Are the Presidential Polls Reliable?


If you were to watch Fox News, CNN or ABC, or read the Washington Post, you would be foolish to believe that Donald Trump has even a prayer of winning the November 8th election. Fox has Hillary ahead by six points and ABC/Washington Post says she holds a 12 point lead.

On the other hand, if you were looking at the Los Angeles Times, the Rasmussen polls or Investors Business Daily, you’d maybe hazard a slim hope that he has a chance. They have consistently shown a tight race–the latest has the two candidates tied.

There are more registered Democrats (72 million) than Republicans (55 million); however, “likely” voters more accurately predict the final vote.

All campaigns conduct internal polling. In the torrent of Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s leaked emails are several that spell out how he would like his polls to skew data. He recommends oversampling Hispanics and Native Americans in Arizona. In Florida, he wanted polls to oversample independents in areas that are more friendly to Democrats.

Podesta’s directives are indicative of how this type of “weighting” also goes on in national polls.

The ABC/Washington Post survey showing Hillary leading by 12 purposely included 9 percent more Democrats than Republicans and sampled 874 likely voters. The partisan divisions were 36 percent Democrats, 27 percent Republicans, and 31 percent independents.

This begs the questions: Are Democrats more likely to vote than Republicans? If so, by what percentage?

The Investors Business Daily poll from last week sampled 767 people: 282 Democrats, 226 Republicans, and 259 independents. It gave Trump a 2 percent lead, and a 67 percent to 61 percent edge over Hillary in “intensity of support.” This enthusiasm factor is born out by the overflow crowds at Trump rallies. The latest IBD poll shown above was released on Monday. It shows a dead heat.

Polls can be skewed by selecting an unreasonable sample size, by asking leading questions, or by choosing to sample one group more than another. Some polls, such as Real Clear Politics takes an average, as does Fox News; if the individual polls are distorted, so is the average.

Watch this CNN video and you’ll see a panel of “undecideds” giving a show of hands following the last presidential debate. The results were 10 for Trump, 5 for Hillary, and 6 remaining undecided. CNN is not known for its love of Trump and had Clinton leading Trump after this debate by 6 points. After watching the video, one struggles to correlate the inconsistent results.

Democrat pollster Pat Caddell agrees some polls are rigged. He reported that Reuters news service has dropped the “neither” option and gone back to re-interpret old polls. For example, a July 25 poll had Trump up 40 percent to Clinton’s 37 percent. They’ve gone back to recalculate and give Clinton 40.9 percent over Trump’s 38.4 percent. Another poll giving Trump a 5.2 advantage was recalculated to give Clinton a 3.6 advantage.

According to Caddell, poll results drive the narrative and the news coverage, and can be designed to change existing public opinion. Instead of revealing what public opinion actually is, these are “propaganda” polls created to influence outcomes.

This is the most unusual presidential election in recent history. In the primaries, Republicans had a 150 percent increase in the number of people voting this time versus past years, and many independents voted for Trump. Democrats did not have the same kind of huge turnout. There were 7 million fewer primary Democrat voters than in 2008–which was a record year.

It is worthy to note that at this point in the Carter/Reagan race, the election was predicted to be a landslide. They got the landslide part right; but they got the winner wrong.

Why this Matters: Let’s remember that polls reflect what people say, and may not accurately predict what a voter will do. Proverbs 16:33 tells us that the lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD. We can take comfort in that!

Continue praying for Christians to awake from their slumber and vote the PLATFORM (pro-life, pro-religious liberty) if they do not care for the man.

Deut. 30:19 – I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:


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