Final Polls Before Election. Election 2014 Coverage. As this podcast is posted, it is the early hours of Election Day 2014 in the United States. One third of the US Senate, all of the House of Representatives, scores of Governors and State Representatives and Senators across the country, are waiting to see what an unpredictable electorate will decide. These races are very important to the lives of the people in these individual states, and to the people of the country as a whole. Politics is not Sports, but it is being covered as though it is. Politicians are presented as players. Speech writers, campaign managers, party officials and insiders as coaches, former politicians and pundits become willing participants in what is being described as the ‘pageant’ of American politics. Viewers and listeners become invested in which ‘team’ wins or loses, and so emotionally identify with a ‘side’, as though that reflects the true nature of politics. The relationship between voters and their representatives is complex and runs deep. Since cable television news channels decided to give up reporting the news, and copied talk radio’s format, television now pushes people to the right or left paradigm in order to keep them watching. Although political polling was a factor in election coverage before 2010, controversy over Obama Care spurred the Tea Party Movement, and carried Republicans to a majority in the House of Representatives. In 2012 the polls indicated a slight advantage for Republican candidate Mitt Romney, and the Republican establishment felt it was entitled to the presidency. Only a few people said the polls were too close (Editor’s Note: I was one of them), but they were ignored in the headlong confirmation between Republicans that they would ‘win’. Moral of the story? Polls can be wrong. Really wrong. And here we are again, in November of 2014, with the election ‘moneyballers’ applying sports statistical analysis to something as widely variable and unreliable as political polling, and not just political polling but, polling in individual states. Added to this, media executives, producers, program directors and editors pushing their writers, broadcasters and guests to conclude, predict and provoke the audience, just as long as they watch another twenty four hours. And then there is the relentless onrush of negative mailers, attack ads, flaps and gaffes that go viral through social media and become ‘news stories. In this podcast, we’ll run down the polls one more time and make no predictions. At the end of this special edition election update from The Bob Davis Podcasts you’ll know how the polls stand in the so called ‘battleground’ states, and you’ll be able to come to your own conclusions about whether the predictions are outlandish or not. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul, and by Depotstar.
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