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Bullshit Polls – But, Vote Like Your Life Depends On It

Bullshit Polls – But, Vote Like Your Life Depends On It

Recent Texas polls have been under-sampled and unrepresentative. But no matter what the polls say, we all need to vote as if our lives depended on it.

If you’ve seen the recent headlines, “Greg Abbott is the worst Governor in the history of Texas, still polling to win in November.” How could that be? How could our friends, loved ones, and neighbors be so in favor of fascism? They aren’t, but we need to talk about it.

Over the weekend, the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation and WFAA, KHOU, KVUE, and KENS published a poll that put Greg Abbott 7-points ahead of Beto. The same poll also showed Ken Paxton, Dan Patrick, and other statewide Republicans in the lead of each race.

For this particular poll, here is who was surveyed. 1,172 LIKELY voters, 57%, were Anglo, 27% Hispanic, and 12% Black.

40% of those surveyed were aged 58 or older. In addition, 43% identified as Republican, 41% as Democrat, and 14% as Interdependent.

Not only do those demographics not represent Texas, but the weighted sampling they used doesn’t reflect newly registered voters or pissed-off women.

What is weighted sampling?

Weighting adjusts the poll data to ensure that the sample more accurately reflects the characteristics of the population from which it was drawn and to which an inference will be made. 

For example, this Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation weighted the results based on the 2016 and 2020 presidential vote choices between age, race, gender, and education.

So, if one person (for even number’s sake) accounted for 1% of the people surveyed and 57% of those surveyed were Anglo, even though Texas is only 38% Anglo, that 1% will account for something like 0.5% in the poll, instead of 1%. At the same time, they might raise the weighted representation of another person to 1.5% to accurately reflect the demographics in Texas based on likely voters in 2016 and 2020.

They do this for accuracy.

Why this sampling is problematic.

This is how polling has always been done. It’s almost always worked before. However, it doesn’t account for newly registered voters, how pissed off women are after the overturning of Roe V. Wade, and the current threats of fascism that loom over our country.

In Kansas a few months ago, the abortion vote was polled 45-42 against keeping the state law. However, the vote wound up being 56-42 for keeping the law. Kansas pollsters badly under-predicted turnout among younger and women voters.

Polls are weighted based on past elections, but we’re seeing a surge of young and women voters all around the country this year, which will not be accounted for in any poll.

Texas has seen a sharp uptick of new voters, over 1 million, according to the Austin Statesman. These new voters are primarily young people of color and women. Now, 80% of the voting age population in Texas is registered to vote.

What does that mean?

We’re essentially in no-man’s land. There are over 17.5 million registered voters in Texas. For context, only 11.3 million voted in the 2020 election (5.6 million Republicans and 5.2 million Democrats). It was the highest voter turnout Texas ever had. Still, in 2020, 5.6 million registered voters did not vote.

In 2018, only 8.3 million people voted (4.2 million Republicans and 4 million Democrats). 7.4 million registered voters did not vote.

In 2016, 8.9 million people voted (4.6 million Republicans and 3.8 million Democrats). 6.2 million voters did not vote.

Getting more people registered is only part of the problem. Making sure people show up is an entirely different can of worms.

But, there is one thing we should talk about. In 2018, which was a midterm election, nearly as many people showed up to the polls as did in the previous presidential election. That was the Beto effect. He energized the Democratic base to get out and vote for him, but he also energized the Republican base to get out and vote against him.

October 11 is the last day to register to vote.

There’s no doubt that Texas is getting more blue after each election, and during the last midterms, when Beto was running against Ted Cruz, we came within 2-points. But that was before Roe was overturned. Since then, women are registering to vote at much higher rates than men.

Source: 270 to Win

The younger voters are registering in higher numbers than almost anything we’ve seen in recent history.

In 2016 and 2020, polls were wrong. A lot of polls were wrong, and Nate Cohn of the NY Times recently wrote about the warning signs that the 2022 polls could be wrong. And wrong in a bad way.

Another recent poll shows Abbott at 50% and Beto at 43%. 7%, just like the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation. However, it has a 4.4% error margin, making the poll unreliable.

Unfortunately, all of the polls in Texas currently show Abbott leading. More so, they show that Texas hasn’t moved much since the Dobbs decision.

That’s because they don’t including newly registered voters.

Also, almost all of the polling companies/entities lean conservative. Even the Texas Tribune, whose poll was done with UT Tyler. It’s important to remember that Tyler is in ruby-red East Texas. But, you also should note how these polls are being presented.

Notice how these two polls, which each present Hispanic voters, are presented differently by Patrick Svitek, Texas Tribune political correspondent and undercover Conservative.

The bottom line is all the polls are bullshit and what will determine this election is the youth vote and pissed-off women, neither of which have been surveyed.

Regardless of what any poll says, vote like your life depends on it. Because it very well might, especially here in Texas, especially if you are a woman or your family is immigrants.

The kids are alright; they may save us from fascism this year.

Don’t listen to polls that over-represent Anglos in Texas, when they make up only 38% of the state. Don’t listen to polls using weighted calculations based on previous years before the rise of fascism and the end of Roe. And don’t listen to polls that don’t include newly registered voters.

Make sure you’re registered to vote! Don’t forget!

Are you registered to vote? Not sure, find out HERE!

The last day to register to vote is October 11, 14 days from now.

The first day of early voting is October 24, 27 days from now.

And in 42 days, on November 8, we turn Texas blue.

You can now read an ad-free version of Living Blue in Texas and help support our mission to turn Texas blue. Sign up now.

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