The Gallup Company began polling presidential races back in 1936 with the re-election of FDR. It’s been considered the “gold standard” of polling ever since. Of course, they screwed up big time in 2012, and spent about 3 years trying to figure out how they got it so wrong.
Well, they apparently got it so wrong that they are giving up the ghost.
That’s right. Gallup is no longer going to be polling the presidential primaries. In fact, it’s so bad a “the gold standard” of polling companies, that they aren’t even willing to commit to polling next year’s presidential race…and that’s a friggin’ coin flip!
What the hell happened? Well, for one thing, we’ve changed. As everything in history changes, so do Americans. We used to be able to sit by our phones and have people call us and ask us questions like, “Who are you going to vote for?” and we’d answer them. Of course, that was back in the day we actually HAD telephones. And it was back in the day that we actually ANSWERED our telephones. Nowadays, we keep them (if we have them at all) for emergency purposes, like calling 911 if we need an ambulance or the house is on fire. And so, when Gallup calls, they get the answering machine.
Then of course, there are the cell phones. Nobody publishes your cell phone number in phone books (do they even PRINT phone books anymore???). So, unless you give your number out to someone, they really don’t have a way to get in touch with you to begin with. Oh, sure…there’s the internet. But the internet isn’t that reliable when it comes to polling. I think I mentioned just the other day that I take surveys and polls online. It’s fun and it kills an hour or so a day, and sure beats watching Jerry Springer. But the problem with that is you don’t have control if you’re the polling company.
Here’s what I mean. Let’s say there’s a presidential poll. I take it on my desktop at 7am. Then I move over to my laptop at 8am and take it again. Now, I couldn’t take it on my desktop because the polling place put a cookie on my desktop that said, “This guy has already taken this survey”. But they don’t have that cookie on my laptop. Or my IPhone, or my tablet…so I can basically vote four times without leaving my house.
And it’s because Gallup can’t figure out how to get a pure sample that they really don’t have a clue how to sample us anymore. We’ve gotten so technologically advanced, that their polling data has been left in the 1960’s. That’s a good thing because we’ve advanced. That’s a bad thing because we have no idea who’s leading. Of course, we do. Quinnipiac University apparently knows how to do this. So does Rasmussen, and all of the networks have teamed up with polling companies to give us the latest/greatest poll numbers.
It was Gallup’s time to go. Just like it’s Bobby Jindal’s, and Lindsay Graham’s, and Rick Santorum’s, and Hillary Clinton’s. They all have to go sometime. And this was Gallup’s time.
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!