Why bother reporting on meaningless polls?
I would like to complain about voter polls. I think they stink. In the last month or so, I have received and responded to 16 requests from voter surveying organizations via phone, Internet and mail. They all seemed to boil down to a question like: “Who are you going to vote for (A) Jones, (B) Smith or (C) other?” Except for the top of the ticket, I have no idea what Smith or Jones really stand for, and my response “other” must have meant nothing to them. So my response to the poll was really meaningless.
None of the polls asks me about any major issue. Such as, “Do you favor reducing the military bases in all of those foreign countries?” For me, that is an important issue. One did ask, “Do you favor reforming Social Security?” Now that is an important issue to me. But when I asked the pollster, “What do you mean by reform?” the pollster had no idea what I was talking about.
My question to the news media, and to The Buffalo News in particular, is why do you keep reporting on poll results without questioning the real-world meaning of what you are reporting?
Philip J. Kintner