Numbers May Lie: Why The Poll Results Don’t Dictate Who The President Will Be


The results of the post-debate polls are in but like American Idol, the nation’s preliminary votes don’t exactly dictate who will win the competition.

With so much buzz surrounding the debates, you would think this was Election day, or the presidential inauguration, so let the balls begin! In true political theatre, two different polls–Pew Research Center and Gallup–posted very different results “at the same damn time.” (Word to Future.) The Gallup daily tracking poll has President Obama at 50% and opponent Mitt Romney at 45%, which was the President’s lead prior to debates. The PRC has the race tied at 46% among Registered Voters (the group that is heading to the booths indefinitely) while the second PRC poll has the race with Romney at 49% and President Obama at 45% amongst Likely Voters (the group who is unsure if they are casting a ballot). Last month, this same poll had President Obama up by eight points.

Now what do these statistics mean? Naughty by Nature said it best: “Scratch your temple because it’s not that simple.” The people called upon to take the poll were identified by party affiliation (Party ID). In the poll showing Romney with a slight advantage versus last month’s results, the percentages of party participation changed: fewer Democrats were asked, more Republicans were recruited and the amount of independents was kept the same.

The numbers can be misleading if you take them at face value. Now I am not saying polls should be discredited, just understand how the results came to be. Based on my personal polling on Twitter, email and phone calls, these polls have created a sense of anxiety among those of you who are pro-Bama. The polls are a mere snapshot of the race, not meant to declare who the President will be come November. I can only imagine President Obama sitting somewhere unphased with the First Lady, David Axelrod (Senior Advisor), Jim Messina (Campaign Manager) and Patrick Gaspard (Executive Director of DNC) singing “ain’t nobody fresher than my clique.”

Mike Muse is the youngest American to raise a million dollars for Obama’s campaign. He can be reached at [email protected], on twitter @iammikemuse, and