The results are in: 100 % percent of me thinks polls really suck.
First of all, I hate how polls tell us how we should be thinking. Because if 51 percent of the country thinks 49 percent of the country is stupid, you know which side you want to be on (unless, of course, you’re stupid). Secondly, I hate how politicians base their every action on polls.
Forget that you dedicated your early life to saving the Hawaiian monk seal. If the polls say the monk seal is no longer popular with your constituents, you’ll personally club one and post the video on YouTube — after which you will immediately check to see how the clubbing impacted your favorability.
And I love how the pollsters refuse to accept they’re ever wrong. Because, you know, of course a poll of 1,000 people always reflects the opinions of 300 million. Humans are just entirely that predictable.
Remember those exit polls that said John Kerry was going to defeat George Bush? Those polls weren’t wrong, we were told – 24% of the people taking them were full of @#$%. (Margin on error: + or – 0%)
Why would people lie to a pollster? Well, shoot – I haven’t read that poll. But I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be reliable.
Not that the news channels would mind.
About the author: Pat Pemberton is a smart aleck, sarcastic former political science student voted Most Statistically Improbable. He has not written extensively on the topic of polling and basically wrote this blog as an excuse to make a funny pie chart.
No related posts.