From the Left



Not With a 10-Foot Poll

Marc Munroe Dion on

Don't read any more polls, not even if the midterms are nearly here.

Well, actually, you don't "read" polls. You "look at" polls. They're just numbers, although you can read a newspaper column containing poll numbers written by a guy like me, particularly if the guy like me needs to write something about an election that hasn't happened yet.

In the last few weeks, the various news sources to which I subscribe have deluged me with polls, interpretations of polls and rumors of polls to come.

I ignore it all.

The least useful pieces of information about an upcoming election are what other people think and how they're going to vote and about the opinion split between voters over 35 and voters under 37.

The only people who get any real good out of polls are the people running for office, who can use the polls to decide what they're going to pretend to believe in this week.


"Senator," the aide cries, running into his boss's office. "The polls say you're not talking enough about women's issues."

The next thing you know, the senator is standing behind the podium talking about equal pay for women even though he has no idea what a waitress earns, and if he's lucky, he never will.

"Governor," another aide says. "The Evangelicals we polled say you don't talk enough about God."

The next thing you know the governor is loudly insisting that a copy of the Ten Commandments should be glued to the forehead of every grade school teacher in America.


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