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Why The Heck Do We Believe Polls??

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Old 10-01-2012, 01:33 PM
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Why The Heck Do We Believe Polls??

1. "One of the most amazing — and significant — statistics of this election season has gone almost completely unnoticed:

2. Only 9% of sampled households gave an answer to pollsters in 2012:

3. ...increasingly difficult to contact potential respondents and to persuade them to participate.

4. – the response rate – has fallen dramatically.

5. At Pew Research, the response rate of a typical telephone survey was 36% in 1997 and is just 9% today.

6. ...decline in response rates is evident across nearly all types of surveys,...

7. ...have led many to question whether surveys are still providing accurate and unbiased information."

8. ...among that 62%, only 14% “cooperated” with the pollsters; the remaining 86% of contactees presumably slammed down the phone or simply refused to answer.

9. 53% of Americans actively refuse to answer poll questions.

10. most importantly that Republicans and independents are twice as likely to distrust the media as Democrats..."
The PJ Tatler » WE ARE THE 91%: Only 9% of Americans Cooperate with Pollsters
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:41 PM
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The wife and I have had three calls in the last 2 months asking us to participate in some poll or another.

No discrimination here, the answer was the same all three times, no.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:54 PM
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It is, at this point, all the data we have. Tossing it out just means that any guess about the status of the campaign is completely arbitrary and circumstantial.

The problem I have with the complaints about the polls this year is that none of these complaints are new, they're just being taken seriously on the Right now that they show something they do not want to acknowledge, namely Romney is blowing what should have been a childishly easy shot at the White House.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:56 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Dr.Traveler View Post
It is, at this point, all the data we have. Tossing it out just means that any guess about the status of the campaign is completely arbitrary and circumstantial.

The problem I have with the complaints about the polls this year is that none of these complaints are new, they're just being taken seriously on the Right now that they show something they do not want to acknowledge, namely Romney is blowing what should have been a childishly easy shot at the White House.
Beating an incumbent is never easy. Look at Kerry in 2004. If Bush was as unpopular as the left said he was, he wouldnt have won a single state.

The same thing may protect Obama, namely it is hard to beat a sitting president.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:58 PM
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I think some people put credence in polls they have found to be historically accurate.

I think some others put "credence" in polls that tell them what they want to hear or that bolster the case they are trying make at a particular time.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:39 PM
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i dont.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:58 PM
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Probably because they have been accurate over the last few elections.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:00 PM
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The polls will start tightening as the race draws nearer... most pollsters, no matter how biased, wants to be seen as totally off the mark.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:03 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by AceRothstein View Post
Probably because they have been accurate over the last few elections.
Really? What about the Zogby poll in 2008 that had Hillary winning up in the NE when in reality it was Obama?

I haven't trusted polls since then. The only one that counts IMHO is the one on Nov 6th.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:04 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by AceRothstein View Post
Probably because they have been accurate over the last few elections.
Really? What about the Zogby poll in 2008 that had Hillary winning up in the NE when in reality it was Obama?

I haven't trusted polls since then. The only one that counts IMHO is the one on Nov 6th.
I'm not saying to look at a solitary poll. When multiple polls show the same thing, they are probably right.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:11 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by AceRothstein View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by ABikerSailor View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by AceRothstein View Post
Probably because they have been accurate over the last few elections.
Really? What about the Zogby poll in 2008 that had Hillary winning up in the NE when in reality it was Obama?

I haven't trusted polls since then. The only one that counts IMHO is the one on Nov 6th.
I'm not saying to look at a solitary poll. When multiple polls show the same thing, they are probably right.
Actually, if I'm going to look at a poll, I prefer an average of the nationwide polls that week, and if possible, a tracking of what the averaged national polls have been doing for the past 6 months.

Maybe then it's informative, but to trust just one over the other? Nothing but another political tool.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:15 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalChic View Post
1. "One of the most amazing — and significant — statistics of this election season has gone almost completely unnoticed:

2. Only 9% of sampled households gave an answer to pollsters in 2012:

3. ...increasingly difficult to contact potential respondents and to persuade them to participate.

4. – the response rate – has fallen dramatically.

5. At Pew Research, the response rate of a typical telephone survey was 36% in 1997 and is just 9% today.

6. ...decline in response rates is evident across nearly all types of surveys,...

7. ...have led many to question whether surveys are still providing accurate and unbiased information."

8. ...among that 62%, only 14% “cooperated” with the pollsters; the remaining 86% of contactees presumably slammed down the phone or simply refused to answer.

9. 53% of Americans actively refuse to answer poll questions.

10. most importantly that Republicans and independents are twice as likely to distrust the media as Democrats..."
The PJ Tatler » WE ARE THE 91%: Only 9% of Americans Cooperate with Pollsters
I don't believe ANY Poll.

I hear too many people talk about BS'ing them when they call. They'll say exactly the opposite of what they really think. Ya know...just for fun! Nope....don't pay attention to any of them!
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:07 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by slackjawed View Post
The wife and I have had three calls in the last 2 months asking us to participate in some poll or another.

No discrimination here, the answer was the same all three times, no.
The same.

Every one I get, I simply say "I don't care to share any information."
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:14 PM
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If polls are of no value, why do almost all major political campaigns pay for polling, hire pollsters, commission polls?

Are they all wrong? Are they all incapable of figuring out that they're throwing their money away?
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:04 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Soggy in NOLA View Post
The polls will start tightening as the race draws nearer... most pollsters, no matter how biased, wants to be seen as totally off the mark.
LOL
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