Twitter Releases Newest Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Twitter recently announced its new Twitter Political Index, a resource that claims to reflect the voter sentiment of Twitter users concerning the candidates for the 2012 election. In its first test run, the Twindex said Obama was at 34% while Romney trails with 25% of positive Twitter sentiment. August 1, Obama’s rating had jumped ten points to 44%. Shocking.

Commentators have already pointed out the obvious: that the sampling for the poll is limited to those people who use Twitter and is therefore not the most inclusive, or accurate, means of determining what the average American really feels. Many people who vote don’t even have Twitter accounts (myself included), and there is no doubt that the Twitter demographic is heavily slanted toward all those very hip people who think, contrary to all reasonable considerations, that Obama is the bee’s knees. I’m frankly surprised that Romney did as well as 25% with the Twits.

Election polls in general fall into Twain’s famous category of lies: “statistics.” Since the advent of the mass media, polls have been used more for swaying public opinion than reporting it. And the reason for this is obvious: no one likes to be on the losing side, so polls are a golden opportunity to tell the voter which side will win so they can save themselves the embarrassment of advocating an unpopular opinion. When you add to this that most people are badly informed, that most people don’t live (or vote) by convictions, and that the two-party system forces most people to vote pragmatically, the polls become a self-fulfilling prophecy. You don’t want to vote for that guy! He’s unelectable!  Oh, well, I don’t want to vote a guy into office that’s unelectable! I guess I’ll cast my ballot for this other guy.

Ever since Reagan popularized the idea of the “silent majority,” it has become more and more obvious that the mainstream polling samples are out of touch with the way people really think. [Correction: Nixon actually popularized the idea of a “silent majority,” not Reagan. Thanks, rocky63 for the correction.] Last night, my family and I waited for an hour and a half for some spicy chicken sandwiches and chicken nuggets. Our local Chick-Fil-A had to shut down orders for thirty minutes just to catch up. And no one was upset about it. This same scenario was repeated all over the country. Apparently, the vociferous public outrage over Dan Cathy’s opinions wasn’t really shared by private citizens. I think there are still hundreds of thousands of people out there whose opinions are not being reflected in polls. And though they may not be ranting to the world in 144 characters or less, these very “unhip” people are going to let their opinion be heard in the voting booth, Twindex notwithstanding.

0 responses

  1. One of the first things I learned in Statistics clas is that you can lie with numbers just as well as you can lie with words because if you know what you’re doing you can make statistics say anything you want them to. Per the instructor.

  2. Do you want Tweedle-Dee or Tweedle-Dum: (Obama or Romney)? Better vote for someone who truly values and consistently stands for liberty and truth.

    • They are not the same… anyone who thinks that is not paying attention to how much Obama is working to tear down this nation. Only Obama and Romney have a chance at winning – do you really want to help Obama win by not voting for Romney?

    • Sure, sit at home this time, and let Obozo have it again, then next time around you won’t have anything to worry about, Obama will have destroyed the country or suspended elections. Look, this mess we are in is not going to be alleviated by one election, its going to take time, Getting rid of the light-worker, regaining control of the senate are the first steps.

      • He doesn’t give Free money, that’s just the downpayment when he returns for the next 4 years. God forbid. If anyone remembers the Soviet Union they are aware of their schemes.

      • Obama will NOT destroy the country – the PEOPLE – you and me and all the rest of the 350 million or so are doing a pretty fine job of it. Obama is simply the boil on a sore body.

    • That would be Dr Ron Paul. He is the champion of the Constitution which is why both Maine & Louisianna GOP state leaders refuse to seat the delegates he won fair and square using the rules of the GOP. Can’t win? Wrong. He just isn’t the media darling and people have to do their own research.

  3. People should realize that polls are not to be automatically trusted. Think long and hard about it and think for yourself.

  4. can i join twitter and just send a message that says. Obama is dumb over and over and over to rig the counting? I do not think ANYONE would try something like that……….

