For the next two months, the state of Georgia will be at the center of the political universe. Two runoff elections will decide which political party controls the Senate, and if the Democratic Party will have nearly unbridled power until the 2022 mid-terms.
In addition to the avalanche of money that will be poured into these Senate races, and the politicians who will travel to Georgia to stump from their preferred candidates, there will also be polling data purporting to show where the races stand.
For many years, polling has been a fairly reliable way to assess political races. This was, of course, upended in 2016 when the polls were shown to be critically mistaken. Despite the industry having two years to assess and correct any flaws in their methodology, the polls failed yet again in 2018 — this time in a hotly contested gubernatorial election.
Before the 2018 election for Florida governor, the average of polls, according to RealClearPolitics, had Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum at +3.6 points. Several polls just prior to Election Day even had Gillum up +5 and +7 points. When all was said and done, Republican Ron DeSantis won the election by 0.4 points.
In the days leading up to the 2020 presidential election, the national polls had Joe Biden +7.2 points ahead of Trump, per the RCP average. Some polls, like CNBC/Change Research and Quinnipiac, had Biden leading Trump by as much as +10 and +11 points, respectively. As of publication (though the tally is unfinished), Biden leads Trump by just 3.4 points in the popular vote.
Senatorial races that were said to be toss-ups ended up as blowouts favoring Republicans.
In Montana, Governor Steve Bullock lost to Republican Senator Steve Daines by 10 points—but the average of the final five polls taken before the election showed Daines with a scant 2.4 point lead. In Maine, the average of the final five polls showed Democrat Sara Gideon leading Republican Senator Susan Collins by 4.4 points. Collins won by 8.8 points.
Some even see these polls as a kind of voter suppression.
On Monday, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson noted that “bad polling” has “a big effect at many levels.”
Carlson spoke about the fact that Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Democratic challenger in South Carolina was reportedly able to raise more than $100 million “on the basis” of three Quinnipiac polls showing he was tied with Graham. In the end, Graham beat his challenger by a crushing 10.3 points.
“Research shows that polls influence voting behavior. So effectively, all those errors amounted to voter suppression,” Carlson stated, later adding: “When people believe that their candidate can’t win … they’re less likely to vote for that candidate and much less likely to send them money.”
Carlson then cited a study from McGill University and University of Toronto, which stated in part: “Polls may lead people not to vote for a given party because that party is perceived to be unlikely to win.”
The Hoover Institution’s Victor Davis Hanson made a similar remark during Carlson’s show:
What were the perceptions? As you said, they were massaged by polls … “Well, you know what, Wisconsin’s 17 down, and 12 down in the national polls, and Trump’s favorability is 18 down, so it really wouldn’t be wise to give money or to vote. It’s over with.”
As of publication, only two polls have been released for the Georgia runoff elections, but expect that many more will follow, and many professional prognosticators will use these polls as the basis for their election predictions.
If the polls appear grim for the Republicans, you may feel as though it’s pointless to give money or to vote. Conversely, if it looks like a slam dunk for Republicans, you may feel the same way—but this is the trap of modern polling.
It’s time to stop allowing election polls to determine our behavior. At this point, there have been enough significant errors to give any sane person reason enough to doubt the validity of these measurements of alleged voter preference.
If you want Republicans to hold the Senate, vote and donate. That’s all.
Do not be swayed by any poll. An unfavorable outcome for Republicans in Georgia will give the Democrats one-party rule, and they will use that power to implement their full agenda.
More from Frank Camp: How The Mainstream Media Can Manipulate Viewers Using Only Chyrons
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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