Poll Dancing

With the election just around the proverbial corner, the media and the blogosphere are filled to overflowing with analysis of the candidates’ positions in the polls.  Charges of bias flow from both camps at the differing poll results.  Polls sponsored by conservatives show Romney in the lead, while network polls give the edge to Obama.  No matter who is to be believed, the thrust of these poll data is that this is shaping up to be a close race.  In any contest, only the strongest participant can win, and this is usually determined by process of elimination.  The elimination is supposed to be decided by voters, but these days, the elimination is determined by the party’s conference and the media before all the votes are even counted, based on nothing more than data gleaned from public polls.  Candidates and networks alike throw money at these polls to twist the data in their favor.
In the early days of our country, the election process was set up so that candidates could campaign in swing states prior to ballots being cast.  Since communication  was so slow and travel even slower, the elections were staggered to facilitate the travel needed.  In today’s world of instant communication and supersonic transportation where one can spend an hour in New York, Chicago and LA in the same day, there is no need for the elections to be so staggered.
The way a lot of people think these days, elections are not about choosing the right person for the job, but rather it is about guessing who will be the winner.  An election is almost like the betting window at a horserace track.  No one wants to cast a vote for the losing candidate, even if they think that candidate is the better choice.  People want to think their vote helped pick the winner.
To that end, these people watch the polls, waiting for the media to tell them for whom to vote.  The media loves this.  They love having that much sway in the public’s lives.  They love shaping the nation into their image of what America should be, and the average citizen is complicit in this.
During the primary season, the republican party fielded several candidates to represent the party in the general election.  Before many states were able to hold their primary election, however, the party announced a winner.  Texas and several other states never had a choice.  This announcement was determined by polling data from the first several states’ primaries held days apart.  The primary elections should all be held on the same day, to ensure that all American voices are represented in the results, not the wishes of those states who get to cast their ballots first.
Also, the media spends all day on election day posting polling results as they come in, even while the polls are still open.  This needs to stop.  Reporting the results of an election should only happen after ALL polling locations are closed in the country.  Those voters who wait to see which candidate is in the lead would be forced to vote their conscience rather that try to pick the winner, or at least try to pick the winner with no handicap.
The polls can be useful information, but all too often they are misused to sway the result by candidates and media companies dancing around them for dollars.  Cast your vote your way, regardless of what the polls say.


1 Comment

Filed under Media, Politics, Society

One response to “Poll Dancing

  1. Silva Baley

    I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one these days..


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s