What's Your Take? Polls

The polls are fairly accurate although I think they don't matter. The big lead they claim Bush had [in early Sept.] was quickly erased after a week. They don't have an affect on my opinion. Our country needs change.
Tyler Buck, 17, Valley Center, CA

Polls certainly do not affect my political choices or views, neither do I think they should affect anyone else's. Sometimes the results of polls can be used in favor of political campaigns. In regards to the accuracy of polls, most of us do not know how polls are conducted. How are they done? on a random or voluntary basis? Do they really represent us at large?
Victoria Otazo, 20, Los Angeles, CA

The polls mean nothing to me. Especially since I’ve heard that a lot of the people who attended the RNC were bussed in and paid to fill the crowd. I have never been polled, and I know no one who has. That makes me wonder who do they poll exactly, if they poll at all.
Amber Horton, 19, Estes Park, CO

Polls have played a historically important (although misleading) roll on the way elections turn out. I've seen polls that say that Bush is in the lead, that Kerry is in the lead, and that they’re perfectly tied, all simultaneously or nearly so (showing their obvious inaccuracies). As a means of general judgment, an unbiased poll is a good measure of the approximate sentiments of the population, but more often, they are used to mislead people. There is an element of the "bandwagon" mentality when a poll heralds this or that politician as the leader, implying “most people are going to vote for this candidate, so why aren't you?”

Patrick Ward, 17, Santa Fe, NM

I think the polls mean very little, overall. They don’t tell me anything, and this election is still to close although I doubt the semi-good guys will take just because of the others craftiness. It’s also too close to Election Day. They will matter a tad more when the debates happen, until then it’s all day-to-day.

Josh Cook, 16, Louisville, KY

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.