As the highly polarized November 3 election draws near, many of us find ourselves with increasingly anxious hearts. Consumed with scrolling through the latest news articles and polling results, we search for a glimpse of hope to affirm the candidates we desire to lead our government.
In 2 Samuel 24, we see King David take a census to count his troops and assess his military position (sound familiar?). We read on to find that this angered God and left David overwhelmed with guilt because he replaced trust with statistics (2 Samuel 24:10).
Trust in Jesus, Not Inaccurate Polls
Rather than allowing the latest statistic, headline, or poll to determine our emotions in the days ahead, keep your mind stayed on Jesus who keeps us in perfect peace when we trust in Him (Isaiah 26:3) and consider the following important facts:
- Registered Voters vs. Likely Voters– Much of the polling is based on surveys of registered voters, rather than likely voters. Many, many registered voters fail to vote, so polls that survey all registered voters are not an accurate predictor of election results. Moreover, those who are registered but don’t intend to vote tend to lean more to the left.
- National Polling vs. Battleground Polling – Surveying voters across the entire country cannot predict election outcomes. At best, national polling is an indicator of the popular vote, which does not determine outcomes. We’re not a pure democracy; we’re a democratic republic. Each state is given a voice, regardless of population. Candidates must focus on winning large numbers of states, not numbers of people. Therefore, to speak to actual election outcomes, polling must be focused on the specific states that candidates need to secure victory.
- Underrepresentation of Republicans – According to Gallup, there is roughly an equal number of Democrats and Republicans. Some research shows that Democrats have historically had more registrations, but the differential has been about 1-2%. Still, most polls show a bias toward Democrats of at least 6%, with many climbing up into the double digits. This faulty methodology is thought to be responsible for misrepresenting Trump’s position by 8 points overall in 2016.
- The 2016 Surprise – In 2016, the pollsters predicted with confidence that Clinton would be the next president and were stunned by Trump’s electoral victory. Many pollsters discovered, after the fact, that there had been many Trump voters the pollsters had somehow missed. Many battleground polls have shown Trump to be in a better position in 2020 than in 2016. Many predict that “Trump’s shy vote” will be far greater in 2020 than in 2016.
Don’t Lose Heart and Do Your Part.
With just a few days left until the election, don’t lose heart. Instead, let’s place our trust in Jesus and “let our lights shine before men” (Mat. 5:16) on election day, doing our part to diminish the darkness we so often see in politics and government. Jesus is the “way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), and the only hope for our country!
- Cast your vote: It is a gift to live in a nation where we can actively be involved in our government and its processes. From your smallest local race all the way to the presidential election, do your part to elect leaders who will “govern diligently” (Romans 12:8).
- Bring your friends to the polls: We all have at least one friend who doesn’t think their vote counts. It is estimated that over 30 million evangelicals do not vote, even while research conducted by George Barna has indicated that if only 10% more evangelicals would vote, it could determine all of our leaders across the country.
- Educate through voter guides: Research shows that 75% of voters rely on a nonpartisan voter guide to help them navigate elections. As fake news dominates the media, trusted guides are needed more than ever. Help spread the truth about where these candidates and parties stand on the issues by distributing our nonpartisan, constitutionally-vetted, and pastor-approved voter guides within your sphere of influence. Consider sharing them on your social media, texting or emailing them to your friends and family, or asking your pastor if you can distribute printed copies at your church this Sunday! “When good people run things, everyone is glad, but when the ruler is bad, everyone groans” (Proverbs 29:2).”
- Pray for the election: We hear this simple phrase so often, but here is your friendly reminder that this is more than just a wrap-up phrase for an article. James 5:16 confirms that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Don’t doubt the impact your time in prayer can have on our nation!