Oct 31, 2016

Some Thoughts On Donald Trump and Polling

This past week, I heard two different people justifying their belief that Donald Trump will become president despite the fact that he has been consistently down in the polls with the Brexit vote. One of them was a girl standing in front of me in the sandwich line at lunch, and the other one was Milo Yiannopoulos.

I've never felt so embarrassed to pose for a picture.

This grinds my gears. It's too convenient to say that your candidate is going to win because polls are wrong. The logic is stupid: If polls were wrong for Brexit, then they will be wrong for Donald Trump. This is an apples to oranges comparison. It's not valid to compare a U.S. presidential election to a referendum that was, for all intents and purposes, happening for the first time ever. Presidential elections happen so frequently that there's quite literally a science to polling them. The same can't be said for a referendum that has very little, if any, precedents.

Perhaps my point will be countered by those who say that right-wing populist forces led to Brexit, and the same forces are fueling the rise of Donald Trump, therefore justifying a belief that it's inevitable that Donald Trump will win; again, this is the logic that if Brexit happened, Donald Trump will also happen. Again, stupid logic. Again, apples to oranges comparison. The point is, you just can't compare the Brexit vote to a U.S. presidential election. Unlike our presidential elections, there are absolutely no precedents for a Brexit referendum that will allow for any sort of serious polling to be accurate.

And there's another point that should be brought up. In the case of Brexit, support for both Leave and Remain crossed party lines. This makes accurate polling even harder. Perhaps you can argue that you're seeing some party-crossing here in this presidential election, but that's certainly something a Trump supporter would not want to bring up.

EDIT: May 27, 2017
lmao omg i was so wrong sorry

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