The Sad and Sorry History of Election Predictions

It's no secret that the predictions of so-called "scientific polls" have been very wide of the mark over the past five years. Remember the 2016 election in the USA and Brexit in England? Both polls were wrong.

Amid all the loud vociferation of the media shouting the results of polls they have oftentimes commissioned, it's forgotten that the only poll that counts is the poll that the voter votes in.

It's well to remember that opinion polls are bought and paid by various special interests who seek to influence and change the way people vote or to discourage them from voting for the opposing candidate.

Polls are manipulated by asking questions in a certain manner to a selective audience till one gets the results one is looking for. In this sampling, polling numbers are often selected or inflated and even manufactured for the purpose of affirming the popularity of the candidate just by proclaiming that he is popular. This method is anything but scientific.

Scientific polling is not a science. It's a kind of faith and hope that people polled are telling the truth. It's a prediction as to how people will vote in the future.

Pagan Rome had its own methods of predicting the future. Their priests or augurs used to throw the entrails of chickens on the ground and by the scrupulous examination of them would predict future events. British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge once said that this procedure was, "much more accurate and enlightened than our public opinion polls."

No one can predict a person's behavior or how they will vote. People often don't tell the truth to pollsters because they don't want to be bothered. In 1980, polls showed a very tight race between President Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Reagan ended up in a landslide win.

Pollster sampling is an extremely dubious affair and has lost credibility among voters. Potential voters used to answer pollsters’ questions. Today they won't answer their phone. The response rate to pollsters once stood at 50%. Today these numbers are down drastically with only 2% responding.

So what factors should one look at in determining the upcoming election for President of the United States?

Let's employ the great Aristotelian concept of common sense. During the 2020 Republican primary, Donald J. Trump received more votes than any president in United States history with 18,159,752 people voting for him.  He had no real opponent, yet people turned out in droves to support him. This is proof of tremendous voter enthusiasm for President Trump and an actual poll of people who went to the polls to vote.

Witness the huge crowds drawn to Trump rallies. President Trump regularly fills stadiums, auditoriums, airport hangers, etc.

Contrariwise, there seems to be no enthusiasm for Joe Biden who can barely get 200 people in a room. Biden will not get the millennial vote that Bernie Sanders got and which the Democrats and mainstream media have been so dependent upon and is the basis of their polling and predictions.

This visible enthusiasm for Trump gives him a tremendous advantage in the swing states of Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Keep in mind too that Joe Biden is a far weaker challenger than was Hillary Clinton in 2016. The recent Hunter Biden corruption charges have increased Joe Biden's negatives among voters. Biden's defensive layback approach shows lack of initiative and leadership and puts doubts in people's mind whether Biden is capable of being president.

President Trump is always on the offensive pushing his policies. He has also delivered on his promises to the American people.  Adding to his momentum, Amy Coney Barrett will become a new justice on the Supreme Court right on the eve of a presidential election.

Neocon Republicans are fond of pontificating that Trump has to widen his base to win re-election. They want the nationalist Trump to change his positions, adopt RINO Republican policies like John McCain and Mitt Romney, and lose the presidency.

In fact, Trump has widened his base. The president is popular with black Americans and Hispanics who have experienced record employment rates. Trump has increased his support among Cubans in Florida and among the Venezuelan and Columbian population there. President Trump has also added a larger group of white working-class men and women who did not vote in 2016 but who will turn out for him in huge numbers because of his kept promise of increasing manufacturing jobs in the country. Trump has added 480,000 new manufacturing jobs which were lost under previous Democratic and Republican administrations.

The results of the 2020 United States presidential election will be another black eye for pollsters and the media pundits not seen since Truman defeated Dewey in 1948.

Patrick J Walsh is a writer in Quincy MA.

Image: National Archives, Senate Collection