Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Public Opinion

It's getting harder and harder to find out what people think.

Basically, we're having an increasingly difficult time reaching and completing surveys, according to a new Pew report.

You may not think surveys are all that important.  You're wrong.

For a lot of reasons, surveys matter, and perhaps the biggest reason is that it's one way to know what people really think about an issue versus what some politician or corporation or TV talking head tells us what people think.  It's an instant fact-check for the folks who try to convince us they really have a secret line to the public mind.

The lower the quality the surveys, the more error that creeps in, and the more open they become to methodological challenges by people who'd rather tell us what they magically know about public opinion rather than asking real people what they think about the issues of the day.

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