The idea that polls are nothing more than tools of political propaganda is getting more reinforcement this political season.
Because, a mere day or so after announcing his presidential ambitions, Joe Biden has overtaken Bernie Sanders in the polls – and by a hefty margin.
This despite Bernie Sanders’ substantial lead in money and organization.
A lot of people are having deja vu all over again about the 2016 election which some Democrats in the United States are still bitter about (in terms of both the primary and the general election).
For those of you that will recall, every poll on the face of the Earth predicted Hillary Clinton’s victory from the very first days of the campaign.
Her eventual loss to Trump was such a shock that it forced many people to call into question these so-called “political polls.”
How could they be so wrong?
And it wasn’t the first time they were wrong in 2016. Polling would routinely mispredict Donald Trump’s chances in the Republican primaries as well as underestimate Bernie Sanders performance against Hillary Clinton.
Now, only a day or so after announcing, all of Bernie’s support has “disappeared” and it has gone over to the candidate that many see as Hillary Clinton 2.0, Joe Biden.
Does this make sense?
Or are people finally starting to ignore polling entirely?
It looks like the latter is increasingly the case and the implications for politics moving forward are radical indeed.
First, we should get a few metrics out of the way as to how these polls are conducted.
Most respondents are polled over a landline phone which immediately skews more heavily towards older audiences. Second, some of these polls do not have relevant demographic information such as race and ethnicity. For this reason, Bernie’s support is likely vastly underrepresented by the polls conducted by CNN and MSNBC.
But they know this, and they’re exploiting this.
Many analysts took the wrong approach and accused MSNBC and CNN of “manipulating” the results when in reality they are only manipulating perception.
For example, imagine if CNN had been accurate in its depiction of the poll results: Poll of older Americans that don’t have cellphones says they favor Joe Biden over Bernie Sanders.
Immediately the implications of that statement are quite clear: Joe Biden is popular among the people who are not the future of the party.
While older demographics do vote more reliably, this poll is measuring support, and removing the youth cohort means that you vastly underestimate a candidate’s popular support.
But that’s the goal, here. The goal is to discredit Bernie Sanders (or Elizabeth Warren, or whoever else) and to elevate Joe Biden as the “people’s choice.”
This positions the primary debates in the classic mold of Democratic politics such as these candidates being “too radical” and “not able to get anything done” as opposed to a “centrist moderate that is willing to work with the other side.”
Of course, the evidence that the other side has no interest whatsoever in working with the Democrats never seems to impact this sales pitch on the campaign trail.
After all, where is the compromise between the inflexible dogmas of Republican politics with Democratic aspirations?
Republicans believe that homosexuals should have no rights whatsoever and Democrats do, so the compromise or middle road position would be for each side to acknowledge that homosexuals exist and let the courts decide how they’re allowed to exist. This is the basic approach the Democratic Party has taken since the Clinton administration.
That said, the party wasn’t afraid to take credit for the gay rights awarded to citizens by a Supreme Court led by Republican Chief Justice John Roberts.
Hope and change came with the Obama years, but only passively.
Or how about how one side is against abortion in all forms while the other side believes it is an incontrovertible right that a woman has but, again, is more than happy to allow the courts to decide whether or not and to what extent women have this right.
Time and time again the Democrats don’t defer to moderation but rather to dilatory behavior with an intransigent other side that does not ever want to work with them.
That’s why the fake lead that Joe Biden has in the polls worries people who support other candidates beyond Bernie Sanders.
An era of constant compromise has led to Donald Trump who has done nothing less than rip up everything Obama did root and stone.
But polls and Biden urge Democrats to compromise and find a middle ground even though there is zero interest in that whatsoever. If that doesn’t tell you why Democrats increasingly reject polls as well as establishment Hollywood Democratic politics, nothing else will.