Tired of polls? Here's an encouraging one

10News places a ballot no in public to see which of the presidential candidates get the most votes.

Tampa, FL -- Are you sick of -- or at least skeptical -- when it comes to all of the political polls out there?

Up one day. Down the next.

We decided to set up our own informal ballot box to sample voter sentiment. Invited people to choose an index card labeled with either a "C" for Hillary Clinton or "T" for Donald Trump. Left them on a table, and walked away from it.

After half an hour in downtown Tampa, 16 of 19 people had chosen Clinton.

10News political expert offers guidance on polls

Then we took the same table, and our same ballot box to Plant City. And this time there were more T's than C's. 

So what does that say?

The issue with polls, as our informal ballot box shows, is that they're only as accurate as their size and diversity. And it's become increasingly difficult to measure public opinion.

“I don't think it's accurate. Truthfully I don't. It depends on who's bring to pull out,” said Frank Aguirre.

Part of the issue is that pollsters need to call people on landline phones, not cell phones. Robocalls to wireless phones could be against the law.

But a lot of people, especially young people have only cell phones these days. So people like Megan Weeks – and her entire demographic -- may be under-represented in modern polling.

“Yeah, I think it's hard to gauge where people are at,” said Weeks.

What was encouraging was the honesty displayed by people taking part in our informal poll.

With no one around, and our camera unnoticed and off to the side, any one of the people who voted could have easily stuffed the ballot box.

Instead, we watched as one after another, regardless of who they voted for, went to painstaking lengths to place one -- and only one -- index card in our voting box. 

“I didn't stuff the ballot box because I only have one thought so I wanted to be fair,” said Jen Burkley.

“I could've grabbed them all and put them in there, but I thought no, that wouldn't be honest. That would be a reflection of what you're trying to generate here,” said Aguirre.

“You've got to be honest. You've got to be honest if anything,” said Charlie Hoffman after casting his ballot for our informal poll. “And I think that's one thing that's missing in this election. Honesty on both sides.”


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