NRL News

An Update on a ridiculously flawed Pew Poll

by | Aug 3, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-life Mitt Romney and Pro-abortion President Barack Obama

It’s Friday, which means we’ll be running a couple of stories about the 2012 presidential contest. Let me begin with a follow up on a story we ran yesterday. It is a stunner, both for what it says and for the obvious lack of understanding what it meant.

We talked about yet  ANOTHER phony baloney poll, this time from Pew Research.

Virtually everybody else has pro-life Mitt Romney and pro-abortion Barack Obama within a point or two of each other (one way or the other). But Pew found Obama up by 10 points!

That does not pass the straight face test—and it took about 50 seconds to figure out where Pew had gone off the rails. It’s the garbage in, garbage out phenomenon.

They grossly oversampled Democrats –32% Democrats to only18% Republicans—when an honest sample would have drawn roughly equal numbers of each. The real question is why Obama wasn’t further ahead!

POLITICO wrote a story about it yesterday that was updated by Emily Schultheis. Check this out

“UPDATE: We’ve been getting emails from readers pointing out that the sample of the poll is skewed toward Democrats. This is a fair point: the poll does sample significantly more Democrats than Republicans. As I noted above, these results are different than the mostly static numbers we’ve seen so far — the sampling numbers explain why.”

Let me get this straight. The Pew results are way out of whack with “the mostly static numbers we’ve seen so far.” Well….yes!

But don’t you think—since everybody in the known universe has been sensitized to the mis-sampling that has characterized so many polls this year—that POLITICO would have taken one minute to see who was included in the sample?

It’s more than merely “a fair point” to say the Pew poll was “skewed toward Democrats.” It was (1) a huge error that (2) explains everything– why the poll was wrong and why POLITICO’’s headline (“Pew: Obama has big lead”) carelessly reinforced a gross misrepresentation of the facts.

The sad part is that the next poll arrives that is just as egregiously unfair will receive the same uncritical coverage—unless, of course, it finds Gov. Romney ahead.

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Categories: Polling