WASHINGTON, District of Columbia – As Election Day looms, polls are cropping up all over. U.S Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) says polls are a useful tool, but should not be taken literally. For one thing, he says they look at what’s past, not what’s coming next.
“You’re always looking at what people were thinking a few days before,” Walden said. “You can’t really look at them and say, ‘That’s what’s going to happen in a week or two.’”
He added that polls carry a margin of error of four to five percent.
“You’ve always got to figure, if you’re within four or five percent one way or the other, you’re probably dead even,” he said.
The third potential problem with polls is that they aren’t always limited to people who are actually going to vote.
“Polling’s still a bit of mystic art and science, but it gives you some touchstone, and what it tells me is these are very close races in the states and I think if there’s momentum, it’s on the side of the president,” he said.