September 8, 2020

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Your Definitive Guide to Understanding Polling (and Why Most Polls Are Garbage). “When reviewing polls in 2016, I came across bad poll after bad poll as a result of oversampling problems as well as push-poll lines of questions or questions that are framed in a way to influence the way someone answers. For instance, if a polling firm asked a question ‘Do you agree with Joe Biden’s call for all Americans to unite?’, it doesn’t leave any room for someone saying they disagree with the premise of the question, that is, Joe Biden even having that ability in the first place. Another example of a push poll question is ‘Do you support Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric?’ Maybe the respondent doesn’t believe Trump’s rhetoric is divisive. Maybe the respondent thinks the Democrats’ rhetoric is divisive. Either way, a respondent is less likely to respond in the affirmative to supporting divisive rhetoric and therefore would lead to a skewing of the results.”

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