Why are polls showing contradictory results?

September 28, 2004

In a sense, every post on this site seeks to answer the question of why polls seem contradictory. A good place to start is with the following three posts on the random variation inherent in all sample surveys and what...[More...]


What does the "margin of error" mean?

September 28, 2004

A good place to start is with the following three posts on the random variation inherent in all sample surveys and what a consumer can do to minimize it (each post has a link at the end connecting to the...[More...]


How do pollsters select "likely voters?"

September 28, 2004

I have done a lot of posting on this topic. If you want a very thorough reading, start with Part I and continue through the series. You might also want to skip to Part VIII, which is something of a...[More...]


Should pollsters weight by party identification?

September 28, 2004

The debate over whether pollsters should statistically adjust (or weight) their samples by party identification has been heated during campaign 2004. Here is a list of sequence of posts that covered this topic exhaustively: Weighting by Party More on Party...[More...]


Do undecided voters break for the challenger?

September 28, 2004

When pollsters interpret results for a race involving an incumbent, most are at least aware of a phenomenon observed for telephone surveys over the last 20 or 30 years: Voters who are still undecided on the very last poll tend...[More...]


Are polls missing people with mobile phones?

September 28, 2004

These two posts from 2004 address discuss the issue of how households with cell phones but no "landline" service can affect telephone surveys: Mobile Phones More on Mobile Phones[More...]


Where does the presidential race stand today?

September 28, 2004

I comment from time to time on what the polls are saying about where the presidential race stands. Click on this link to display short excerpts of all of the posts discussing the current status of the 2004 race in...[More...]


Can polls tell who won a debate?

September 28, 2004

Start with these two posts on how instant polls and focus group aim to evaluate how candidates faired in a debate: Instant post-debate polls Focus Groups as Reality TV For more commentary, click on this link, or the link for...[More...]


Other questions

September 28, 2004

More frequently asked questions - click the link for answers: Can polls tell who won a debate? Why do retrospective questions about the 2000 race show Bush beating Gore? Why are there "Democratic pollsters" and "Republican pollsters?" Does their partisanship...[More...]