Tuesday, January 08, 2008

If you want change, you have to work for it

Once again, we have learned tonight that polls are no more valuable than anyone else's educated guess. If you pay attention and talk to people, you are as likely to predict the outcome of a race as any vaunted pollster. They will all seize glory when they get it "right," but there are always days like today in New Hampshire. In every election, there are more polls that are wrong than those that are right. Those who are right more often, however, gain credibility and currency that helps their predictions to translate into self-fulfilling prophecies often enough that they can make a living with prognostication little better than those predicting the imminent Patriots Super Bowl victory.

The Des Moines Register poll was the closest in Iowa, and I have heard it frequently celebrated since last Thursday. But the day of the caucuses, it was widely regarded as an anomaly when compared with the other polls. Today, 10-15 point margins for Obama in New Hapshire were predicted, so that the final 2% margin of defeat (something incomprehensibly fantastic from Obama's perspective just 1 week ago), is now reported as a crushing defeat for him. Is it possible the polls were wrong? Not if you listen to the pundits. The polls were right, and the people changed...maybe, but it is at least equally likely that polls are like broken clocks...right twice a day.

The campaign for this country is underway, and it is coming soon to your neighborhood. Who wins will be up to you and to me. Discuss, deliberate, talk with others, contribute, campaign, and vote. Leave prognostication to Chris Berman. Don't ever stay home because your candidate is supposed to win easily, or you will continue allowing others to make decisions for you.

Be the change you want to see. Get out of the armchair and into the game, because, unlike the Super Bowl, in this game there are no players but us.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hear you loud and clear. I'm fired up.. and ready to go!!

Anonymous said...

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