Monday, June 16, 2008

Who does the media poll when they poll?

According to NBC and CBS news, Mr. Obama is leading Mr. McCain in a preliminary poll, 49% to 46%, with a handful of undecided voters. A reasonable margin for presidential politics.

However, with a sample size of nearly a quarter of a million people, Strawpoll shows the opposite -- 55% for McCain and 45% for Obama. A huge sample size by polling standards and a huge margin by presidential election standards.

How do these people poll? To whom do they speak? Frightening. Democrats typically poll several points higher than election results, but this is a huge disparity.

Edit: As pointed out by Yonah, I didn't make this clear in the text: I think that neither of these poll examples are correct -- yet both sources would have you think that theirs is the one with validity. The fact that they come to completely different conclusions is what I find alarming.

Strawpoll june 13-20 2008

4 Comments:

Blogger Sport Mode said...

I agree. In fact, whenever I hear about any poll and its percentages/results, I wonder the very same thing.

I don't ever get the phone calls or participate in them- I purposely avoid that kind of stuff, really. So apparently they don't represent MY demographic...

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Yonah said...

This post is wildly disingenuous. And just plain silly.

Do you really expect Obama to lose Massachusetts (62% Kerry, 37% Bush) or Vermont (59% Kerry, 39% Bush)?

Why cherry-pick a totally unscientific internet poll just because it shows your desired result for November?

For any reader interested in a more thoughtful analysis of majors polls, fivethirtyeight.com does a fabulous job.

5:20 PM  
Blogger EggsnGrits said...

Yonah: That's the exact point. The polsters don't come forth with the "other" numbers that make their polls relevant or irrelevant.

All I'm doing is pointing out the disparity. I'm not saying that one is right or wrong. I think that all election polls are pretty much junk unless they show the meaningful data.

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Gunnar said...

It's true to a degree, VT going to McCain is a bit of a reach. And I expect that Obama will pick up more than one southern state.

12:17 PM  

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