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NYT: Don’t Believe Polls That Say Dems Will Lose Senate

From the New York Times:

How to Read the Polls in This Year’s Midterms

By Nate Cohn | July 10, 2014

With four months to go until this year’s midterm elections, perhaps the only thing clear about the fight for the Senate is that it will pose challenges to public polling.

There’s always the possibility that the polls could miss the outcome in a close contest. Polls have missed the result in three close Senate races in the last two cycles. But this year is particularly challenging. The rapid growth of partisan polls has contaminated the polling averages in states where surveying public opinion is already difficult. Many of these partisan polls employ dubious weighting and sampling practices. The combination will make it even harder for polls to nail the result.

So far this year, 65 percent of polls in Senate battlegrounds have been sponsored or conducted by partisan organizations, and an additional 10 percent were conducted by Rasmussen, an ostensibly nonpartisan firm that leans conservative and has a poor record.

The situation is even worse in the five states with vulnerable incumbent Democrats, including Louisiana and North Carolina, which are likeliest to determine control of the Senate. There, 75 percent of polls are from partisan organizations, and Rasmussen conducted about half of the remaining 25 percent of polls. There have been only seven nonpartisan, non-Rasmussen polls in these five states in 2014…

In typical NYT fashion, this article goes on to say the same thing in various other ways for another 38 paragraphs, plus numerous mind-numbing charts. All of which is supposed to warn their readers not to believe the polls, since the polls are all saying the Democrats will lose the Senate.

Isn’t it funny how the news media’s faith in polls wanes and waxes depending on which party is ahead?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, July 10th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “NYT: Don’t Believe Polls That Say Dems Will Lose Senate”

  1. I don’t believe the DBC will lose the Senate. It is certain to fifty decimals that the GOP will shoot itself in the foot and lke it

  2. Kytross

    “So far this year, 65 percent of polls in Senate battlegrounds have been sponsored or conducted by partisan organizations, and an additional 10 percent were conducted by Rasmussen, an ostensibly nonpartisan firm that leans conservative and has a poor record.”

    If you’re ostensibly nonpartisan then you lean conservative. According to the law of non-contradiction, that’s not possible. Either you are nonpartisan or you lean conservative. They are mutually exclusive.

    What drives me nuts is how frequent these comments are and how many people will read them without noticing that the writers are throwing in these attacks at logic.


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