Good day, weary travelers! The time has come for another installment of Fun Facts.
With the three-ring circus that is the current presidential campaign season in full swing, I thought I would touch on something that most of us think of as an immutable fact of politics in the U.S.; Polling.
We always have all of these poll numbers showing who is potentially in the lead in a given political race, but where did it all start? It started with a guy named George Gallup. Gallup founded the American Institute of Public Opinion in 1935, a precursor to what we know today as the Gallup Organization. But just like Edison and his phonograph, what the organization does today is not the intention he originally had in mind.
It was only to waylay criticism that he began taking polls of a political nature. Many were skeptical of his results, and questioned why they should trust them. Couldn’t he just doctor the numbers? It was Gallup’s prediction of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidential victory in 1936 that cemented the idea in the minds of the public that maybe, just maybe, there was merit to what he was doing.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Some neat stuff. Practically speaking, this information is pretty useless to most people, but I think its good to learn something new nonetheless, yeah?