Monday, May 7, 2007

A lie in the mainstream.

A new Newsweek poll has the presidents approval down to 29% +or– 7%. That is compared to the normal 3 to 4% margin of error for most polls, Why is this so high? Because they over sampled democrats. This distorted number is now in the mainstream and the story is a lie.

The NEWSWEEK Poll was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International May 2-3. Telephone interviews were conducted with 1,001 adults, age 18 and older; the overall margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points. The margin of error for questions asked only of Democrats and Democratic leaners is plus or minus 7 percentage points; for Republicans and GOP leaners, 8 percentage points.

Note: I’ve always wondered how asking 1000 people in a nation of 300,000,000 can tell you anything important. I know they have a math formula for that but it would only take 1 bad apple to twist this how they want it, and it looks like they did just that. Here are some more numbers:

Yes, this would be a devastating poll, if one could rely on it. It contradicts nearly every other poll, which has consistently shown Giuliani beating Obama, Clinton, and Edwards. How could Newsweek get the results they have published?

Well, for one thing, it helps when you poll 50% more Democrats than Republicans. If one reads the actual poll results all the way to the end, the penultimate question shows that the sample has 24% Republicans to 36% Democrats. Compare that to the information given by Newsweek's NBC partners in February, which showed that party affiliation had shifted from a difference of less than a percentage point to a gap of 3.9 points -- 34.3% to 30.4%, with 33.9% independents.

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