Service.
There has been so much criticism of the system used this go around, the oversampling of Democratic likely voters and registered voters, etc. that if the network and major media outlet projections are as out of whack as they appear at this writing, there just might be enough pressure for groups like the Associated Press to take the lead, much like it did back in 2001 with the problems that happened in calling the election between Al Gore and George W. Bush, and require a certain level of standards to be followed before anyone goes with a poll among the AP and the major networks. One can certainly hope, regardless.
I don’t see the networks or the news media doing away with polls. Indeed, it makes for good ratings and readership to say you’ve got the latest numbers, and frankly, it is a good tool if used wisely and honestly.
But I feel, sitting here in the typical haunting quiet of an Election Day, with the feeling that the system this year has been compromised and frankly abused.
Maybe it’s time to have a discussion about why a public poll really is conducted.
I feel that in 2012, it’s been used by the national media to try to influence the outcome of the election. We’ll have a better idea at the end of the day, but it’s clear that groups like CNN, in particular, have been using weighted samples to at least get the results up to parity between the two candidates. They couldn’t stand the thought that Mitt Romney might actually be winning any more than Candy Crowley could resist defending the president in the second debate where he said he’d called Benghazi a terrorist attack on Sept. 12, when he clearly hadn’t. If you’ve not now also seen the 60 Minutes video of him clearly saying he didn’t want to call it that on Sept. 12, well, I don’t know what else to tell you.
It is clear at this point in the day, that the system is broken. In a few hours, when we see the results, we’ll have a better idea of how right or presumably wrong, the national polls have been in calling this contest. When we see that their results were as accurate as the botched calls in November of 2001, it will be interesting to see how much pressure and will the networks, the AP and pollsters have to adopt some sort of conventions to use in the future.
For several days now, I’ve been being told that Mr. Romney wins decisively tonight. And, and here’s one I’ve not heard anyone talking about, the GOP takes back the US Senate. We shall see….