Thursday, June 05, 2008

Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics, and CBS Polls

How does McCain trail Obama in a recent poll by 6 percentage points among overall voters, yet hold a lead over Obama among independent voters by 8 percentage points, with 12% of Democrats saying they will vote for him (up from the 8% who voted for Bush in 2004)?

That's easy. All it takes is CBS's "creative" polling techniques. Ed Morrisey reports:
... That last number should have tipped CBS that their sampling was off … again. If McCain leads among independent voters by eight points, it makes little sense that he would trail overall by six. When adding in the 12% of Democrats who plan to defect to McCain, the overall number appears impossible.

Of course, with the CBS poll, nothing is ever impossible; it’s just a matter of juggling the numbers. In their original sample, they surveyed 930 registered voters. The registration comprised 27% Republicans, 40.5% Democrats, and 32.5% independents. CBS thought those numbers looked incorrect, and so “weighted” the numbers to get a better representation of how CBS sees the electorate. The final breakdowns?

  • Republicans - 25.5%
  • Democrats - 41.5%
  • Independents - 33%

  • CBS expanded the gap between Democrats and Republicans from 13.5% to 16%, while edging up independents slightly. Small wonder, then, that the Democrat leads in this poll. And that is among registered voters, not the far-more-predictive likely-voter samples, which tend to disfavor Democrats...

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    At 6/05/2008 12:24 PM, Blogger Dale said...

    They've got an election to win!


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