Just about every time we read or turn on the news there’s a new poll telling us who’s ahead in a political election that’s a year and a half away, or how many people are affected by crime, or what percentage of people are afraid of China taking over the world, or which TV program came out on top the night before, or how popular Congress is (not very, if you believe the polls).
The polls predicted that Donald Trump would lose the presidential race against Hillary Clinton in 2016 and we all know how that turned out. Did a lot of respondents not want to admit they were planning to vote for Trump and lied about their intentions?
Then there are what are called push-pull polls that political parties often use to favor the outcome they want, like: “If you knew that John Smith cheated on his wife and couldn’t hold a job so he decided to run for office, would you be inclined to vote for him?”
I’ve never been polled, perhaps because I don't answer my phone unless the caller is identified on my screen. I’m guessing there are millions of people like me whose opinions are never heard
Nevertheless, the phones won’t stop ringing any time soon. Polling is a $7 billion industry with virtually nothing to show for it other than meaningless fodder.