Illustration by Suphur Spoon
It was George Gallup's successful prediction that Franklin Roosevelt would defeat Alf Landon for the U.S. presidency that made his reputation as a poll-taker; most other polls had Landon winning by a landslide.
I remember reading that one of the reasons behind Gallup's correct prediction was that his competitors had based their predictions on surveys conducted via telephone. Trouble was, back then only the well-to-do owned telephones, thereby skewing the results of Gallup's competitors.
Many predict that Republicans will take Congress in today's voting. And, today, as in 1936, telephones may prove many poll-takers wrong.
Some suggest that today's poll numbers are skewed because surveys have been conducted via land lines and generally younger, generally better educated voters -- who are generally Democrats and left-leaning Independents -- no longer have land lines.
Tonight should be very interesting.