Can Good Polls Depress Activism? Yes, They Can

You no doubt saw the great poll numbers for Joe Biden this weekend. But good news can bring danger.

To be honest, I LOVE hearing information like that. But here’s the thing. I’m not keen on sharing good polls widely. Why? Because it makes people complacent. If the polls look good, some people take their foot off the gas. And it’s not just the presidential race. If a race moves from Toss Up to Lean Democratic, like a couple of Senate races have, you can feel a sigh of relief rise up in yourself and a thought bubble appears, “Ah, good. I don’t have to worry about that race as much.”

The last thing we need is a lot of people thinking that this election is in the bag. No! What we have is the wind at our backs. We have the opportunity to bring the wins home. But sitting on the couch at home isn’t going to get us the result we want.

Lest anyone has forgotten, Hillary Clinton looked really good in the polls at this point in 2016.

By sharing good polling or ratings news, I worry that I might accidentally depress activism and therefore turnout. Instead, a good way to think about any race at any time is to act as though we’re behind in the polls. And then act accordingly. Keep your foot on the gas — as of today, we only have 29 days to turn out as many votes as we can.

That said, if you’re a bit of an elections nerd (as I seem to have become in the past 3 years), here are my go-to resources to stay on top of race ratings and polls:

For race ratings: Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball

For polls: FiveThirtyEight (you can choose the type of race or polls for a particular state)

Thank you for taking action so we win in November!


Mini Tip of the Day: Add a signature to your personal email account, with a message like: “Today is a good day to make a plan to vote.” Include a link like Vote.Org

Get the rest of my Mini Tips here: 19 Quick Ways to Turn Out the Vote in 2020

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3 replies

  1. TokyoSand, when you go after the king (word choice intended), you better make sure you take him down. Democrats, independents and Republicans against Trump must vote. If they can, they should vote in person, early. But vote. This perceived king is the most corrupt and deceitful president in my lifetime and that includes Richard Nixon who was a crook.

    I have been watching “The Comey Rules” on HBO. A line that was very telling was offered early on when James Comey was meeting Trump for the first time. The person said be careful of what you say as Trump operates on three principles – spite, spite and spite. Keith

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