If you believe the polls, there’s no reason to vote.
The margins of victory for presidential candidate Joe Biden and Arizona U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kelly are double-digits, more than accounting for any margin of error calculation. Depending on the polling firm, Arizona will turn blue after the Nov. 3 election, easily defeating Republican candidates for the Senate, returning a majority of Democrats to represent the state in Congress, and depriving President Trump a key state in his re-election bid.
Polls, however, are a bit like forecasting the outcome of sporting events. The pre-game, pre-match hype would convince most casual observers that the favored team or athlete is a sure bet to win.
Until they don’t.
We are reminded of the U.S. hockey team defeating the Soviets in the 1980 Olympics. Or, the 1969 victory by the New York Jets over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. Or Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson for the heavyweight boxing title in 1990.
Each of these results stunned the sporting world.
Prior to the 2016 presidential election, polls put Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning at more than 70 percent. She was expected to win easily in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and other key electoral college states.
She didn’t and political pundits have been theorizing why the polls were so wrong ever since. Pollsters pointed to a “social desirability bias” as one reason President Trump was elected, contending that voters were reluctant to admit they voted for him after numerous “politically incorrect” statements during his campaign. Others pointed to “typical” Trump voters as the least likely to respond to national opinion polls, thereby omitting an entire demographic from the tabulation.
The bottom line is that no outcome is final until the last vote is counted or in sports, until the contest is played.
It’s important voters participate in the process and exercise their right to cast a ballot. Doing so assures their own satisfaction and adds integrity to a fundamental process that distinguishes our republic for its free and civilized elections.
We hear the polling results almost every day in the mainstream media.
Now is the time to ignore those tabulations and prepare to cast your ballot.
The outcome won’t be decided until the last vote is counted.