Pollsters Raise Alarm: Inaccurate Polls May Be Impacting Campaigns

A remarkable bi-partisan group of campaign pollsters released an open letter this afternoon that assailed the "sometimes uncritical media coverage" of the "proliferation" of public pre-election polls that fail to disclose basic information about how they are conducted and that "have the capacity to shape media and donor reactions to election contests." Full Story »

Posted by Dwight Rousu
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Subjects: Politics, Media
Member Tags: statistics, polling
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# Diggs: 3 (as of 2010-11-08)
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Posted by: Posted by Dwight Rousu - Nov 8, 2010 - 10:21 PM PST
Content Type: Article
Edit Lock: This story can be edited
Edited by: Dwight Rousu - Nov 8, 2010 - 10:24 PM PST
Jon Mitchell
3.8
by Jon Mitchell - Nov. 9, 2010

This is more a report about the campaign, rather than an investigation into the abuses alleged by it, but it's an important and enterprising news story. I appreciated this report from an independent news source criticizing oversights and inaccuracies in the way mainstream media report in election season.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
Dwight Rousu
3.6
by Dwight Rousu - Nov. 8, 2010

Journalism and polling and politics are looked at in the light of the pollsters' criticism. The nature of the abuse is omitted from the article, so the importance is a bit hard to grasp for the non-wonks.

the campaign pollsters urged journalists to hold public polls to disclosure standards of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) that call on pollsters ... More »

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Jack Dinkmeyer
4.0
by Jack Dinkmeyer - Nov. 9, 2010

An article about a bipartisan group of leading pollsters proposing standards for political polls. The group not only wants to set standards, but also calls upon the media to objectively judge the accuracy of polls before splashing results all over the place. Their proposal for accurate and fair standards is based on the reality that many “polls” are actually manufactured to support a distorted concept or talking point with the intention of influencing contributions and discouraging voters from voting–since the poll’s “results” prove outcomes are already a foregone conclusion.

The article contains excellent advice about how to determine whether we’re confronted with facts or biased opinions posing as “facts”–the latter being what's mostly in media right now. Look for sources, the kind of sources, background for the article, the quality of links and quotes, who’s making the quotes or providing background, and if the assertions agree with what you know to be accurate. Far too many people fall for what sociology calls “status conferral”. ... More »

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Roland F. Hirsch
1.8
by Roland F. Hirsch - Nov. 10, 2010

This news analysis has modest journalistic merit. The major defect is that the author did not list the polling organizations that did not sign. Most of the major polling organizations are not included: Gallup, Zogby, Marist, Rasmussen, Public Policy Polling, Quinnipiac, Harris, Ipsos, Pew. This lack of context undermines the value of the piece.

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