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332 Landslide

332 Landslide

October 5, 2008

Ralph Nader Takes on Gallup Poll's Black Box

October 5th, 2008
Posted by Toby Heaps at Nader 2008 blog

We do fairly poorly on the Gallup poll, generally registering less than 1 percent (or about 5 times less than the recent WSJ poll). This is probably because they don’t mention Ralph Nader’s name in the question–just Obama and McCain.

So I phoned up Gallup’s Editor-in-Chief (609-924-9600), and asked him if they had any kind of objective threshold which we could strive toward so that Ralph Nader’s name could be included as part of the primary question.

His answer: “No. We use our internal judgment to decide. We do some open-ended questions and variety of other criteria, and then our editorial team makes a decision.” I asked if there were any ballpark levels of support in the open-ended question they looked to as a threshold, and he repeated his mantra, that it was subject to “internal judgment criteria,” and then jumped off to take another call.

He was kind enough to leave me with his e-mail to follow up. Anyone who wants to let Newport know what you think of his internal judegment, please call him or e-mail him at"

Thanks to Austin Cassidy's Independent Political Report for bringing this entry to my attention.

Here are a few other articles of interest:

Why does
the latest poll by the Pew Research Center report that drilling for domestic oil has jumped to the top of Americans' energy priorities? Maybe because Pew didn’t ask respondents if they want the nation to invest in clean energy and efficient cars, instead. So suggests this poll (pdf) by Belden Russonello & Stewart, released last week.

Despite a raft of advantages in the electorate for Democrats, in September's first Gallup tracking poll, an equal number of Republicans and Democrats were surveyed (including "leaners") from Sept. 3-5, compared to a 10-point Democratic identification advantage two weeks ago. That partisan makeup of the polling pool resulted in a 5-point lead for McCain in Sept. 5 tracking poll. Meanwhile, the new CBS poll features a 6-point swing in partisan composition toward Republicans, which plays some role in the poll's two-point lead for McCain. Finally, the latest USA Today poll, which claims a four-point edge for McCain, was arrived at after a 10-point swing in partisan makeup toward GOP respondents.

Polling itself is unpredictable. Polling affects elections. It's sort of like this thing "you can't drop a stone in the same river once [sic]"—as soon as you poll it, you've changed it. What should we really make of polling in this election?

Polling is a business; the interest of pollsters is not to educate the public.

1 comment:

  1. Ralph Ron Vets United10/5/08, 11:14 PM

    Obama McCain
    Left and rights of passage
    Black and whites of youth
    Who can face the knowledge
    that the truth is not the truth?
    Obsolete Absolute

    Nader Paul
    Cruising under your radar
    Watching from the satellites
    Take a page from the red book
    and keep them in your sights
    Red alert Red alert



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