Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Becoming Known

Sarah Palin went from nobody to somebody, at least on the national stage, in a fairly short time. In one poll, 20 percent had never heard of the Alaska governor and GOPVPer in August of this year. The latest poll shows 1 percent have never heard of her. How the heck do braindead people answer the phone and answer a survey? Amazing.

Poll differences are interesting. While the poll above by CNN has those numbers, one done by CBS/NYTimes has quite different numbers. In that one, Palin's "don't know" numbers have dropped from 59 percent to 10 percent. The same drop, just with different numbers. The questions are almost identical, but the pool is different. The CNN folks have their early number of just "registered voters" and their latter number of "likely voters." The CBS/NYT is just of "registered voters."

In other words, we're talking two very different pools here. That only 1 percent of likely voters haven't heard of Palin while 10 percent of registered voters haven't heard of Palin makes perfect sense. The "likely voter" screens look at people with a history of voting who say they'll vote this November -- a more politically active pool than anyone who happens to be registered.

The footnotes and fine print sometimes explain everything. And sometimes not.

Between appearances on SNL and being parodied on SNL, it's hard to imagine anyone -- voter or not -- hasn't heard of Palin. Sometimes you just wonder about what people don't know.

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