|
|
|
The Shawnee News-Star
From the Will Rogers quote, \x34All politics is applesauce.\x34
Nate Silver says polling industry has problems, but good polls are still accurate
email print
Comment
About this blog
Pat Cunningham offers an unabashedly liberal perspective on national politics. A note of caution: The language gets a little salty on some of the sites to which this blog links. So, don't say you weren't warned. By the way, this blog's name is ...
X
Liberal Views
Pat Cunningham offers an unabashedly liberal perspective on national politics. A note of caution: The language gets a little salty on some of the sites to which this blog links. So, don't say you weren't warned. By the way, this blog's name is inspired by the Will Rogers quote, \x34All politics is applesauce.\x34 In 41 years as a print and broadcast journalist, most of those years with the Rockford (Ill.) Register Star, Pat has covered national politics under eight American presidents. He's attended 10 national political conventions, Republican and Democratic alike, and has interviewed countless prominent political players, including Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush.
Recent Posts
May 1, 2015 5:11 p.m.
May 1, 2015 5:11 p.m.
May 1, 2015 11:12 a.m.
April 30, 2015 5:11 p.m.
April 30, 2015 5:11 p.m.
Sept. 4, 2014 5:15 p.m.


nate_silver
Nate Silver, a superstar of political polling analysis over the past six years, does not design or conduct polls himself. Rather, he interprets them with amazing accuracy.
One of Silver’s great talents is distinguishing bad polls from good ones. He doesn’t get suckered by polls whose methodologies are suspect if not downright bogus. And he doesn’t tailor his analyses to suit his own political biases.
Silver CONFESSED recently that there is cause for concern about the future of polling, but he hasn’t completely lost faith in the science:

There is no shortage of reasons to worry about the state of the polling industry. Response rates to political polls are dismal. Even polls that make every effort to contact a representative sample of voters now get no more than 10 percent to complete their surveys — down from about 35 percent in the 1990s.

And there are fewer high-quality polls than there used to be. The cost to commission one can run well into five figures, and it has increased as response rates have declined.1 Under budgetary pressure, many news organizations have understandably preferred to trim their polling budgets rather than lay off newsroom staff.

Cheaper polling alternatives exist, but they come with plenty of problems. “Robopolls,” which use automated scripts rather than live interviewers, often get response rates in the low to mid-single digits. Most are also prohibited by law from calling cell phones, which means huge numbers of people are excluded from their surveys.

(Snip)

But all of this must be weighed against a stubborn fact: We have seen no widespread decline in the accuracy of election polls, at least not yet. Despite their challenges, the polls have reflected the outcome of recent presidential, Senate and gubernatorial general elections reasonably well. If anything, the accuracy of election polls has continued to improve.
 
 
 
 
 

Recent Posts

    latest blogs

    • Community
    • National