Monday, May 11, 2015

What I Would do

“There is a pro-Labor and anti-Conservative bias in polls.”

Two examples of “herding” in the 2014 election appeared in the Kansas and Virginia Senate races. Pollsters there didn’t release their numbers because they deviated too much from what others showed. In that way, Virginia voters were badly served because no late published poll caught Republican Ed Gillespie’s last-minute surge that almost defeated Democratic incumbent Mark Warner.
This is playing with dynamite. Pollsters in Britain have long realized the potential polling problem created by the “shy Tory” vote — referring to those voters who don’t want to admit to pollsters that they are going against the grain of media coverage and might cast a politically incorrect vote. But this is the third time in 50 years that the shy Tories have swung an election (it also happened in 1970 and 1992). Apparently, polling companies haven’t been able to solve the problem. Chris Hanretty, the academic who advised the BBC on polling, told Britain’s Guardian newspaper that he feels “a little bit foolish,” in the wake of the election. “We categorically ruled out a [Conservative] majority. . . . We should have expected far more ‘shy Tories.’”

Pollster Stephen Fisher also told the Guardian that the problem is more complex than that. Noting that polling companies have consistently exaggerated the Labor vote since the 1970s, he concluded: “Polling companies have done a lot of work to try to counteract this, but it keeps happening. There is a pro-Labor and anti-Conservative bias in polls.”

As in, like everywhere, polls are morphedor maybe always have beeninto a device to manipulate votes to benefit the media' predilections.  Which are nearly always "progressive" .  I'd outlaw publishing any poll result  during the 30 days prior to election.  Contact me if you'd like a copy of my best selling book "Why I Should be Supreme Ruler," if it's ever published.


Anonymous said...

Is your book anything like the list 'When Im an Evil Overlord?'

Rodger the Real King of France said...

No, because I am beneficent. Only really bad people are thrown down a volcano.

Dan said...

Tried posting this earlier, so I apologize if it's a duplicate.

1. Barry Farber, the talk show host, years ago commented that the only nonregulated industry in the US seems to be the polling industry. No national or regional standards implemented by academic, professional, organizational, or political group.

2. a. For years, while a civil servant (snivel servant?) I used to make up answers for the surveys and such from higher we'd get periodically. It was fun, but sometimes it looked like policies were changed based on my answers. Scary.

2. b. I used to love the "anonymous" surveys we'd get. Completely anonymous. But they needed to know: Where do you work (facility), Section or division, function (IT, HR, Log, etc.), your age, your grade. Yep, purely anonymous considering I was the only one in my facility, in my section, doing my job in my grade.


rwnutjob said...

Don't have to be a rocket surgeon to know that the wrong answer will close your pizza restaurant.

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