The whole world had their eyes on the just-ended American election. Many however had their reservations about the choice of the two Republican and Democrat candidates. The two scenarios in the 2016 American election can best be described as finding yourself between a rock and a hard place. Hilary Clinton had her own issues and so did the president elect, Donald Trump.
The results of the election seem to have come as a shock to the world. This was because of the predictions and opinion polls that tipped a landslide victory for Mrs. Clinton. Everything seemed to be going her way, and history was in the making history. Due to the impression that was created as a result of the polls, even world markets were geared towards a Clinton victory till results started trickling in little by little after the polls. Then the question was asked "What is happening?”
Now, with a few days to Ghana's elections, opinion polls have flown in from all directions. Pollsters, analysts, the media and even men of God have all expressed their opinion as to who they think will be the next president of Ghana. Ben Ephson, a pollster with great repute has tipped the John Mahama-led National Democratic Congress to win the election by a majority of 52% of the total ballots cast with his closest contender on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo coming in second with a little above 45% of the total ballots cast.
However, opinion polls that have been carried out on social media have tipped a victory for the NPP. Many people have thrown their weight behind the calls for change while others believe the current government needs to be given the nod to continue with its administration of the state.
The lesson that needs to be learnt from these opinion polls is that, they are exactly what the name suggests: opinions! It would be disastrous for any one political party to bank its hopes on any of these opinion polls. Even after the celebrity endorsements and opinion polls put Mrs. Clinton an edge over her rival, Donald Trump, she still lost the American election.
What the political parties need to be focusing on in these few days to the run up to the election is to be encouraging their supporters to turnout in their numbers to vote on voting day. That is the only way to ensure an accurate poll. It is only in the ballot box that people would show their real opinion. Pollsters can do all the research but the true state of affairs would be determined through the ballot paper.