Friday, June 7, 2013

Polls that Make Ya Look Good

I've preached this before -- beware the poll that, coincidentally, supports the position of the folks who paid for it.  Today's installment comes from the Missouri Press Association:
More than 90 percent of Missourians who responded to a recent survey believe the wording of constitutional amendments should be published in their local newspapers before election day. That's according to a poll by Pulse Research Inc. commissioned by the Missouri Press Association (MPA).
Okay, you get it, right.  Of course the MPA is happy about this, because they're not giving way that space for free.  Also, when it comes to political advertising:
The survey also showed 55.5 percent of respondents believe political advertising on television is the most offensive. Only 2.8 percent said newspaper ads are the most offensive.
Which, of course, is no surprise to anyone who has watched TV.  What this fails to note is whether or not political ads on TV are more influential, or reach important subgroups, than newspaper ads. I'm a newspaper guy, but I'd deserve to be fired if I recommend to a candidate he or she spends money on newspaper ads rather than local Tv.

All we know about this survey is it's of 386 respondents "from every region of the state."  No idea if it was a telephone poll, a robo-poll, if it is weighted or not weighted geographically or demographically, or hell -- anything at all.  It's a small N, to be sure, but not terribly bad for this kind of thing.  I merely point to it as yet another example of a survey just happening to support those who paid the bill.  

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