Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

When No Doesn't Necessarily Mean No

Opinion polls. It seems like there's nothing we like more than opinion polls. There are dozens of them. And often they have disparate results. One poll says Obama's approval rating is 52 percent, another says it's 45 percent. Both can't be right. Chances are that neither is.

The bad thing about polls, and poll results is that so much depends on how you ask the question and what the respondent thinks the question is asking.

Let's take that Obama approval rating. as of today, Gallup says it's 46 percent approval, 45 percent disapproval. What does that mean?

Too many seem to think that it means 45 percent would rather have a Republican in the White House. But the question is "Do you approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as President?" (or something close to that).

Now some people might say "Yes. He could be doing better, but overall, yes." Others might respond "No. I think he's doing a bad job." While still others might say "No. I think he could be doing better."

Is that third response really disapproval? Maybe. Does it indicate opposition to an Obama second term? Certainly not.

I think these kinds of polls would be much more informative if they ranked approval on a scale. If they, for example, said on a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate Obama's performance as President? My gut tells me that rating at present would in the 5-6 range, not the 4-5 range. I could easily be wrong. I just think that some of Obama's harshest critics are people who don't think he's going far enough rather than going too far.

In short, I don't think the way opinion polls results are reported is as reflective of actual opinion as they could be.

Peace. Out.



Latest Month

August 2010
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Naoto Kishi