Push Polling

Back in December I wrote a blog piece on polling (evenabrokenclock.blog/2020/12/02/poll-dancing/). That piece discussed the mathematical nature of polling, and the uncertainty that goes into a scientifically-designed poll. It mentioned 3 criteria that are required for a poll to provide valid estimates of the sampled population. Those criteria were:

  • Those polled are a representative sample of the population
  • Those who respond to polls are honest in their answers
  • The technology used to reach those who are sampled matches the technology used by those who are sampled.

And then, there was the poll I responded to last week. Since I am a resident of West Virginia, and apparently we have the nation’s most powerful Senator from our state, we’ve been subjected to a great deal of political advertising even in this, a non-election year. This polling is an extension of the advertising, in that it is overtly trying to influence the population being polled.

I was asked about the filibuster. I was asked whether I favored the majority of the Senate being able to ram their opinions over those of the minority by a simple majority. Just the way the question was phrased made me positive that I was being pushed into answering negatively, so of course I switched from an honest response into the mode where I was going to be opposed to the position being pushed upon me.

Next came the questions on support for HR1. There the premise was that by supporting that bill, I would automatically favor the enfranchisement of murderers and rapists, and of “illegal aliens”. No subtlety in this poll, that’s for sure. Where the question on murderers and rapists had to do with ensuring that felons who have completed their sentences have the right to vote restored, the nature of the question led me to believe that this act would allow those in prison presently to access the ballot. Likewise, the mandating of opt-in for voter registration as part of such governmental interactions as drivers licensing is being portrayed as the way for mass registration of ineligible voters who would then vote for Democrats en masse. In my state of West Virginia, the opt-in approach was approved in 2016. It has yet to be implemented, and this year legislation was approved to go back to having the default option being opt-out. Amazing how this works, if you ignore the law for long enough, it disintegrates and blows away in the wind.

I can only hope that the “results” of this poll are buried deeply within the bowels of whatever dark money entity commissioned the poll. For these are the real intentions of this type of polling. They wish to keep the ability to hide the origins of their financing from the public they are trying to hoodwink. The prohibitions against dark money staying buried under the rocks of financial entanglement are dear to the heart of the conservative industrial complex. Likewise, the requirement to take the power to draw their districts away from Legislators and give it over to a non-partisan group will remove the ability of legislators to take a 50/50 split in votes and turn it into a 2/1 majority through creative drawing of district boundaries.

I’m not certain I am in full agreement with all of the provisions of HR1. But I am certain that continuation of the status quo will be ruinous towards the continuation of this experiment in representative democracy. When one side uses their power to stack the deck in their favor, it eventually causes those on the outs to view the process as being illegitimate. Do this enough times, and you will be surprised by the response of those who view themselves as being occupied by an opposing force that refuses to accept their worth as humans.

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