Carol Platt Liebau: Problems with Polling

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Problems with Polling

Michael Barone points out what any good political analyst should know by now. That is, that there are many reasons that polling -- which is being used to jump to pro-Democrat conclusions -- may have some systemic problems. As Barone puts it:

Americans have fewer landline phones than they used to, and the random digit dialing most pollsters use does not include cell-phone numbers. Larger and larger percentages of those called are declining to be interviewed.

Interviewers can inject bias in the results. The late Warren Mitofsky, who conducted the 2004 NEP exit poll, went back and found that the greatest difference between actual results in exit poll precincts and the reports phoned in to NEP came where the interviewers were female graduate students -- and almost all the discrepancies favored the Democrats.

Another factor worth considering? The ugliness of some of this year's election issues -- from the Foley debacle to the Allen-Webb race in Virginia -- may also hold independent turnout down, which would make turnout by committed partisans more important than ever.


Blogger COPioneer said...

Perhaps the pollsters need to position themselves in front of a WalMart, and for fair and balanced polling a Tattoo parlor.

10:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home