A recent CNN poll indicates that President Obama has a four point lead over Mitt Romney, which is within the survey’s sampling error.
3 More “Sampling Errors” In Any Poll
1. Sampling people who give away their personal information to anyone who phones them up. We wonder if national polls would also reveal that people’s favorite banking machine PIN number is “1234” as we previously wrote about.
2. Sampling people who say they want hot dogs in their pizza crust, as we reported yesterday! If a focus group or survey indicates that people want hot dogs in their pizza, is this really only an indication of what people who have time to join focus groups and answer surveys want? Because we thought most busy, no-time-for-suveys-because-they’re-trying-to-make-easy-money people would answer that they want diamonds and free scratch-and-win tickets in their pizza crust.
3. How many jerks answer questions untruthfully just for fun in any poll? You know the polls that you see on web sites all the time, asking questions like “Do you think fixing the economy is a good idea?” And there’s always that 11% who indicate “no” regardless of what the question is (or whatever the inappropriate answer is). How many automated pollsters reach babies who just press every button on the phone? Or teenagers who are trying to be jerks by saying their parents want to vote for the marijuana party? Or dogs trying to phone 9-1-1 to save their masters from an untimely fall, but the dogs were interrupted by pollsters as they tried to pick up the phone to make the call?