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Are Presidential Polls a Reliable Resource for Voting?

With the margins changing from hour-to-hour, day-to-day and from state-to-state, will pre-election polls affect the way you vote?

Are you tracking the polls? With changes in percentages and leads from day-to-day, it's hard to keep up with the significance of the numbers game.

According to Examiner.com the October 11 Gallup Poll showed President Obama’s national approval rating at 50%. Should be an easy win, right? That same poll, however reflected a Romney lead of 1% (48% to 47%) among likely voters in Ohio but President Obama ahead by 2% (48% to 46%) among registered voters. 

On the morning of October 11, Rasmussen Reports showed President Obama lead of 1% (48% to 47%) over Romney. After the Vice Presidential debate, Rasmussen Reports released its daily presidential poll numbers which show Mitt Romney with support from 48% of voters and President Obama at 47%. According to the poll, an additional 2% of voters prefer another candidate and 3% are still undecided. Also according to Rasmussen, Romney has a 2% lead in Virginia and 1% in their swing state tracking while President Obama holds a pretty large lead at 52% vs. Romney’s 45% in Michigan.

If we were ONLY looking at one or even two of the polls, the candidates could definitely see where the work needs to be done to be elected and we could predict the outcome of the November 6 election.

But wait … there’s more. Local polls reflect a big gap between some of the nationally ranked pollsters and local efforts. For example, there’s a big difference in the Rasmussen numbers for Florida which show Romney with a full 4% lead (51% to President Obama’s 47%) and what one of the local polls is reporting: Romney with a substantial 7% lead in Florida!

Confused?

Polling is usually performed among registered voters and likely voters. The difference with these two cross sections largely lies in who has voted in recent primaries and elections as opposed to those who are registered, but do not have a history of voting. Questions asked by pollsters are designed for the candidates to better understand where their strengths and weaknesses lie. The significance being that a poll can reflect true intentions of voters or be manipulated by the questions asked of those who are polled. For more information on the significance of polling, you can check out this link to “Five Myths About Political Polls.

It’s going to continue to be a tight race, right up until November 6; the swing states will still have a significant impact on who will serve our country as President for the next four years.

Will you be watching the polls? Do they and will they make a difference in your vote?

JANYCE October 13, 2012 at 08:11 PM
You are correct Tammy.I have never been polled before. 75 and never been polled Wow
Tammy Osier October 13, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Leading up to the last debate before the election on 1980, carter was leading Reagan 43/ 41. After the debate, Reagan gained a slight lead, 43-41 amongst undecided voters. Then, the landslide. The scenario is similar here except for one thing. The Iranian hostage situation and carter's weakness weighed heavily on the people, whereas, today we have other things to distract us and occupy our time. You'd think that a 911 would have woke us up, but we are talking about a generation raised on media and a dumbing down of critical thinking skills. Our Ambassador was just assassinated and people are defending their presidents right to go back to the campaign trail in hollywood. The people don't care enough to realize that nukes and the like are a life and death situation. Terrorism was, like, you know, so Bush era. Didn't kill me and mine, so what do we care? We should take seriously what a man does in regards to foreign policy and protecting our military. Obama said in that one speech he gave, "The future does not belong to those who slander the prophet mohammed" Oh God, I can't even begin to speak to that one. Plus, Jimmy carter didn't have the popularity that obama has, but did has the uniqueness- carter was a county bumpkin everyday man goes to the White House, and obama his racial make-up in a first time position. Conclude to say that the polls being close is not a good indicator for the incumbent, unless people are really as blind as they have appeared as of late.
BARBARA GRAETTINGER October 13, 2012 at 08:41 PM
The polls don't really make a difference in how I vote since I live in Texas. As a Democrat, I feel disenfranchised because of the electoral college and the fact Obama doesn't stand a chance in taking this state. Still that won't stop me from voting for him. I will stand up and be counted regardless of the polls. I encourage everyone to do the same regardless of their preference of candidate.
Robert October 16, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Please don't vote for Democrats. They are blindly following the Marxist Obama and his Marxist cretins. This is no longer the party of JFK and Truman. It has been commandeered by radical leftists and marxists. You can vote for Tyranny with the marxist president that we have, or you can choose liberty and vote Republican. Make no mistake, if you vote Democrat we will be going down a path never intended by our founders. A path of complete government invasion into our lives. The path that their motto "Forward" invokes. You don't have to become a republican to vote against their socialist agenda,. You can choose to stay Democrat or Independent. But we need you in this fight to save our country and to preserve our liberties for this and other generations. Help us send this message and follow your hearts. Want more proof that Obama is a Marxist? Just look at his campaign slogan: Forward! Classic code language used by these and every Marxist since Marx and Engels. Look it up in Wikipedia. You will find it. It has its own section for "Forward " Do you think that it is just an accident or coincidence that they chose Forward? Or is it because it is ingrained in every fiber of their Marxist indoctrinated bodies? Vote for Liberty Not Tyranny!! God Bless the USA!
George Wilson October 16, 2012 at 03:03 PM
@Robert "Workers of the world unite you have nothing to lose but your chains"This is much better than "Forward"

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