OPINION: Those Fluttering, Stuttering Polls

To George Gallup, it is the mostunpredictable presidential election in his four decades as a pollster. Says Daniel Yankelovich: "Voters are in complete conflict. They will tell you one thing today and something else tomorrow." Muses Louis Harris: 'The voters out there are trying to tell us something." From all indications, their message may not be at all clear until they take part in the poll that matters most—the one on Nov. 2.

The ebb-and-flow character of opinion in 1976 has undeniably injected suspense into the campaign. But it also has intensified the hazards of voter sampling,...