The Media vs. The Blogs – Political Polls

When looking at the Polls taken by major media outlets, particularly television news, a viewer could easily come to the conclusion that the Republican electorate had become decidedly moderate since the last election. In recent polls taken for the 2008 Presidential Election, moderates like John McCain and Rudy Giuliani held significant leads over the more conservative candidates, including Sam Brownback, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich. However, polls taken by Blogs or other political websites such as The 2008 Presidential Wire, America’s Victory ’08, and The ACT Blog, showed the reverse to be true. In the most ACT Blog Presidential Primaries, Mitt Romney was leading the field, with McCain in second. Current results from the Straw Poll being taken at the 2008 Presidential Wire showed remarkably similar results.

So how is it that a candidate like Mitt Romney can be polling at less than 10% in polls conducted by media outlets such as NBC or FOX, yet hold respectable leads on internet sites? If we rule out repeat voting that is skewing the results towards the Conservative candidates, the most likely answer is that Conservatives are more likely to vistit blogs and vote in online polls. While this may sound like it distorts the results, it may actually provide a better picture of what to expect in 2008. The Reason? Not only are Conservatives seemingly more likely to visit blogs or vote in internet polls than moderates, but they are also more likely to vote in actual elections. Some statistics have shown that Conservatives, and those more likely to be conservative (including Christians, married persons, the elderly, and those in the middle and upper class) are more likely to cast ballots than moderates and Liberals. It is too early to tell which polls are correct, but it is deffinately something to think about when you hear that Conservatives are polling lower than moderates.

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