Richard Fernandez at PJ Media wonders why the pollsters have kept blowing election calls recently:
In each case the unthinkable had happened: the sure thing lost. Just as historians will forever wonder why the Titanic’s lookouts didn’t see the iceberg, political scientists will argue over how pollsters, presumably in honest search of the true facts, with vast sampling resources at their disposal, got it so totally wrong.
Three failures in a row should disturb everyone, not just Labor, because our methods of knowing have proved surprisingly vulnerable. The CIA failed to anticipate the fall of the Soviet Union or 9/11. Obama did not foresee the rise of ISIS or the threat of a resurgent Russia. We are all vulnerable to what is out there but we don’t see.
Are polls wrong because people are concealing their true feelings from the woke vigilantes? Do they result from some confirmation bias that blinds us? There’s a theory that the Titanic’s lookouts couldn’t see the ice ahead because North Atlantic temperature gradients refracted the berg’s position like a mirage. We see what we want to see. True believers are especially vulnerable to the Tinkerbell effect, a kind of narrative causality, that makes desired ends seem closer than they are. Ideologues can unintentionally think that if you really believe that Labor or Hillary or Europe will triumph, then they will really prevail.
I believe Fernandez is approaching this problem from the wrong angle. He is asking how the pollsters could make the mistakes they are making.
I don’t think the pollsters are making mistakes. I think they are flat out peddling lies and information they know is garbage because they are being paid to.
Much like media bias only goes one way, pollster “errors” only seem to go one way. Rarely do you see major polling firms biasing an election in favor of Republicans, with the possible exception of Rasmussen. It’s worth noting that in 2018, when a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed strong support for President Trump, the “unbiased” polling firm rushed to disavow their own results.
In many cases, the media are conducting the polls themselves. Do you think an organzation like CNN, which runs nonstop anti-Trump coverage 24/7, can be trusted to conduct unbiased polls?
The polls have been wrong in three critical elections, those being Brexit, Trump 2016, and now Australia. All were tilted in favor of the left, and in all of these instances the left was routed when the actual election came along. Furthermore, other major calls have been blown, including the October 2016 election in Iceland and the Colombia peace referendum with FARC.
Furthermore, there has been no national conversation about how the media and the pollsters could have blown these calls so badly. This is because shortly after Trump’s victory, the allegation that Russia had changed peoples’ votes started.
The media certainly piled on this conspiracy theory because of personal animus against Trump and his supporters, but they also peddled it because it prevented them from having to to explain how they and the pollsters blew all these election calls. Russia has been used as a convenient excuse for the far left whenever they lose an election now. The left has claimed Russia was behind Brexit,and Canada is already pre-blaming Russia for the Trudeau government’s likely defeat this year. I expect allegations soon that Russia “hacked” Australia’s election.
It is really important for conservatives not to be deceived by corrupt pollsters, many of which are part of the same media organizations who have dedicated themselves to destroying Trump and have no qualms about lying to make that happen.