The Distraction of Political Polling

It’s always a psychological boost for a campaign to have the lead in an election poll, but history shows us that this is not the time for the presumed front runner to update their office furniture for the upcoming term. How many times in recent memory have you seen a candidate declared a presumed winner due to a poll, only to find on Election Day that the poll results were way off base, once the votes were tallied?

If we were to hang our hopes and electoral dreams on polling we’d have President Hillary Rodham Clinton and Syracuse Mayor Juanita Perez Williams.

Polling in the Syracuse areas has become like the weather, “wait a few minutes, it’ll change”. And the numbers will change as people get in-tune with the upcoming election. Traditionally, people aren’t paying attention to electoral politics until after Labor Day. And if past history means anything, these recent numbers showing Katko with a 15 percentage point lead are as misleading as the polling that had Dan Maffei winning his re-election the year he was defeated by John Katko.

Two hidden gems in the recent poll, the City of Syracuse numbers and her strength among women voters, both are sleeping giants.  A massive GOTV effort in the City of Syracuse and the mobilization of various activists groups like Emily’s List and others is a path to victory for Dana Balter.  In the recent race for the Democratic Party’s nomination Balter’s numbers outperformed the polling prediction. Miscalculating appears to be common if you look at the predictions and follow through to the results, after the people have spoken.

Sixty days is an eternity in the world of politics and elections. As we’ve seen with the hyperbolic news cycle, more political news is created in one day than we used to get in one week.

Voter participation levels could be the reason our political landscape has tilted so far to the right, people most impacted by policies set in Washington D.C. stay home and refuse to vote. The disaffected must be engaged as never before with issues such as; Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, SNAP, HUD’s proposed rent increases, roll back of EPA regulations, this list goes on. These voters have to be addressed as they’re most impacted by policies and procedures implemented by the Trump Administration.

Recently, the Katko campaign went negative with their advertising, usually that means a campaign is nervous about something they’re seeing.

Balter’s going to have to weaponize the opposition to Katko. There are roughly 60 days to reach the disaffected, the large sleeping giant in the City of Syracuse and galvanize the 24th Congressional District’s women’s vote.  Don’t pay too much attention to polls, it only shows where there’s work to be done. Remember, if their polling is to be believed, we’d have a Democratic Syracuse Mayor, Juanita Perez Williams instead of the Independent, Mayor Ben Walsh.