International Affairs

Anxiety in the US Democratic Party

Does US Election Polls Tell the Truth?


It is no longer shocking that in 2016 Donald Trump emerged as the elected president of the United State despite the prediction of the pre-election polls. Prior to the election, Hillary Clinton was ahead in the polls. Trump’s victory came as a surprise to many Democrats, a frustrating outcome that was matched with a lingering reluctance to accept fully that the numbers which led to Trump’s victory were not aerated. 

Michelle Obama acknowledged this reluctance in page 411 of her book “Becoming” where she wrote that: “Hillary Clinton won nearly three million more votes than her opponent, but Trump captured the Electoral college thanks to fewer than eighty thousand votes spread across Pennsylvania… I am not a political person, so I’m not going to attempt to offer an analysis of the results. I won’t try to speculate about who was responsible or what was unfair.” The 2016 presidential election has led to various inquiries, chief among them is the investigation into Russia’s influence in the election. However, this opinion piece will not concern itself with the events around the benignities or atrocities of both parties, but with democracy and its socio-cultural implementation in the United States where pre-election polls count as the social conscience of the masses.
This year’s election polls are looking copacetic for the Democrats. For example, in Arizona, as reported by The Guardian, the numbers are looking good for the party’s presidential candidate Joe Biden who is leading with more than three points in polling averages against President Donald Trump. Going by the statistics of the polls, come November in the election, Joe Biden should get a nod of decisive votes and a clear approval from Arizona, one of the largest states in America; a win that, if it happens, will contribute to the sendforth of Donald Trump from the White House.

With the polls looking fair, a large number of Democrats wonder if data from the polls will shape the outcome of the forthcoming election. It is a concern that has led the president of Democrats of Greater Tuscon Group, Larry Bodine to say that, “…the polls are a mirage. After 2016, I decided from then on, I was not just going to rely on what the polls had to say, and instead rely on what my fellow Democratic volunteers encounter out in the field.”

The 2016 US presidential election is a loss many people did not foresee. With Hillary Clinton sweeping off the polls, displaying a high sense of control in all the presidential debates, several media outlets evaluated her performance and predicted that she would win the election against her brash opponent, Donald Trump. It appears that the 2016 unanticipated presidential election loss has subconsciously developed a certain level of insecurities for the democrats. Reports have shown that Democrats highly approved mail-in voting for the 2020 election citing that the pandemic may contribute to voter apathy.  It is still unclear why some democrats consider mail-in voting as a fairer approach to the forthcoming election but it is clear that debates about whether polls are central to the outcome of elections as they were many years ago are currently ongoing as the American people prepare to vote next November.

Do US election polls tell the truth? If one is to place the law of pragmatism which says that “the truth is what works” in line with the outcome of 2016 US presidential election, it will be a disappointing match. Political analysts strongly believe in the potency of pre-election polls to dictate the outcome of the election. Polls have predicted many elections in the past but beyond their power for prediction, polls have also contributed to the illusion of victory. The damning effect of polls is that they often appear to be infallible. 

Read Also: US Election 2020: Biden Ahead of Trump in Polls

Political analysts are correct to say that the outcome of polling is bound to the health of democracy due to its key component; lack of political meddling. A poll, before the election, is there to display socio-political consciousness of the people. US election polls are the exhibition of people’s will but the election determines the winner which in many democratic states is prone to rigging or collusion. If anything, the poll does not count. The votes, during the elections count and it is possible for the United State of America to experience low turnout if it does not provide its citizens with easy method to vote.

President Trump and the Democrat nominee Joe Biden, unlike the two sides of a coin, will face each other today at Cleveland in a debate that is the most anticipated part of the campaign. This is the first of the three-scheduled debate between the two US presidential candidates. The American people will look forward to the debate as well as factoring recent events which include New York Times report of Trump’s tax avoidance and the Trump Campaign group putting out 17 questions Biden must answer with a question on Joe Biden son on top of that list. The debate held and it gave the two men on the platform an oppourtunities to inspire the people and to dole out decent ‘jabs’. Will the outcome of the forthcoming election be in accordance with the current polls? It is safe to say at this point that no one can tell.

Basit Jamiu

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