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Don't trust the polls

The Sun reports that a new poll shows Hillary Clinton running 33 percentage points ahead of Sen. Bernie Sanders in Maryland ("Hillary Clinton has 33-point lead in Maryland Democratic primary, new poll shows," March 11).

It is well to remember that the only poll that counts is the one on Election Day.

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That is not merely empty rhetoric. In Minnesota, the last major poll before the caucuses showed Ms. Clinton 34 percentage points ahead of Senator Sanders. The vote in the caucuses put Mr. Sanders ahead by 23 percentage points. That means the last poll, just a couple of weeks before the vote, was off by more than 50 percentage points — in effect, worthless.

The results in Michigan were somewhat less dramatic, but there to, a 27-point lead the day before the election turned into a 2 point loss. The pollsters were off by almost 30 points.

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Whatever the reason, standard polling methodologies are no longer producing reliable results. Perhaps this is a good thing. Too many people have developed a misguided tendency to vote (if at all) as they believe other people would, throwing away their power to make their own choices by their own values.

They would do better to forget unreliable statistics and empty rhetoric and look at the candidates' positions and records — then actually go out and vote on Election Day.

Katharine W. Rylaarsdam


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