The PJ Tatler

Never been polled? Try BeamAvote

Harris, Zogby, Rasmussen, Gallup, Daily Kos, YouGov, Mason-Dixon, Pew – yikes! But how many of you have ever been polled by them?  Not many I suspect. But now there is a real time webpage called beamAvote that lets you participate in real time, geographically isolated polling. 

Politics is a zero sum game.  One side wins, the other goes home.  As Bill McKay said – “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”

But it is a chore trying to figure out which poll to believe.  Some websites solve the riddle by simply averaging the polls.  But that averages bias and error also.

Which pollster is the most reputable? How do they ask their questions? Who writes the questions? How do they determine who to ask? What particular demographics are being targeted that the rest of us know nothing about?  What’s real v what’s manipulated? Who’s paying?

We don’t really know.

There is a new web technology called beamAvote that allows voters to self-poll through daily voting and to electronically monitor results in real-time.  It just went live and will be polling through the election.

The concept is straight forward, you go to beamAvote.com, vote, pick your State, and watch the tally. You can vote once a day, it’s anonymous – no one wants to know your email address, name, home address, first child’s middle name, mother’s maiden name, billing information – it’s free and they don’t want anything.

The polling data is unofficial – the site goes to great lengths to make certain the voter knows it’s not a substitute for a real vote. They ask you to promise you’re a registered voter in the US – no nonsense just straight-forward language. You don’t have to be a lawyer to figure it out.

Eventually I suspect political scientists will minute-by-minute study the rate of votes tallied at any given moment to gage when candidates score points. This is similar to the debate lines we watched, except now it’s all of us.

Adding this new data to the familiar poll aggregators might give people a better picture of what is going to happen on November 6.