I learned a new word today: psephology. Psephologists use statics and sociology to study elections and election patterns, and my research shows that they study the methods various pollsters use to poll potential voters.
I find this particularly interesting today, the day before the 2012 presidential election, because I’ve been noticing a disconnect between what I’ve been reading in the news and what the TV media have been telling me. My online news sources indicate that most of the polls in the swing states have Obama leading, even if by only a few percentage points. The rest of the polls call it a tie. The TV media keeps trying tell me that the election is too close to call. To be honest, I’ve been confused by this disconnect. My gut tells me the pollsters are correct, but the TV media keeps telling me I’m wrong.
When I learned my new word this morning and did a little research on it, my confusion began to clear. I’m now inclined to believe the pollsters. (Lesson: Always listen to your gut.) For a week or so now, I’ve been thinking that the TV media has a vested interest in making the election seem more undecided than the pollsters are saying it is. Today, I firmly believe that the TV media is doing its best to make sure everyone watches their election coverage tomorrow evening. It’s all about the ratings for the TV media.