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The Sham of Political Polling

There is no way to poll cell-phone users, so it isn't done.

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Anybody who believes national political polls are giving you facts is a gullible fool. Any editors of newspapers or television news shows who use poll results as a story are beyond gullible. On behalf of the public they profess to serve, they are salesmen of falsehoods.

This is because these political polls are done by telephone. Land-line telephones, as your house phone is called.

The telephone polls do not include cellular phones. There are almost 169 million cell phones being used in America today -- 168,900,019 as of September 15th, according to a cell-phone institute study.

There is no way to poll cell-phone users, so it isn't done. Not one cell-phone user has received a call on their cell phone asking how they plan to vote.

Out of almost 169 million, anything can happen. Midway through election night, stern-faced network announcers suddenly will be frozen white when they have to give a result: "It appears that the winner of the election tonight is ... Milford J. Schmitt of New Albany, Indiana. He presently has 56 percent of the vote, placing him well ahead of John Kerry, George Bush, and another newcomer, Gibson D. Mills of Corvallis, Oregon. It appears the nation's voting habits have changed, unbeknownst to us. Mr. Schmitt was asked what party he is in. He answered, 'The winning party.'"

Those who have both cell phones and land lines still might have been polled the old way -- on their land lines by people making phone calls with scientifically weighted questions. These results are announced by the pollsters: "CBS-New York Times poll shows George Bush and John Kerry in a statistical dead heat."

Beautiful. There are 169 million phones that they didn't even try. This makes the poll nothing more than a fraud. The big pollster doesn't know what he has. The television and newspaper brilliants put it out like it is a baseball score. Except not one person involved can say that they truly know what they are talking about.

"I don't use telephones anymore because there is no easy way to use them," says pollster John Zogby. "The people who are using telephone surveys are in denial. It's similar to the 1930s, when they first started polling by telephones and there were people who laughed and said you couldn't trust them because not everybody had a home phone. Now they try not to mention cell phones. They don't look or listen. They go ahead with a method that is old and wrong."

Zogby points out that you don't know in which area code the cell-phone user lives. Beyond that, you miss lots of younger people who live on cell phones. If you do a political poll on land-line phones, you miss most of those from 18 to 25. There are 40 million people between the ages of 18 and 29, one in five eligible voters.

The page-one presidential polls don't come close to reflecting how these younger voters might vote.

Common sense would say that the majority of the 18- to 25-year-olds who vote will vote for the Democrat. Those who say they will vote for Bush are generally in the older age brackets, and they don't have as much trouble with the lies told by Bush and his people.

Older people complain about Kerry's performance as a candidate. Younger people don't want to get shot at in a war that most believe shouldn't have started because it was started with a president lying.

Zogby has no opinion because he is a professional figures man, and he has no figures he trusts.

"I am making a segue into Internet polling, which is going to be the future," he says. "You use screened e-mails of hundreds of thousands. Every household has some chance of being polled. How can you not do it that way? I have three children. The one in Washington uses only a cell phone. The ones at home use cell phones."

If you want a poll on the Kerry-Bush race, sit down and make up your own. It is just as good as the monstrous frauds presented on television and in the newspapers. •

Jimmy Breslin writes for NewsDay.

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