Which came first? Bad polling or Donald Trump? Perhaps that’s a question best left for philosophers and besides, this isn’t a post about He Who Must Not Be Named. (I can’t promise he won’t come up again, though.)
Actually, this post is about polls themselves. As a little piggy who built a house out of straw, I feel I am eminently qualified to discuss and conduct polls of my own. I find the arcane craft of polling science to be an art form.
What is a poll? It’s basically just a fancy word for asking a lot of jerk faces about their opinions.
A lot of people became hangry about polls after the last presidential election, and who can blame them? Still, those polls did perform within the MOE. Who is Moe? He’s also know as “Margin Of Error” and lives under your bed with The Grue.
National polls don’t usually show Electoral College vote counts, and don’t often maintain the granularity to make the kind of state-by-state predictions to make those projections, so their usefulness even in aggregate to forecast elections is limited. Given that electors are determined by congressional representation, that representation is only reapportioned every 10 years, and that the overall number has not increased in over 50 years, there is an increasing discrepancy between the popular vote and the actual outcome of elections, one that will make national overall polls that simulate the popular vote less relevant to predictions over time.
Twitter is the technological platform chosen to power my polls. It’s not perfect, though. The following caveats may apply:
- Twitter polls are limited to four responses which can render them the dumb.
- Their results are not scientific. Duh.
- Small sample sizes (concealed in this post as “proprietary data”) render any meaningful conclusions mute.
- They are susceptible to increased margin of error. In my polls, it’s about 102%.
Now, for your opinionated pleasure, a few polls from my personal archives. These are presented in “top” order as determined by Twitter in this secret envelope.
As you are about to find out, I only ask the important questions. Enjoy.