The Truth Behind the Curtain

Let me promise all of you that I will not turn this into a political blog but the NewHampshire Primary results from last night are worthy of comment.

I’m one of those people who take a guilty pleasure in watching all those political pundits and so-called experts fall on the their faces and miss the mark in their pre-election predictions. While they are also in the media like myself, they engage in speculation – not present the facts as we do during our local newscasts. We report what has happened, not what we think is going to happen.

That being said, they all predicated Hillary Clinton was going to lose – and lose big in the primary. I am not reveling in the fact Clinton won, but rather that the voters actually got to have their say and what they said was different from what the “experts” told us it would be. It proves the process still works – and the ultimate power rests with the voters .. and not the pollsters. I hate being told by the “experts” how I will vote. Isn’t that my decision?

However, there was one “expert” that floated a theory on last night’s results which resonated with me. Senator Barack Obama was supposed to be a big winner last night – carrying the success of his Iowa win to New Hampshire. So what happened? A political strategist on MSNBC suggested that the mostly white state of New Hampshire had gone for Clinton because – until the very public caucuses of Iowa – they are voting in secret in New Hampshire. Essentially, folks in Iowa had to be committed to their opinions before the vote because he entire process was out in the open. In New Hampshire, voters could go in any direction they wanted to because they were behind the curtain and inside the voting booth.

Does this suggest voters in New Hampshire are racist? No. What it does suggest is that the entire process of polling is – at best – guesswork – because there are so many new voters this time around that it’s impossible to predict how people will vote. What is certain is that behind the curtain, people will be honest with themselves – and when they walk out of that booth and engage in exit polling, they don’t have to be honest.
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