Your Data Doesn’t Matter
Today Rasmussen annouced new polling data that puts President Barack Obama at 39% and 38% for Representative Paul Ryan if the election was held today. A lot of people have already been talking about how this data gives Ryan’s potential candidacy more justification & I would too if this wasn’t polling data for a race that’s going to be held 15 months from now.
I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again in a longer form post on my Wordpress blog later on in the week - polling data this far out doesn’t matter. The only polling reason happens this far out is to give those of us who live and breathe the political horse race of US politics something to talk about when we’re still months away from primary season. I say that not because I don’t the results (I’m ambivalent), but because there are only three types of people who answer polls this far out.
1. Watchers: Everyone who honestly cares about politics during off years. Anecdotally (and unsurprisingly) these are people who work in or around politics.
2. Diehards. These are people (on the right at least) who if anyone were to run as the GOP nominee against the President they’d vote for that guy (or gal). That’s about 30% of voters nationwide on each side of the aisle. They’ve already made up their minds so please don’t call them 12 times during the months ramping up to GOTV.
3. Reactionaries: These people are trying to send a message. To who I’m not really sure because no one cares 15 months out, but regardless these are people who are unhappy with something that’s happening and want to show that displeasurer usually by saying they’ll vote for someone they don’t know much about and most likely wouldn’t actually vote for.
Unless you’re part of one of the three groups above don’t worry about the new polls regardless of what team you’re on.