Nation: Those Worthless Polls

Predicting the future has never been a reliable craft, whether practiced by tea-leaf readers or political pollsters. The 1980 presidential primary season has been an especially difficult time for the latter. TIME'S national political correspondent John Stacks explains why:

The headline in the New York Daily News just four days before the state's primary election left little doubt about what the result would be. Proclaimed the News: CARTER'S THE ONE—IN A POLLSLIDE. That conclusion was based on an opinion survey of 800 potential voters in New York State conducted by Louis Harris. The results showed Carter beating Kennedy 61%-34%. By the weekend...

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