Opinions Wed, 16 Nov 2016

How pollsters got it all wrong in US

By Nana Akua Tweneboah-Koduah

The much-trumpeted elections in the United States were finally put into the back burner when the unexpected thing happened.

Donald Trump who was ruled out by pollsters became the President-Elect against all odds. Trump’s election sent powerful shockwaves globally with the stocks in major markets in the United States, Britain, China, France, Japan, and Germany tumbling.

Do not blame Trump who during campaign stops continually slammed the polls out there by saying they were not accurate. Indeed the polls were not accurate and pollsters in the United States did a poor and languid job. The pollsters in US applied a lazy attitude to the 2016 Elections thinking it would work. Why wouldn’t they do that since it has worked for them in times past?

Now here’s how the pollsters did this poor job. Most of pollsters sampled either 3,000 or 4,000 people that they interviewed from time to time. It is the same group of people the pollsters interviewed, at every given turn.

Therefore, if Trump said something stupid they immediately reached out to the same people to solicit their views on which candidate they were going to vote for. The same thing happened when there was a news breakout concerning Hillary Clinton on her missing emails being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

This was a kind of a pendulum polling whereby the same potential voter was interviewed more than 100 times and that voter may have changed his or her mind more than 60 times or more. Other potential voters in the United States were left out or never interviewed. Perhaps the pollsters falsely believed that the thinking of just 3,000 or 4,000 people might be thinking of over 140 million potential voters in the United States.

That is why we are where we are now with so many citizens biting their fingers with the triumph of Trump.

We have the same kind of situation in Ghana. The London based Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) keeps predicting a landslide win by Nana Akufo-Addo in the December 7 Elections. And the NPP folks have been jumping on this report every time it is released, with Joy News doing different and painstaking analysis and commentary to trump the report.

My own investigations have uncovered that the EIU also uses the same type of sampling polling used by pollsters in the United States. Even in their case it is worse. They are not based in Ghana, so they have contracted some people in Ghana notably NPP sympathizers who identified some potential voters to be interviewed. And trust me most the identified potential voters have leanings towards the NPP.

So the NPP supporters are warned not to start waving their victory white handkerchiefs yet. They are simply not there yet. If the NPP thinks they are going to win the 2016 elections based on polls by EIU and prophesies, then they have a long way to way, because heaven will definitely help those who help themselves.

Right now the NPP supporters are going round spinning loads of lies. They have been telling people in the villages that President Mahama is going to increase water, electricity, and food prices if he wins again. They have reduced President Mahama to a tomato seller. Does President Mahama now control the prices of food on the market?

Some NPP supporters have even gone further than that by telling potential voters that President Mahama is going to dismantle their electricity poles after he wins the election so they should not vote for Mahama if they want to continue enjoying the electricity, which incidentally was provided to them by this same Mahama. This politics of lies is what NPP is preaching from village to village, hamlet to hamlet and household to household.

There is the need for the NDC not to sit down and do nothing. The NDC has a lot to talk about. They have a lot to show to Ghanaians. The NDC supporters must not sit down and think some angels would descend from heaven and do their work for them. The NDC do not have the luxury like Nana Akufo-Addo who according to Rev. Isaac Owusu Bempah, will benefit from angels who will descend from the heavens and vote for him on December 7.

Currently, President Mahama and Vice President Amissah-Arthur seem to be doing most of the campaign stops to sell their achievements. Where are the ministers? Who is a better person to talk about Mahama’s achievement on the road sector other than the sector minister?

Where is the Finance Minister, as Mahamadu Bawumia continues to taunt and belittle our achievements on the economy? Talk about the Energy and Power Ministries of the country. Have we heard enough about the NDCs achievements in these sectors? Are voters okay with what they know about these areas?

The NPP is roaming the cocoa growing areas spewing pure lies. We have heard them all. What is the Food and Agriculture Minister doing about this? What is the Fisheries Ministry also doing to sell its achievements? Is the Ministry of Education listening? Have we been able to explain very well to Ghanaians why some allowances were withdrawn so that we can enrol many students in nursing and teacher training institutions?

Ministers must not sit on the fence. They must not feel comfortable in their offices and SUVs. Their jobs are on the line. Same as President Mahama! If God forbids and President Mahama loses, he will go home with all his ministers and appointees. So how come President Mahama and his vice seem to be carrying the load alone? A word to a wise…

God be with us all!

Writer's e-mail: nakuakoduah@yahoo.com
Columnist: Tweneboah-Koduah, Nana Akua
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