In the wake of several failures of political polls to predict large wins for Republicans in 2014, for Likkud in Israel, and for Conservatives in the UK’s general election this year, pollsters are wondering what could possibly have gone wrong. Even Nate Silver over at FiveThirtyEight is calling for “reform” of polling.
The assumption is that there is something wrong with their methodology, but they are only partly right…the problem is the pollsters and their expectations. I would suggest that most pollsters, being tied to Big Media, tend to be, by and large, progressives and “left” in their political beliefs. Their desperate desire to win has led them to skew polls, hoping that they can “make it so.” Perhaps by beefing up Labour or Democrat numbers they can encourage their side to go to the polls, or discourage their opposition. This is, however, a very dangerous game — too much good news might cause folks to be complacent and not head out to the polls, or might engender a greater response from the opposition.
Then there’s the real danger…perhaps your ideas are losing in the market of ideas?