Tag Archives: Polls

Vaccines, Age, and Ideology

In the poll below, taken by the Pew Research Center, you’ll see that younger individuals are most likely to be in favor of parental choice when it comes to vaccinating children.  Does this mean that younger folks are more libertarian in their thinking or is there something else that explains why younger individuals are more likely to be against mandatory childhood vaccinations?

Vaccines

The Influence of Polls

Beware of the Push Poll

By now, many poll results have been reported to the public by the media.  Scientific polls were conducted to get those poll results.  Whether you are a Barack Obama, Mitt Romney or third party candidate supporter, you can rest assured that those polls results were compiled in a legitimate manner.  When you see polling companies such as Gallup, Rasmussen, Pew and the like, you know that the poll is credible.  Credibility is something that cannot be said for the push poll.

A push poll is not a real poll.  In fact, those who conduct a push poll are not concerned about the data gleaned from their surveys.  A push poll is conducted in an automated fashion over the phone.  The goal of a push poll is to put a rumor or false inference in the mind of the person who answered the phone.  It designed to sway voters from one candidate to another.  To the untrained voter, they may believe the push poll is a scientific poll.  However, scientific polls usually do not ask questions such as, “How can someone who is Mormon be President if he does not believe in Jesus Christ?” or “If you knew that your candidate for President fathered an illegitimate black child, would you still vote for him for President?”  The first question is being used in Ohio currently by a group that is rumored to support President Obama.  It is designed to harm the Romney campaign.  The second question was asked of primary voters in South Carolina in 2000 regarding John McCain and his non-Caucasian daughter.  The daughter was not black, nor was she illegitimate.  She just happened to be adopted from Bangladesh.  Supporters of then-Governor George W. Bush were have said to be the source of the McCain question.  Those who engage in push polling typically do not leave their calling card as to the identification of the push poll’s source.  They are negative in nature and are designed to destroy political campaigns.  The voter who answers the phone is left questioning whether or not what they heard over phone was valid or not.  Push polls are not valid in any shape or form.  This election season, as the electoral finish line approaches, beware of the push poll and its consequences.

What are your thoughts regarding push polls?

Give Me A Way Out

I can remember visiting my grandparents in Parlin, New Jersey for several holidays and occasions each year.  My grandpa and I would sit and watch a television show called, “The Uncle Floyd Show” which was a New Jersey institution in the form of a low-budget comedy-variety program.  The show bounced around, year after year, from low frequency channel to low budget cable channel so many times that my grandpa would tease me and say that “Uncle Floyd” was on “Channel 52 and a Half”.  Inevitably, we would talk up some baseball stories, mainly focusing on who should and shouldn’t be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  We wouldn’t get into stats too often, but I would question him about the merits of certain ballplayers, like Steve Garvey, for instance, who I thought should be in Hall and who my grandpa thought should not.  Our selections to the Hall were based on straight up and down votes.  Either he’s allowed induction into the Hall or he’s not.

Voting for someone into the Baseball Hall of Fame is not the same as voting for the next President of the United States yet many polling companies typically give the respondent two candidates to choose from.  Either you vote for the Democrat or you vote for the Republican.  There is little middle ground.  In the United States, voters are more likely to consider themselves, Independent, than Democrat or Republican.  Furthermore, there are extremes to both the left and to the right of our two major parties.  You have your Greens, Socialists and the newly formed Justice Party to the left of the Democrats and the Libertarians and Constitution Party supporter to the right of the Republicans.  However, when asked to choose a Presidential preference, many voters are left with one or the other.  Is it going to be Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?  I know we get a chance to say, “I Don’t Know” or “Unsure” or “Other”, but I want my “other” choice to be a specific name.  When I buy a drink from the store, I have a choice of Coke, Pepsi, and other cola brands, such as RC.  The labels never read, “Other Cola”.

Why not list, Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, Virgil Goode, or Rocky Anderson as polling choices?  In Colorado, you could add the name of Roseanne Barr, who is also a third-party candidate for President in some states.  How about adding the Prohibition Party candidate to a poll in Louisiana, the only state where the party qualified this year?

Polls should list all candidates running for President, and for other offices, where applicable.  If it’s a nationwide poll, then all candidates who are running if enough states to qualify for the Electoral College should be listed.   State by state Presidential polls should include all qualified candidates from that state in the survey.  Polls for Gubernatorial, Senate, and House races should also not leave third party or Independent candidates off of their questionnaires.  It is the honest way to go to promote electoral choice in the United States.  Polling companies that offer multiple survey choices only inform the voter more about who is running for a particular office.  There is no harm in doing so.

My grandpa passed away a few years ago.  I miss those baseball discussions with him.  Looking back, it seems that our final decisions on who should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame were pretty rigid.  Making a choice for President in a poll, however, should not have to be as rigid.

What are your thoughts?  Leave a comment below.