Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Statistical Tie?

The conservative site Breitbart breathlessly reports a new Zogby poll that says Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are in a statistical tie, with Clinton at 38 and Trump at 36 and, as the Zogby site says, "we are back to a close race!" Let me stress the exclamation point is theirs. You're only allowed three in a career and I wouldn't burn one of mine on this.

OK, but is it a tie? No. Of course not.

The Zogby poll is probably an outlier, a firm that gets only a C- from 538's famous pollster ratings. The internet-only Zogby poll has a Republican house effect, meaning it tends to lean that way in its results. Pay attention to the quality polls, especially the ones that use live phone calls to landlines and cell phones.

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