BOSTON (CBS) – There are certain clichés you just know you’re going to hear repeated every campaign: “this is a movement… I’m fighting for you… the only poll that counts is the one on election day!”
Sure enough, we’re hearing them all these days.
And here’s another one – don’t believe the polls (says the candidate who’s trailing), look at the size and enthusiasm of the crowds I’m drawing!
We’ve been getting this one quite a bit lately from Donald Trump; we heard it earlier in the year from Bernie Sanders as his campaign was fading. And if you were ever tempted to believe that spin, check out a new poll of voter activism from the Huffington Post.
It found that very few voters ever attend a political event, with only eight-percent reporting they’d been to a Clinton event, and six-percent claiming attendance at a Trump rally.
How about yard signs and bumper stickers? Again, eight-percent say they’ve displayed one for Clinton, six-percent for Trump.
And over the years, study after study has shown that people who show up for rallies tend to already be enthusiastic supporters of that candidate.
In other words, the polls tell the truth far more than the crowds and the spin.
Yes, polls are sometimes proven wrong, but most of the time they are not.
Hey, candidates – don’t worry about how big or vocal your crowds are, or how many yard signs you see with your name on it. Focus on a message that reverberates widely, and on delivering it intelligently.
Otherwise, you might as well start drafting your concession speech.
Listen to Jon’s commentary: