Letter to the editor: Political polling falls short

Staff Writer
Topeka Capital-Journal

If there was ever a pale science, it is political polling. Whether you are a Trumpster or a Bidenite, you got a good dose of that “political science” on Nov. 3.

Harry Truman didn’t have use for music critics or pollsters. “If you put them end to end they point in all directions.”

Truman saw city pollsters try to convince Americans that New Yorker Thomas E. Dewey would swamp the unpopular Truman. The banner headline in the Chicago Tribune declared “Dewey Defeats Truman,” after Truman defeated Dewey. Then, as now, a great deal of polling these days is offered to fit a political narrative of the employer.

Who are these people, who think they have a right to know the outcome of an election before Rachel Maddow tells us?

In Kansas, the pre-election polls claimed for the first time since 1932, a Democrat had a chance to win the U. S. Senate. Chuck Schumer was tap-dancing on his desk in spandex at the thought. But the Kansas rule prevailed: No Democrat wins where the buffalo roam.

Didn’t happen. We rubes decided to remain rubes.

What’s irksome about a poll is the assumption that if Candidate “X” is ahead in polls that there is no sense wasting a vote on “Y.” Doesn’t everyone want to support the winner?

Not always. The election results, for the most part, were “read ’em and weep,” thanks to these pale scientists. Next time, rattle some chicken bones!

Ron Smith, Larned