Wednesday, January 19, 2011
The Latest Polling Explained
Lots of bogus polling out there lately. We've been working on a comprehensive guide to understanding polls, and how to spot a bogus poll from a credible one. In the mean time, Rush talks about the latest polls concerning Barack Obama and Sarah Palin. He's on a roll, but starts explaining the problems at 2:14 on the video.
One of the real problems, other than the reliability of the sample group: "adults" vs "likely voters" is the fact the new polling doesn't tell you the political breakdown. In other words, the percentage of Republicans, Independents, and democrats polled.
All legitimate polls will have, buried somewhere deep in the internals, this break down. Almost all over-sample democrats, even though fewer people claim to be democrats than Republicans or Independents. This pollster is notorious for it.They do this because they are looking for a certain result.
Any poll that doesn't publish it's breakdown should be disregarded as meaningless. We notice a lot of polls concerning Sarah Palin never publish their internals at all, let alone the political break down. I wonder why.
As Rush points out, the same pollster who put out this bogus polling also put out one that claimed the public was quite pleased with the nonsense that went on during the lame duck session of the 111th Congress, where the democrats shoved bills through that no one wanted.
Yeah, that's why there are several bills circulating now through Congress to ban lame duck sessions altogether. That's how pleased America was with the democrats lame duck session!
The truth is, these polls aren't designed to measure public opinion, they are designed to SHAPE public opinion. To create a headline out of whole cloth. To create a narrative. It's an old trick that sadly, many people fall for.