When your friendly neighborhood pundit opens by citing a minor point surge, you’d be better informed on the state of America today by watching Honey Boo Boo and Keeping Up with the Kardashians. The media obsession with reporting on polls is a waste of time. Any given poll on any given day is not a useful measure of the state of American public opinion.
Long term tracking (by one organization, anyway) has shown the candidates within three points of each other on 89 of the past 100 days. A long-term compilation of daily polling data from a single source in this election looks like a seismograph. This alone should be enough to deter us from relying on single-day, single-source polling. Numbers on any given day, taken in a vacuum, are irrelevant and have no bearing on the ultimate outcome, a reality to which the media seems oblivious.
“Voters base their decisions on the substantive issues in the world around them,” Scott Rasmussen of Rasmussen Reports said in a commentary published Friday. “The Political Class is distracted by superficial imagery, an obsession with the game of politics and the sound of their own voices.”
So fear not, fellow Americans frustrated by uncertainty regarding who is likely to be unlikely to possibly maybe win what may or may not be a swing state: in three weeks, this hell will be over and we can begin our griping about the failures of the Electoral College.