Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Politics Behind Polling

Polling has quite a history of miscalculations. One major upset took place in 1948, when the top three pollsters, Gallup, Archibald Crossley, and Elmo Roper, all predicted that Thomas Dewey would be elected United States President. They didn’t fathom that opinions would change, so polling came to a standstill a few weeks prior to the election . Wrong move. Harry Truman came out on top, winning by just 4% over Dewey.

Another polling “drama” occurred when Orion Strategies released results placing current Congressional candidate Mike Oliverio ahead of Rep. Alan Mollohan. The owner of Orion Strategies is Curtis Wilkerson, Oliverio’s campaign manager. For more information on that story, click here:

Overall, America has witnessed a proliferation of polling, but can polling results be trusted? It all depends on who does the polling.

Yesterday, Rasmussen Reports released West Virginia Senate race polling results that placed John Raese just 6 points behind Governor Joe Manchin. But just how accurate are these results?

Scott Rasmussen, the founder of Rasmussen Reports, previously worked for George W. Bush during his 2004 presidential campaign. That being said, the majority of polling conducted by his company is thought to lean to the right. So should West Virginia Democrats be alarmed? I’d say no.

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