    • How to get your twitter account closed – yes – because the internet (Google, yahoo, Bing, and all the rest are totally concerned and under the thumb of the current powers that be (PTB) in government and the FCC). So don’t be homosexual sodomite or lesbian bashing – and watch your bad breath about Obama and company

  5. Wasn’t it Nixon who first popularized the term “silent majority”? I’m just wondering. Happy to give Reagan the credit, but wonder if I remember it correctly.

    • I don’t use it either but I wonder… are all that use twitter on welfare like obama is… I mean, who pays his wages? TAX PAYERS…. who pays for the phones of those who say they can’t work due to whatever? TAX PAYERS Hollywood… if it wasn’t for us going to see their pic’s or watch them on TV, they would be working like the rest of us do but they are on welfare due to TAX PAYER giving away their money to just see them show what? SEX with anyone and any thing. MURDER anyone or anything and yet they live high on the hog and they travel and stay in LUX while the rest of us WORK and support them.

      • So why are you watching those Hollywood rich at the movies, netflix, or on TV. Turn them off – make them earn their pay. Of Course – the real problem is they almost all seem to be at best closet socialists/communists – of course (again) they all have your money and their drugs.

  6. Unfortunately, I’m afraid most of these people that don’t mind voting w/ their dinner, will not vote their convictions in the fall- precisely because of the reasons you stated: Not informed, not wanting to vote for the ‘loser’ or voting pragmatically. I’m pretty sure the republican choice may well be more moderate in dogma, but just as marxist and socialist in action as the last 4 Presidents. We need to not vote by party, but by principles- principles of self-gov’t and limited civil gov’t. I would be glad to be proven wrong.

  7. The old saying “figures lie and liars figure” certainly pertains to all the main stream media polls. The polls are as biased as the reporting.

  8. How can you take anyone seriously who openly comments that they put their views out on the information highway anyplace else electronic that they tweet I mean only birds tweet and chirp. So that make them bird brains start with.

    • But some you can – ever listen to Neal Boortz? Facebook – now that’s a whole different matter as to why anyone would put their lives in front of the public – especially if you aren’t to smart about life in the first place.

      • I listen to Neal and am on FaceBook because it is where I can vent my disappointment and disgust with the the current enabling of the usurper in the WH. There are privacy settings to prevent and restrict information sharing unless you approve. Now, I am not naive at 61 yrs old, but one can control their shared content enough that “anyone would put their lives in front of the public” is restricted. It is therapy for me, as a frustrated (ret military family) Constitutional patriot conservative, as I interact with like-minded who are very professional and smart. Consider it.

  9. I have stopped Tweeting Poll Results mainly because they are wholy Unreliable because the Result is skewed by People Lying, Where and Who is being asked to give their Opinion and are Just Plain Manipulated by the Party or News Agency asking it when they don’t like the Results! Why you may ask, well, the GOP does not want those who want Anybody But Obama to get too confident and then decide not to Vote! The DNC and the MSM wants to Lie and tell those watching that Obama is doing a good Job and has the Support of the People and to give the ObamaBots HOPE that he can win in November! In the End, no one really knows what will happen Come Nov 6, but if the polls are Really Showing a Big Obama Defeat, then you will see some Kind of Desperate measure coming out of the Obama Campaign and the MSMjust before the election that they hope will sway those still undecided?

  10. It’s kind of like the Bible – it also can back any point you want – just leave out what you don’t want. the result – American version of Christianity in ALL of it’s sects and cults

  11. Only three pollsters have no agenda that I know of. Pew, Rasmussen and Gallup. All the rest are motivated to make their facts fit their agenda. To speak plainly they are lying out of their butts.

  12. I reiterate about polls.

    The rumor is not true that then President Clinton made a surprise visit to a Warsaw nursery just before the votes were cast on his run for a second term. It was stated that he just wanted to see what the latest Poles were saying.

    The opinions from any nursery are about as prophetic as any U.S. national poll, and anyone who pays attention to them is foolish.

  13. I’m laughing so hard at this article that my sides hurt! What a bunch of bunk! Let me guess they polled Pelosi, Reid, Holder, Ayres, Jones, Walters, Rangel to get that imposter with a reasonable number. What a bunch of baloney.

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