Letter: GOP poll numbers provide little comfort

To the Editor:

Conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin thinks that the declining popularity of the president and his policies, as illustrated in the Quinnipiac University National Poll that was released last week, make a Democratic sweep in the 2018 midterms likely ("Republicans: More reasons to be scared about the midterms," January 12). I'm not so confident.

Remember that Hillary Clinton was favored to win the presidential race by nearly every poll and pundit in 2016. Polls like the one from Quinnipiac can only gauge public opinion — they can't accurately predict voter turnout, nor assess the impact of other factors that currently threaten our election system: Republican gerrymandering, voter suppression, and the obliteration of campaign finance laws. These all helped install the current Republican majority in our federal government.

To these factors we can now add to the problems of interference by foreign governments and viral propaganda saturating social media, much of it churned out almost effortlessly by bots and troll farms. Unfortunately, "throwing the bums out" is not as simple as it used to be, and it certainly isn't as simple as registering disapproval on a public opinion poll.

We all have to vote, and vote in a way that makes our disapproval crystal clear to every Republican leader who still hews to the insupportable party line. We all need to pass that message along to every thinking person that we know. And we all need to keep as many fingers crossed as age and flexibility allows.

Robin Vaughan Kolderie

Hoosick, N.Y.


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