Lisa Thinks…
2 min readApr 19, 2024
AI Generated with Photoshop Adjustments

Open call for legislation requiring that polls published whose results are within the margin of error be reported as “too close to call”.

The reason is simple: reporting the actual numbers themselves gives people a false sense of confidence that the numbers mean something.

There are advertising regulations precedence for this.

And it may not seem important but, as news chases numbers and polls, because they prefer “hard reporting”, it is not hard reporting when most of the polls are telling us it is “too close to call” — and THAT is the real story — not candidate A or B is leading by 1 or 2%.

This is more relevant than ever because Presidential elections are being determined by less than 1% of the vote in key battleground states. One percent is within the margin of error for most polls so any polls citing numbers that show a theoretical lead are misleading their audience. The audience would be better off being told that the race is too close to call.

The results of the 2016 election hinged on swing states where the difference in votes was less than 1%,Trump%20and%20five%20from%20Clinton.

In 2020, the election results again hinged on swing states where the margin for victory was less than 1%:,Bush%20in%201992.

We have passed the time where sloppy reporting of polls is ok.

The integrity of our election system depends on people having a realistic sense of the results.

And, finally, national reporting of polls for Presidential Candidates should be banned since national polls mean nothing when it comes to electoral outcomes.

We do have freedom of speech but that freedom is not unbounded.

Advertising and medical claims are closely regulated. This is creating a reporting standard so the public cannot be misled.

This might encourage pollsters to get larger sample sizes before they report their results — making the polls more accurate and making them less likely to have to report “too close to call”.

Lisa Thinks…

I work to understand and explain the world in a very simple way. I have written Mind, Media and Madness, Embrace Life/Embrace Change (by Lisa Snow)