Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Finally, Meaningful Polls!

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

The national polls on the presidential race are fairly tight, leaving one to conclude that the country is almost evenly divided between the two candidates.  I had a college class on polling back in the dark ages where I formed an appreciation of the power of sampling and analysis.  National polls can take information from just a few hundred people in selected precincts and analyze those results to give us a fairly accurate picture of what the country as a whole is thinking.

But there are polls, and then there are polls.

The well-known convenience store chain, 7-Eleven, has also been conducting a national poll of sorts, and their results are statistically lop-sided in favor of the President.    7-Eleven sells blue and red coffee cups, with the blue cups sporting the President's name and the red ones promoting his Republican opponent.  The very unscientific sampling of national political opinion has correctly predicted who would be elected President in the last three national campaigns.

This year 7-Eleven has Obama beating Romney nationally 60% to 40%.    In fact, as of yesterday, the 7-Eleven coffee cup poll only had Romney leading in two states:  Idaho and West Virginia.  (The Mormon candidate was even losing in Utah!  Ouch!)  The candidates are currently tied in New Hampshire.

Of course I am sure that Republicans would argue that 7-Eleven customers are not a real cross-section of America.   For instance, how many NASCAR owners or venture (vulture) capitalists stop by the local 7-Eleven for their morning coffee?  In fact, Republicans would probably suppose that most 7-Eleven customers were those needy beggars who make up the disgraceful 47% of the country who expect the government to meet their every need.  (No wait, that would include venture capitalists. - at least the greedy bastards who bank in the Caymans and Switzerland.)

It's all so confusing!

I wonder which cups the posers at Starbuck's would choose if given the opportunity?

(For the record, I have a Starbuck's line and a Folger's line in my family tree - which makes me bi-caffeinated!)

There was one other recent poll of ordinary people that is worthy of note.  Readers of Family Circle magazine were given the opportunity to vote on cookie recipes submitted by the presidential candidates' wives.  Readers were asked to bake the recipes submitted by Michelle Obama and Ann Romney at home and then vote for the best.  The First Lady won with her White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies - beating out Mrs. Romney's M&M Cookies by 297 votes out of over 9,000 which were cast.

The Family Circle cookie bake-off has correctly predicted the presidential winner since it was started in 1992 - with the exception of 2008 when Cindy McCain won.  Mrs. McCain, the heiress to the largest beer distributorship in Arizona, stole the show with her Bud Lite Lemon Bars.  (Just kidding! - I don't know what recipe Cindy submitted, but she did win.)

And in defense of Ann Romney, the domestic who supplied her with the losing recipe was obviously part of the chronically dependent 47% who wanted Mrs. Obama to win!

Political coffee cups and cookie recipes may lack the scientific integrity of Nancy Reagan's astrologer, but they are signs of what the common people are thinking.   Candidates who ignore them will do so at their own peril.

No comments: