Do polls ever accurately predict voter sentiment?
Here’s an example: in Nevada 2004, there was an referendum on the state ballot to legalize small amounts of marijuana for personal use. Poll after poll leading up to the election showed that 70% were for legalized use. Marijuana reform advocates were certain they had a victory on their hands. Yet, come election day, 70% voted AGAINST the referendum, the complete opposite of what the polls had indicated. Reformists were devastated. But they seemed to have been ignorant to one important fact: most Americans don’t vote; therefore, those you poll aren’t necessarily the ones who will be casting a vote. The vast majority of those who vote are senior citizens, and they do not vote liberally. The people who were for the referendum were out dirt biking in the desert come election day.