A (Mostly Baseless) Theory About Political Polls This Year

(Image Credit: Rich Girard / Flickr)

(Image Credit: Rich Girard / Flickr)

It's finally Friday, which means it's time to have a little fun. And for us political junkies, that means rolling out the most outlandish and unlikely theories about what's going on in this election. And specifically today, what is up with the polls?

If you've been following the Clinton v. Trump matchup, you know that a few weeks ago this election was over. Clinton had dominated Trump in the final debate, remaining calm, a sea of placid policy wonkiness to his increasingly erratic whirlpool of incoherence. Plus, there was that whole "grab them by the p***y" video, and the subsequent run for the hills many Republicans went on, leaving Trump mostly alone to fend for himself. Rightly so.

But then, in the past week, polls have shown the race to be much closer. Clinton still has the advantage, but bettors are giving Trump ever more odds of pulling off a win, with the prominent stat site FiveThirtyEight now saying Clinton is just a "polling error" away from losing. That would be, Trump could actually win. 


But why? Here's my deeply cynical conspiracy theory, and know that 95% of me does not believe this. But I'll entertain it #becausefriday. 

Media outlets have made a veritable fortune on this election, and that's mostly due to Trump. He's brash, crass, ridiculous, offensive, frightening, unpredictable, imminently watchable - all the stuff that good entertainment television is built on. No matter that he's also ignorant about the economy, a genuine threat when it comes to international stability, and morally bankrupt. 

Trump is good TV. He's good for the ratings, which makes him good for the executives, and please don't settle for my humble word on that.

And now (well, actually on Nov. 9), the Trump show is probably coming to an end. How many Americans will tune in to learn all about the latest congressional shenanigans to block bills, or the intricacies of Supreme Court dissenting opinions? Not many - viewers are switching back to full-time entertainment channels once Trump exits stage right.

And so the "tightening" of the polls is just a way to keep our eyes plastered on the news screen. Just for one last week. DON'T SAY GOODBYE YET, RATINGS!

Post Script: This is entirely conjecture, and written in the desperate hope that polls are NOT actually as close as they appear to be. 

Image Credit: Rich Girard/Flickr

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