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How About an Election Without Polls?


How About an Election Without Polls?

Amy Goodman, Denis Moynihan

Sen. Bernie Sanders won the Democratic presidential primary in Michigan, defeating Hillary Clinton ... and all the pollsters. Election statistician Nate Silver wrote that Sanders’ Michigan victory “will count as among the greatest polling errors in primary history.” Imagine if we had an election season without polls. Instead, the energy, investigation and money should be spent delving into candidates’ records, whether they’re a businessman like Donald Trump or they’re politicians like Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. This will lead to a better informed, more engaged electorate.


Since most of the "pundits" appear to max-out at about four "information inputs," three of which are about polls, the idea of them scrabbling around for "talking points" is actually pretty funny...


I just returned from casting an early ballot for Mr. Sanders and the place was a ghost town. Well, it could be that this was due to daytime work hours. Sadly, I came home to a Trump sign on my neighbor's lawn. (Shall I sabotage it... anonymously?. If I were a guy, I'd urinate on it.)


Apparently the pollsters in Michigan didn't have good data on turnout for Democrats because in 2008 Obama withdrew from the Michigan primary because of a rules dispute so only Clinton was on the ballot. The total turnout was about half of what would be expected. The pollsters should have admitted that they lacked data to project turnout this time around but I never heard such a an admission. So they went ahead anyway and created false expectations about the results. I like the polls because they create interest but I think most of us really do have too much belief in their accuracy. Polling is difficult as we all learned last week.


You are such a hypocrite. The thing is that you are a Machiavelli in your own mind! You think you are a Goebbels influencing people behind the scenes like some psyops agent ... Or is it that you are only a passive aggressive troll who thinks himself savvy about manipulating opinion.

Your standard 'technique' is to trash and disparage in the first paragraph and then soothe and reassure in the following one ... is transparent. The descriptive adjective is simply the word snide!

Your big deal is rather pathetic don't you think?

A search for meaning where there is none? Kind of sad really that anyone would delude themselves like you must be doing if this game you run on us here in CD is your everything...lol. Your big deal is a bust and rather silly for all that. You are the undisputed poll troll of CD.


Thank you, nottheonly1.
I highly recommend this link, even if you want to delve in at the midpoint, after the historical background.


Thank you Amy
The only News show worth watching.


Correction: Dive in.


Our election process has so many problems that undermine our democracy that it is difficult to assert that we are a legitimate state at all. The fraudulent polling is one of them. One issue is that odds indicate in the nature of billions to one that the polls are fraudulent in the first place. Whether the fraud occurs via fraudulent seeding or other manipulation of data the methodologies exists (even though complex) to ensure a pretty narrow margin of error given a high enough sample. Yet, we are seeing swings that defy reasonable odds.

Apart from the intentional manipulation of polls, however is another major but more subtler issue not talked about and that is that the pollsters do not ask which candidate you would like to see in office, they ask which candidate you would likely vote for if the election were held that day. This is a very important distinction because early in the election season there are candidates whom people would rather see in office, but would not vote for them if the election were theoretically held that day because their current polling is too low and they would rather choose the lesser of two leading evils than waste a vote. Thus the polls the way that they are currently performed by asking who one would likely vote for instead of who they would like to see win undermines the outside candidates in the first place and creates situation where it is extremely difficult for the less heard of (and less funded) candidates to get initial momentum.

There is a solution that solves this problem while solving other major problems also and that is to bring in ranked choice voting. Here is a quick synopsis of a popular variation of it. Given a field of candidates voters rank their choice so that after each counting is done the candidate with the least first choice votes is dropped. After that candidate is dropped, for the voters who voted for the dropped candidate as their primary choice, their second (or next choice) now becomes their primary choice after which the primary choices are recounted. This process continues until there is only one candidate left. The primary benefit of this is that voters will not be afraid to vote for candidates that they prefer but believe might not win and thus do not to risk wasting a vote. Consider were a candidate like Bernard Sanders were to run as an independent against Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. Without a ranked choice voting, 60% of the vote who may strongly dislike Donald Trump could split their votes between Clinton and Sanders leaving Trump to win the Presidency with perhaps only 35% of the vote. Yet this possibility is a serious consideration that could prohibit Sanders from running as an independent were he not to get the Democratic Party nomination. Ranked choice voting alleviates this situation completely allowing people to vote for their first choice candidate freely, as opposed to just voting out of fear of the most evil person getting elected, while at the same time alleviating the problem with the polling question issue described above. Ranked choice voting is crucial for a democracy.


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This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


Even if there is no picture, Sioux could draw some small fingers on it ?


Amy and Denis have more faith in the accuracy of the actual election results than I do.


I want to be sure and give credit to http://www.democracynow.org/ for hosting 3rd party candidates who are excluded from debates. In the past they have done live coverage of debates near the general election with pauses to allow other candidates to answer the same questions. Like Common Dreams, they occasionally mention the existence of 3rd parties, which is more than corporate media does, but it still amounts to next to nothing compared to the amount of coverage they give to the corporate organized crime parties. 3rd parties have no chance at name recognition when even the so-called progressive independent sites like Democracy Now! and Common Dreams disappear them. It is clear that it is unfair for corporate media to cover Hillary Clinton 4 times as much as Bernie Sanders, so it should be equally clear that it is unfair for Bernie Sanders to be covered 100 times more than Jill Stein. Jill Stein is running too. Jill Stein is a better candidate. Jill Stein is as electable as Bernie Sanders was when his supporters were told he had no chance.