Why polls aren’t always reliable



Binqi Chen, Editorials Editor

In recent years, polls have become increasingly innacurate. For example, Gallup and many other companies wrongly predicted that Mitt Romney would win over President Obama in 2012. Here’s seven reasons why have polls lost their accuracy.

  • Some polls are conducted through landlines, which are on the decline in American families as most people are switching to cell phone use only.
  • Only nine percent of people actually state their opinions during polling, compared to the 80 percent rate in the 1970s.
  • Early pollings are done during a time when the general public does not know each candidate’s policies in detail, causing an inaccurate percentage.
  • Just because a person states their opinion in a poll does NOT mean that they will actually go out to vote.
  • Most importantly, the outcome of a poll does not equal the outcome of an election.
  • Many cell phone users refuse to pick up their device unless the number is from within their contacts.
  • There is a difference between likely and registered voters, many polls include likely voters, who might or might not register in time, in their statistics.