Actually, very little! Four years ago most people were surprised by the failure of polls to forecast accurately the outcome of numerous elections, yet now, the media continues to report the results of current polls that claim to show us the future. But the job of the Pollsters has become excruciatingly difficult.
In the past, the degree of success for a polling company was primarily determined by the design of the sample. Using a sample size of fewer than 1,000 to reflect the opinion of millions required a lot of skill. And some were very skilled and showed consistently good results.
But oh how the world has changed. One of the unintended consequences of the technological revolution is the advent of the ubiquitous “robo call”! Pollsters need people in their sample to answer the phone. I’m betting most people won’t answer the phone unless they know who’s calling. At best they will let it go through to voicemail, and I doubt there will be many people returning the pollster’s call.
Combined with the increasing desire of many to keep their opinions private tells me the polls this year will not be a very reliable source of useful information. However, the Media will continue to report polling results simply because it gives them something to report. But why the Democrats have been using poll results as one of the criteria for participation in their debates is beyond me.
Fortunately, we’re entering the Primary Season and we will begin to get a measure of what actual voters are thinking, not what pollsters say voters are thinking.