Understanding Political Polls

From NPR-Diane Rehm show: Understanding Political Polls Polls have become the news. As in past elections, polling data, fund raising, and ad critiques have, I am sure, eclipsed any substantive debate/discussion about the many serious issues that faces our nation. We just like the horse-race. That said, conducting polls is much harder today because it is challenging to get a representative sample. Polls that exclude cellphones also exclude very particular groups of people who might have be more likely to vote for one candidate rather than another. As a result, the polls will be a poor representation. It is also true that national samples will be a poor predictor of results of the electoral college. This is worth listening to. And no doubt, there will be lots of analysis about which polling company did the best in predicting the 2012 presidential results. It will be curious if 7/11 predicts this one (see earlier post), but then, they have a 50-50 chance of being right!

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