Polling and Sample Arrogance

A politician’s ability to hang on to crossover voters depends largely on the extent to which those voters are shameless about changing their minds. After all, there is a large portion of the population that will refuse to change its mind about any of its former choices. Much like a prisoner of war learns to rationalize any betrayals he might commit while in captivity, some voters have a pathological need to hang on to their sense of self-justification. It is these voters that are least ripe for moderation, and it is these voters that many politicians can’t lose, no matter what they do.

But try inserting “sense of self-justification” into a pollster’s description of his sample. 

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