So, What Do These Polls of Presidential Candidates Mean in Real Life?

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Peter Stevens https://www.flickr.com/photos/nordique/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Peter Stevens https://www.flickr.com/photos/nordique/

I haven’t written about the obsessive early polling of presidential candidates for one simple reason: I think it’s ridiculous.

Asking voters a year or more out from an election who they will vote for is like asking a 12-year-old girl to describe her future husband. What you will get in either case is a dream scenario that does not resemble what will actually happen when things get real.

I also think that debates this far out are, in a word, stupid. It’s showmanship, aimed at getting ratings. By the time the first vote is cast next spring, the voting public is already going to be sick of the spectacle.

However, I got a request to talk about the debates yesterday, and that led me to explain a bit of how these things work in real life in a post for CatholicVote. Here’s a bit of what I said:

Donald Trump is now neck and neck with Dr Ben Carson in polling data. Despite this, Mr Trump’s numbers have not fallen all that much.

How has this happened?

It’s simple, really. It’s also what usually happens in political races with lots of candidates. First, candidates drop out. That has been occurring in the Republican presidential marathon. As candidates drop out, voters who were backing them shift to other candidates. Over time, support begins to consolidate behind one candidate.

Donald Trump came out of the gate ahead of the pack. He led the field by a wide margin. But I noticed something interesting about his lead. The numbers held steady. What that meant is that he had a certain group of Republican voters behind him and they were solid in their support. But it looked as if that group was all he might get.

In short, he had a great starter set, but his ability to get over 50% seemed weak. I kind of expected that as candidates dropped out and the field began to consolidate, someone besides Mr Trump would pick up the gains. That is what has happened.

At the same time, Dr Carson’s success has fueled a drop in Mr Trump’s support. Dr Carson is not only managing to consolidate support that was previously going to candidate who have dropped out of the race, he is beginning to leach support away from Mr Trump.

Does that mean that Dr Carson is the likely nominee?

– See more at: http://www.catholicvote.org/so-how-exactly-does-the-polling-work/#sthash.3uJyB9KW.dpuf

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Presidential Debate 2: Abortion, Planned Parenthood, HHS Mandate

President Obama raised the specter of a war on birth control during the debate last night. According to him, Governor Romney, if elected, is going to limit your access to contraceptives. This particular set of claims has become almost pro forma whenever pro abortion people debate those who are pro life. These statements are untrue. However, as with many lies that are so easily told today, they gain traction simply by virtue of being repeated again and again.

The people who keep pushing this lie base it on four assumptions, all of which are untrue.

1. They equate any opposition to unlimited funding for Planned Parenthood with a “war on birth control.”
2. They ignore the simple fact that legal access to birth control as a private matter is, as a result of a Supreme Court decision, protected by the Constitution of the United States.
3. They equate attempts to force religious institutions to pay for birth control with all legal access to contraceptives. They seem almost to be saying that if they can’t force churches to violate their teachings women will not have access to contraceptives. This is such an obvious lie, but they keep repeating it.
4. They erroneously imply that a lack of contraceptive availability is the cause of almost all abortions.

All four of these assumptions are untrue. But that doesn’t stop Planned Parenthood and its supporters from pushing them as if they were absolutely accurate at every turn.

There was no lack of this nonsense in the debate last night. I think it is ridiculous to say that Governor Romney is in any way attacking or waging war on contraceptive availability. The people who try to claim this are doing it by equating Planned Parenthood with all contraceptive availability. This is simply not true.

Yet President Obama made these same charges in the debate last night.

I could talk about many different issues which were covered in the debate, but I’m going to limit myself to this one. It is an essential point for pro-life people to understand and to be able to articulate. There are far too many people who are unaware of how inaccurate these charges are.

The following YouTube video is a good example of how this biased viewpoint can be presented in a subtle and effective fashion. It’s convincing, even though what it’s implying is not true. Have a look at it and see if you can spot the manipulations.

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