Just plain evil. Masquerading as polls, when in reality they're only "Vote for X" ads. That little deception is bad enough, but the scary thing is: people fall for them. Even scarier, otherwise smart people are stupid enough to believe that nobody falls for the messages in push polls.
Then there The Polls, the popularity contests, the ones everybody watches. Candidates want to know if they are popular enough to get elected. Voters want to know how everyone else is planning to vote so that they'll know how to vote too. The Media, drama queens to the bone, keep themselves center stage by recounting to us, with pretty pictures and fulsome words, every moment-by-moment change in the numbers.
I'm for free speech as much as the next person, and maybe more so, but exit ought to be outlawed, as electioneering. Can anybody say Florida 2000? And if that didn't convince you of the futility of letting media moguls tell us who our next President is, how about this discussion? Pardon me, but I want the news people to go back to reporting the news, like who actually won, based on the actual number of votes.
Place Your Bets
The polls of the future? And the policy decisions of the future? OK, so people with real or fictional money backing their guesses are more likely to [collectively] guess correctly, are best guesses the best way to decide important questions? Don't ask me, I only live here.