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Polling Craziness

Updated on November 3, 2016


It is the start of another election cycle and polls are everywhere. This morning I came across two poll numbers. It just shows me that polling are crazy and anyone who believes polls are naive.

- Aug. 2015

What Is Wrong With This Picture?

President Obama recently said if he could run a third term, he thinks he would win. A poll by Monmouth University claims that 68% would want someone else. However, RealClearPolitics has a running poll of Obama's job approval using the average of 7 different polling agencies. They include Gallup, Rusmussen, Reuters, Fox, CBS, NBC and Quinnipiac. The average for this month is 46% approve and 49% disapprove. What is going on here? Are we to believe that two thirds of the people thinks we are heading in the wrong direction and yet 46% thinks the current occupancy of the White House is doing a good job. If my math is correct, there is a discrepancy of 14% (assuming 32% in favor). That's being generous and assuming there were no undecided.

Can anyone explain this? or are polls totally bogus? I'm also curious about who are these people being polled? In my 40 years of adulthood, I've never been called. I'm not complaining but just wondering out loud.

History of Obama's Approval Polls


I am not a fan of polls. I believe they can be misused to sway public opinion. My hub on Group Think and Intellectual Laziness explains this in detail. What's your opinion?


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    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      I agree it is way too early and the results are not too meaningful seeing how they fluctuate up and done depending on the hour of the day...

    • profile image

      Kevin Goodwin 2 years ago

      I have to say that i understand the necessity of polls i just think they begin way to early to start polling with so many candidates running.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      We happen to have some really qualified candidates out there now. As for Obama, there is no way he would win if he were running now. That is a good thing. As for the polls, well I am sick of them.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Larry - I agree. That is why polling results are suspect. They make good sensations on news sites.

    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 2 years ago from Northern California

      Hello, Jack. Another limitation of polls is that the results, to some extent, depend on the way the questions are framed. Are pollsters aware of this fact? You bet!

      Do some pollsters frame questions in order to arrive at foregone conclusions? Of course not. Pollsters do not have political agendas. :)

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Thanks for your input. I disagree on your comment about the candidates. If anything, we have too many good candidates compared to 2012. It will take some time to sort out but I'm optimistic that someone will rise to the occasion.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Perhaps what that poll means is that people disapprove of Presidents taking a third term on general principles. Most of the time polls have high margins of error such as plus/minus 5 percent, which means that a 46 percent yes and 49 percent no poll could actually skew back and forth to either side. I'm no fan of Obama myself, but people shouldn't read this to mean that people hate Obama. Based on the pretty uninspiring slate of candidates out there now, he probably would win a third term.