One of the major driving force behind the dynamic political drama of the presidential election are the polls. Polls that attempt to measure potential voters’ attitudes can either bring momentum or stall to a presidential campaign. Due to high media coverage of published polls, it can be even argued that polls play a significant role in driving the election.

However, most polls are quite useless in gauging the general public's attitude about the candidates. Most polls gather data by calling land line phone numbers to initiate the survey. That limits the scope of the data to individuals that have a landline, bother to answer the call from an unknown caller id, and make the effort to actually spend time in answering questions, which some of them are polarizing in design.

That means the poll data is composed of a survey of individuals who found it to be worthwhile donating their time away for a phone survey. As a country that hates telemarketing calls, it is hard to see normal people delighted to answer a poll phone call. From the surface of it, the sample data of presidential candidate polls are not representative by design. Nevertheless, it is the opinion of the people that bother to participate in these telephone polls that drive presidential campaign politics.

Even if polls did measure accurately the general public perception of the presidential candidates, the polls might not be useful according to David Brooks. Mr. Brooks believes that there are two decision making processes. (PBS News Hour 12/4/2015) The first one occurs early in the presidential campaign, where people are looking at the most dreamy and ideal candidate that best reflect the inner political desires. The second decision making process occurs within three weeks of the campaign, where people take a more serious look of the candidates by taking to account of the limits of the real world. Polls become more accurate as we get closer to the presidential primaries and the election date.

The general media love to cite “the most recent presidential candidates poll”, but unless we are getting closer to the primaries and the election, it would be better to spend more time on reading on the candidates’ platform than diving into the abyss of shallow political drama.


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