Tuesday, June 29, 2004

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Which lies do these statistics support?

Another poll, another rant. This one centers on a couple internal poll questions that do not make the article.

The first is the number of voters who claim they will definitely vote. It is 85%. In 2000, 50% of registered voters voted. Clearly, there is a disconnect.

So 85% say they will definitely vote, but only 78% said they were registered to vote. Certainly, the pollees are trying to please the poller by saying what they think the poller wants to hear or what the polleee believes society says they should do.

In the poll, 70% say they voted in 2000. Again, 78% were registered. This means that the percent who voted (assuming being registered is the only way to vote) was actually 90%. Seems we are moving farther and farther away from what we actually do know. (The percentage of registered voters who voted in 2000.)

With such disparities between reportedly likelihood of voting and the actual percent of people who voted, there does not seem to be any way to read these polls with the air of authority in which they are reported.

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