Here’s why I don’t trust polls.
1. Margin of Error
Candidate A has 51% of the votes
Candidate B has 49% of the votes
Margin of Error is +/-2%
This means that Candidate A could have as little as 49% or as much as 53% of the votes-
While Candidate B could have as little as 47% of the votes or as much as…
I take them with a grain of salt, and also consider the pollster. For instance, Gallup, which is generally considered more Republican than Democratic leaning, shows that Obama has a 67% approval rating. Therefore, I assume that significantly more Americans approve than disapprove of his performance.
I do distrust the data collected in most polls. On the other hand, professional pollsters feel that their work has a near scientific reliability. My impression is that the phrasing of a poll question is critical the raw data obtained. Your “abortion v. pro choice” example illustrates the point. Further, if you poll on an issue that has outside mainstream discussion, such as congressional term limits, you get a bizarre result. Bizarre because their is a high favorable reaction to term limit in congress. Yet, these same people polled say that they like their member in congress.
Polls are inaccurate
Just ask John Kerry, Al Gore, Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale
Well done, Travis. As usual. You have presented the problem very well and with your typical acumen.
However, I am afraid to answer your question in case your poll is really some kind of subversive communist plot.
I take them with a grain of salt. Polls can be skewed, the sampling can be very selective, etc.
I don’t have NO faith in politican polls.