STOP Trusting Polls

Independence Day is in the rear-view mirror. Labor Day looms, and with it, the final laps of this Presidential marathon.

Biden leads nationally by eight percentage points. Biden and Trump are tied in Wisconsin. Biden widens gap in crucial Pennsylvania. Biden ten points up in Texas. Every day the pollsters report more and more support for Biden. Do not believe a word of it.

Four years ago, as I bicycled the byroads of America, every poll indicated that Hillary Clinton would be elected our President. Right up until she wasn’t. The day after the election, Trump signs bloomed like dandelions on previously apolitical lawns.

What went wrong? The basic assumptions of American electoral politics, that’s all.

Consider the representative Trump supporter, circa 2016. All in for the guy who was going to Lock Her Up and Drain the Swamp. What do you tell a pollster who calls you on the phone, or pops up on your Internet feed? The most disruptive response you can conjure: “Hillary Clinton.” There was no upside in revealing the election booth truth, that you will pull the Donald’s lever. Much more effective to feed the media’s story line that Trump is a barely credible candidate, even as the media’s fixation on the man made him credible by dominantly covering him.

Hillary Clinton is not in prison, and unlikely to be there anytime soon. The swamp is still murky, even as the Trump International Hotel soaks in nefarious influence and greed. I don’t know what claims Donald Trump will make during his second Presidential campaign, though I suspect the man will do or say anything to succeed.

What I do know is, there’s still no reason for a Trump supporter would tell a pollster the truth about his or her vote. General disruption is better served in professing support for Biden.


Recent media stories describe how the ‘shy Trump’ effect was inaccurate, and that it does not apply this election cycle. As if, after misleading pollsters, Trump voters have any incentive to be more forthcoming to the social scientists who follow in their wake. More consistent stories report that soft-supporters of Hilary Clinton sat on their hands election day because her victory seemed a foregone conclusion. Thanks, in large part, to polls.

It’s time we ascribed polls to their quaint place in history. To a time when people accurately revealed their opinions and action. When speaking the truth was the default thing to do.

About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog,, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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