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We all get those annoying headlines stating “Biden is ahead of Trump by X.” And we’re told that it’s based on science and Big Data, so you can take it to the bank. Well, any amount of time around conservative sites like Ricochet knows that we try very hard not to take “Biden is ahead of Trump by X” as gospel.
Today, we have a legitimate, authoritative, reason to distrust polls. Today, the US Supreme Court announced its decision in Barr v American Association of Political Consultants Inc. For a little background, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 prohibits companies from making robocalls to cellphones. Congress, in 2015, decided to add an exception to the TCPA for purposes of collecting on any debt owed to or guaranteed by the U.S. Government.
The American Association of Political Consultants Inc challenged this exception as a violation of the First Amendment. In doing so, their hope was that the entire TCPA, one of the most popular laws passed by Congress in the last 30-40 years, would also be an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment. The 4th Circuit, when presented with this lawsuit, agreed with the AAPC that the government debt exception was unconstitutional, but that the exception could be severed from the remainder of the TCPA.
The Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision written by Justice Kavanaugh, agreed that the US Govt debt exception could be severed from the rest of the TCPA. This means the very popular ban on robocalls to cellphones remains in force and those folks from the American Association of Political Consultants Inc cannot robocall and force-feed push polls to your cellphone. Which means, to put it kindly, a whole lot of what pollsters and political consultants measure when it comes to polling is, at best, incomplete.
So we get doubts about the efficacy of polls in addition to not having our cellphones subject to the scourge of political robocalls and push polls. A pretty good day, I would say.Published in