How can polls be so different?

Discussion in 'West Mall' started by BattleshipTexas, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. BattleshipTexas

    BattleshipTexas 1,000+ Posts

    How can polls be so different? CNN headlines are that in their poll out today Obama is up by 8%. One other poll had Obama up by 15% I see other polls claiming "double digit" leads for Obama. Yet Gallup has a new poll today with McCain and Obama tied at 45% each? I expect a little variation, margins of error and different tactics. But 15 % vs zero %?
  2. ProdigalHorn

    ProdigalHorn 10,000+ Posts

    My guess is that the networks do a lousy job of managing polls. It's all about asking the question in a way that doesn't lead in one direction or the other, and it's all about getting the right sample. In addition, so many people change their minds on this issue from day to day, frankly it's a wonder to me how ANY of them would ever be accurate.
  3. JohnnyYuma

    JohnnyYuma 500+ Posts

    Couldn't be that certain polls try to gain an advantage for one candidate or the other??? Helps with fundraising and people love to hop on the bandwagon.
  4. converse

    converse 250+ Posts

  5. JohnnyYuma

    JohnnyYuma 500+ Posts

    Converse..Thanks for the explanation.
  6. SenateHorn

    SenateHorn 250+ Posts

    The Newsweek poll (15%) is RV, registered voters, so the weight they give to D,R, and Inds. is probably the most important factor. Same thing with the LA Times poll.

    Personally, I prefer polls of likely voters.

    Converse pretty much covered it though.
  7. Uninformed

    Uninformed 5,000+ Posts

    Also, for political polls, it depends on what time of day the poll is taken.... For example, one group may be easier to reach mid-day than another group. Unemployed or retired vs. employed. Women vs. men. Further, one group may be more likely to answer the phone and take part in a survey than another group.
  8. general35

    general35 5,000+ Posts

    I think all telephone polls are BS because only an idiot would answer their home phone to an unidentified caller and stay on after finding out it is a pollster. plus, a lot of people use only their cell phone.
  9. SenateHorn

    SenateHorn 250+ Posts

    Actually, there are clever ways to get around the cell phone problem that are currently being used. Also, for some reason polling on Saturdays favors Democrats. I witnessed it multiple times on tracking polls for campaigns.
  10. general35

    general35 5,000+ Posts

    I think if polls were taken during the day you would have a lot of people at home that are looking for a free lunch from the obama campaign.
  11. 71grad

    71grad 1,000+ Posts

    It depends on who is doing the poll and what opinion they what the results to suport.
  12. converse

    converse 250+ Posts

  13. gecko

    gecko 2,500+ Posts

    Another question re: they make a positive contribution to the process of choosing a President...?
  14. JohnnyYuma

    JohnnyYuma 500+ Posts

    Converse..Which polls have historically been the most accurate? Thx
  15. Uninformed

    Uninformed 5,000+ Posts

  16. Rip76

    Rip76 1,000+ Posts

    What did Carlin say about polls?
    I can't quite remember, but I know he didn't like those people.
  17. Ag with kids

    Ag with kids 2,500+ Posts

  18. Summerof79

    Summerof79 2,500+ Posts

    polling is important because it helps John McCain figure out which way the wind is blowing so he can adjust his strongly held positions.....
  19. MGS

    MGS 500+ Posts

    Of course, if the Zogby polls are different than the actual outcome of the election, he blames it on election fraud.
  20. gobears92

    gobears92 Guest

  21. converse

    converse 250+ Posts

  22. drunkfan#1

    drunkfan#1 100+ Posts

    The only polls that have a major disparity are the Gallup (tied) and Newsweek (Obama +%15). One of these is biased.... and you have to go with Newsweek being the one that is wrong.

    I have read Newsweek my entire life. These last few years the magazine has become almost unreadable. I consider myself liberal, but the "liberal bias" in the magazine now is so over the top it stopped being a news magazine and a started reading like a propaganda leaflet. Its sad because Newsweek used to be intelligent, enlightening, and credible.
  23. NightFlyer

    NightFlyer 250+ Posts

  24. madscientist

    madscientist 1,000+ Posts

  25. triplehorn

    triplehorn 2,500+ Posts

    Wow. this poll for Texas now has it in single digits at a 5% difference:

    McCain 43%
    Obama 38%

    per TexasLyceum:The Link

  26. BattleshipTexas

    BattleshipTexas 1,000+ Posts

  27. Prolate Spheroid

    Prolate Spheroid 25+ Posts

    Housing bailout assures many Democrats will fix their problems.

    The ability to pick the right polling same will perplex pollers for a while.

    It's early. Durkakis was cruising at this point according to the polls.

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