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NYT Warns: Don’t Believe The Lying Polls

From an amazingly subtle New York Times:

Another Cautionary Tale About Polls

September 8, 2010

A Gallup poll shook the political world last week with a headline saying “G.O.P.  Takes Unprecedented 10-Point Lead on Generic Ballot.” It reported that Republicans had their widest advantage to date on the question of which party voters would choose in the race for the Congressional seat in their districts.

Just a week later, the headline on the latest Gallup poll reads “Parties Tied at 46 Percent in Generic Ballot.”

Did the Democrats really make up so much ground in the last week?

Probably not. In fact, the result was just the latest cautionary tale about drawing too many conclusions from any single poll. And it is a reminder that every poll result carries a margin of sampling error. In Gallup’s case, it is plus or minus four percentage points.

This is just in case we didn’t get the message from Roger Simon’s piece in the Politico, yesterday.

Still, you remember all of these cautionary tales about polls back in 2006, when the Democrats were polling so far ahead of the Republicans in the run up to those midterm elections, don’t you?

We don’t either.

So what’s different? (Rhetorical question.)

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, September 8th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “NYT Warns: Don’t Believe The Lying Polls”

  1. AcornsRNutz says:

    A four point margin of error in the presidential election results might have spared us this monstrosity. Just saying…

  2. Ultra-C says:

    Dalia Sussman writes almost exclusively about “polls.” http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/author/dalia-sussman/ On June 8, she wrote: “Polls Reflect Anti-Incumbent Mood.” So, one gathers that this is bad news for the Dims, because they have by far the most incumbents. NOPE! On August 12, in an article entitled “No Good News for Congress in Polls,” she wrote “Democrats fare badly and Republicans do even worse in new NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll.”

    It’s almost like she finds some way to favor Dim-o-crats in every article that she writes about polls (which is almost every article she writes). I’m just sayin’ . . . .

    • untrainable says:

      The drive-bys have become so focused on covering up for dumbocrats, their arguments have become so transparent and idiotic to anyone outside their narrow comfort zone as to become humerous. They simply can’t see beyond the prism of their own bias, so it is no suprise that the left leaners are having a hard time these days making any sense.

  3. bill says:

    Yep, who would expect the media polls would lie about the Democrats chances for winning?

    It’s going to be much worse.

    The old Grey DNC parrot just can’t make it happen anymore.

  4. mr_bill says:

    “Did the democrats really make up so much ground in the last week?”

    No, the previous poll didn’ t sample dead people, who vote exclusively democrat.

  5. canary says:

    Gallop are expert at rigging their polls to get the outcome they want. Companies & organization hire them to get the results they want.

  6. Mithrandir says:

    It’s amazing how Republicans need to always be ‘cautious’ about everything they say and do, but let’s review what the Democrats can get away with, and are NEVER scolded to be cautious:

    *Sex with interns as a President~ Ok
    *Sex and a baby with your secretary while counseling a President on his sex scandal ~ Ok
    *Drumming up fake racial events like the Tawana Brawley situation, and the non-racial rape of Duke La Crosse players~ Ok
    *Being a former recruiter of the KKK~ Ok.
    *The Kennedy’s scandals~Ok.
    *Black Democrats caught in a wide range of money scandals~Ok.
    *Obama attends racist church for 20 years~ Ok.

    The list goes on. . .

  7. Papa Louie says:

    If it’s a choice between believing the lying polls or the lying NY Times, I’ll pick the lying polls every time.

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