Thursday, September 8, 2011

Those Confusing Presidential Polls

How do you pick a Presidential Candidate? I think I’ve heard it all:

“I like the way he looks.”

“He’s a great orator.”

“I’d never vote for a black man. We’ve had one in office; we sure don’t need another one.”

“Women have no place in leadership. What if we were to go to war?”

“He’s a Christian and that’s good enough for me.”

Just a side note: For all you Politically Correct goofballs out there, I don’t go to the trouble to use “he/she” in my description of a person just to cover all the bases. If you see the word “he” in an area where you think it would be more appropriate to use “he/she,” you’ll just have to figure it out for yourself.

From time to time, we’re all guilty of “liking” a candidate because of the way he handled himself at the most recent debate. We might even go so far as to make our decision on one, or two, or possibly three of his stands on the issues. Rarely, do we actually study all of the issues and make an informed decision.

One of the biggest problems with candidate selection is polling data. Talk to the average person on the street, and ask who they “like.” Chances are, you’ll hear the name of someone in the top three of the latest poll. Is that because the poll represents every voting-age person, or is it by chance that the majority of the people are making their decisions based on what they heard in the poll? Just keep one thing in mind: Polls are better at manipulating a person’s decisions than they are at finding out what that person actually thinks.

As of September 1st, the Republican Candidate polls put Perry in first place. Where did that come from? He just announced his candidacy two weeks earlier. Oh well, on with the story. Perry is First, Romney is Second, oh and here’s another strange one: Palin is Third—and she hasn’t even announced yet. I think she will, but even without announcing, she has captured third place. Now for Fourth Place…good grief, will the surprises ever end? Ron Paul is in Fourth Place. Who’d a thought that?

What kind of a poll is this? Well, it happens to be the conglomeration of eight different polls which eerily seem to agree with each other. There’s ABC News, FOX News, Politico, NBC News, Quinnipiac, CNN, PPP and finally Gallup.

All right, continuing on, Bachman is in Fifth place, Gingrich is in Sixth place, Cain is in Seventh place, Santorum is in Eighth place, and finally Huntsman is in Ninth place.

So, the natural thing for most of us to do is to adjust our way of thinking. First of all, nine people are simply too difficult to follow. Second, you watched a debate, but you’re still confused as ever. The little talking points, snippets, cheap jabs, news highlights, etc. just boggle the mind. What do we do? Ah, here’s the answer…the poll makes it a whole lot easier. All we have to do is identify whoever is in the top three and pay attention to them.

Just like magic, the rest of the pack is pretty much written off. Put this scenario in a national perspective, and our nation could end up missing out on a really good and qualified candidate. Why? We’ve allowed polling data to influence our decisions.

Okay, back to the poll. Rarely does a poll reflect the opinions of much more than a thousand people. Yeah I know, they say that it’s a scientific poll nevertheless. For one thing, it’s far too early in the game to write off those who are not in the top three. If every voter would make his decision based on issues rather than on polling data, we just might see our nation reverse the socialistic direction it’s traveling on right now.

So, how do we go about finding out where the candidates stand on the issues? First of all, maybe you should find out where you stand on the issues. How do you do that? There’s a website that just might help out with both of those problems. Go to to find out where you currently stand on twenty major issues. First of all, select “2012 Presidential Speculation” in the top section. Then answer the twenty questions below. Then select “Score the Quiz.” You will be directed to a page with a list of the candidates. At the top of the list is the candidate who agrees with your own position more than any other candidate. At the bottom of the list will be the candidate who least agrees with you. Voila, you have done your own poll. To the left of each candidate are the words “social” and “economic.” If you click on those words, you will see exactly how you compare with that candidate on each issue.

Another site you can go to is The left hand column lists all of the candidates. By selecting each candidate, you can see how each candidate stands on a multitude of issues. Do like me, and print the full information on each candidate and study their issue stances very carefully. After doing so, you will be much more able to make an informed decision when you step into the voting booth. That is a whole lot better than picking someone based on how someone else is thinking.

I took the quiz and surprised even myself. One thing about it, I’m going to spend a little more time scrutinizing these candidates. According to the quiz, Gingrich is first, Palin is second, Cain is third, Perry is fourth, Santorum is fifth, Paul is sixth, Bachmann is seventh, Huntsman is eighth and Romney is ninth.

I’m shocked to see Gingrich in first place, although I did like the way he stood up to the liberal slant of questioning at the recent debate. Palin…I’m not surprised to see her near the top. What’s interesting is that unlike the National Poll, Perry is down near the middle. And then, there’s Bachmann and Romney coming at or near the bottom—that is definitely surprising to me. Huntsman—As long as you continue to support evolution and Al Gore’s Global Warming, you can stay at the bottom for all I care.

I know one thing, I’ve got to take a look at how I answered those questions so I can figure out how this happened. Maybe I made a mistake…maybe not.

Why don’t you take the quiz and find out which of the candidates is more closely aligned to your own position on the issues?

Let’s return the United States to the power house status our forefathers hand down to us.

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