Every election season, Americans come to expect an inundation of two things: attack ads and opinion polling. The former is pretty straightforward: candidates seek money for huge ad buys to tell half-truths about their opponents and hope voters are impressed by their hand-picked statistics.
But the results of polls, and the processes and techniques pollsters use to arrive at them, can be pretty nebulous to the average citizen. It sometimes seems that a candidate’s performance in the polls impacts how they’re perceived by the public, and thus adds to their downward (or upward) momentum. Is it possible that polls might have the power to change the outcomes of elections?