By far and away the best discussion I have ever seen on polls and how they are used and abused in this political season is located on Wizbang.  DJ Drummond has done a great job of looking at the issues that impact polls reliability, etc.  I highly recommend it even though it is long and has many comments. 

One of the interesting items in his post are the 20 questions you should ask about every poll (and which the reporting media rarely divulge).  This list of questions was developed by the National Council on Public Polls (NCPP) and it can be seen here.

I particularly liked one comment to Drummond’s point about the questions asked and the order of the questions.  You often see polls, this year, asking a question in the negative about the Bush Administration immediately followed by a question about Mr. McCain or Mrs. Palin.  You rarely ever see a poll with a question about Ms. Pelosi or Mr. Reid and their failed Congress followed by a questions about Mr. Obama.

In a nutshell: the biases are many but mostly left liberal; the press tends to use the polls to tell the story they want to tell (lying with statistics) rather than to add facts to a story;  they are manipulated to create the desired results.  Like the major newspapers and broadcast ‘news’ you should have deep suspicion about the “fact” reported.  

On 10-27, I removed the poll.  It was really just another attempt to see how polls work.  In case you wondered, only 4 people chose to participate and all four agreed that Polls are biased.  

Advertisements