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    Special Series on Polling Next Week

    Special Series on Polling Next Week

    As my readers know, I have taken an interest in polling, primarily because it seems so many polls are agenda driven. 

    In a post last week, I pointed to a PPP poll on Wisconsin which used sample data which underweighted Walker voters from 2010 and overweighted union households.  I also have focused in the past on health care polling and other pollling used for political purposes.

    I’m pleased to announce that next week Legal Insurrection will have a special guest series of posts on pollling, written by Matthew Knee, a Ph.D. candidate at Yale (don’t hold it against him) specializing in campaigns and elections, ethnic voting patterns, public opinion, and quantitative and experimental approaches to political science.

    The posts will run starting Monday, and will focus on polling issues which arise in the political context, such as weighting of samples, framing and sequencing of questions, and other factors.

    Matt also will evaluate various public polling on the issue of public employee unions, as that issue has been in the news quite a bit and the various polling results are being used by each side for political advantage.

    I hope you will enjoy the series. 

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    Don't know if you've learned about it as yet, Prof Jacobson, but Col Brendan Doherty of the RI State Police tendered his resignation to Lincoln Chafee, because of Chafee's compromising his authority and refusal to listen to Doherty on the issues of the need for enforcement of laws that protect us. Chafee's eliminating e-verify, and his facilitating various cities imposing sanctuary city status.

    Hey, a political scientist! Sounds right up my alley, LOL! 🙂

    "the various polling results are being used by each side for political advantage."

    I dare you to find a liberal site that agrees instead of just saying 'Faux Newz Polls lie!!' I say this because I was reading some coverage at ThinkProgress (I like to at least give the other side a chance) and the articles/comments there made me sick.

    Really looking forward to this. Welcome fellow UCLA Bruin!

    I look forward to it. I hope Mr. Knee discusses the fundamental weakness of all "scientific" opinion polling: the unverifiability of the relationship between a respondent's answers and what the respondent actually thinks. In most polls not only all the questions but all the *answers* are supplied by the pollster; the respondent only chooses which words are to be put in his or her mouth. Opinions are elicited that the respondent may not actually hold strongly enough to be worth mentioning. Thus opinion polls not only misrepresent the distribution of opinions, they misrepresent whether the opinions even exist. Except in instances of concrete preference polling, the results of opinion polls are factoids down to the core. They are not news, i.e. reports of something that happened. Polls are means of manufacturing stories that journalists want to tell instead of what newsmakers actually did. They aren't fit to print.


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