Why is there so much discrepancy in the presidential polls this year?

I have looked at some of the polls from the top pollsters and there is so much discrepancy it is difficult to get an idea of what voters are really thinking. One says "Romney closing the gap on Obama in the swing states". Another taken the same day says "Obama widening lead over Romney in swing state". Still another says that Georgia, Arizona, and Texas are toss ups while another shows all 3 firmly in the Republican column. What is going on here? I feel like turning the computer and TV off for a while because these polls are all over the place and no one seems to have any idea what is going on concerning this race.

8 Answers

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  • Favorite Answer

    a significant number of Americans are waiting to state a Presidential Preference by waiting to see if Romney staffs his inner-circle with fellow Mormons or with Republican operatives that they respect

    there is a group of voters who will support Ron Paul in 2012 at the GOP Convention and his son Rand Paul in future election cycles (2016, 2020 and so forth)

    Source(s): polls are a "snapshot" of the past -- they have margins of error and are only as "good" as the valid sampling which is to date unknowable since the election is four months away
  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Polls are historically inaccurate which is why I never pay attention to them. All they are is a predictor of future behavior based on past behavior. Look at other predictors. How often is the weatherman right? How often is some sports pundit wrong in predicting the outcome of a game?

    In 1948, we have the famous picture of a grinning Harry Truman holding up a Chicago Tribune with the headline Dewey Defeats Truman the morning after Truman won reelection. The Tribune information was based on a poll. All the polls predicted a hugh win by Dewey and the Tribune went early with their headline because they wanted to scoop the opposition.

    In 1992, a Peoria Journal-Star poll predicted that Carol Moseley Braun would finish third in the primary for U.S. Senate in Illinois. She won.

    In 2008, the Des Moines Register predicted that the Iowa caucus was too close to call, neck-and-neck between John Edwards and Hilary Clinton. Barack Obama won.

    Polls are all over the place because a lot depends on how the poll is worded and how the polls are taken. Traditional polls are taken over land line telephones. It is policy not to call cellphones because of billing issues. About a third of the voting population below the age of 25 relies on a cellphone only. Any pollster would be eliminating a whole chunk of the population. Those people may vote. I don't see how any poll can be accurate.

  • Jeff D
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Polls just aren't very accurate this far out from the election. I think the only thing that might be different in this election is that the race is relatively close at this point in time, so different polls favor different candidates.

    For example, if one poll says X is up by 15% and another poll says X is up by 5%, the takeaway message is that X is ahead and people don't care as much about the difference. However, if one poll says X is up by 5% and another poll says Y is up by 5%, then it seems like there's a lot more variability in the polling because different candidates appear to be ahead. Even though the different in the polls is the same, the later result seems more variable and more uncertain.

    Thus, I think all we can really conclude at this point is that the race is close.

  • Eyes
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    Notice there is no mention of how many people were actually polled. Poll 50 and you get a result much different than polling the entire country's population. I don't pay any attention to polls. I stopped watching news (or what they call 'news') on TV. I get enough info from the five minute spots on radio stations. You don't have to hear all of the "analyzing", which means different people's opinions on the same subjects, over and over and over. Sort of like what you hear from that man in the White House. Save some time and watch just one of his speeches. The rest will be 'reruns'. If you want just news, check out IRN news on the web.

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  • 8 years ago

    The only poll that matters is the one taken on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November.

  • 8 years ago

    Because pollsters say what they're paid to say.

    The only poll that will matter is the one on November 6th, 2012.

  • 4 years ago

    i visit visual exhibit unit HBO's RECOUNT movie that airs back this nighttime so i'm specific i will experience that it will not be honest. i'm inspired with human beings like Buchanan who admit that there grew to become into no way he ought to have have been given as many votes as he did. So i don't think of we would have a honest count quantity yet i think of a few the way it is going to all artwork out because of the fact by ability of election day i'm hoping our u . s . would be so united that it quite is sparkling who all of us prefer to do the interest of President.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Here's a poll for you:

    Look around you, see the devestation?

    Think a little, can you imagine the minds of others?

    Now, who is ahead?

    This is not a trick question.

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