One of the “outtakes” from the 2020 election was the dismal state of polling and whether, or to what extent, they could be relied upon in the future. In a nutshell, pollsters were burned in 2020. Virtually every national poll leading up to the presidential election in the final week had Joe Biden beating Donald Trump handily. As it turned out, the error in those predictions was the worst showing in 40 years. Even after nine months of “diagnosing” what went wrong, the possible answers by those in the practice were guesses at best.
A few reasons for miscalculation were identified – including the wildcard of Covid 19 – but in the end, most practitioners threw their hands in the air. “Major errors” were admitted, but “no consensus on a solution has emerged” about how to fix it was the much anticipated statement from a group of top Democrat pollsters.
What does the experience of 2020 tell us as we close out 2022? Should we believe the polls? Does it matter?
Even if we see a tide rising, the short answer is, polls should never be an indicator of how we respond or act. They may be a sign of hope or disappointment, but they should never influence our commitment to the process. Election integrity for us as individuals has as much to do with acting on our convictions about the importance of a representative democracy. It means to practice what we preach in prayer and action. It means we never downplay the importance of any office or initiative on the ballot, and we encourage our neighbors to recognize that, too.
If you are in a slam dunk state where the primary was the “general,” it still matters that you vote. If you are undecided on an issue or candidate for a particular office, take that matter to prayer and ask for the wisdom to know what to do. Then vote. Even if you are decided, pray anyway! Pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven, and for these elections and outcomes to play their part in His bigger plan. Whether or not we can trust the polls, we know in Whom we trust.
Let us pray, Lord, may the motto of our nation, in God we trust, be the result that brings honor and glory to You in this election.