• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

Do you think polls are and effective way to tell what Americans believe?

Do you think that polls are and effective way to tell what Americans believe?

  • Yes

    Votes: 10 52.6%
  • No

    Votes: 9 47.4%

  • Total voters
    19
L

Liberal Because I Care

I voted "no", as polls don't tell people what to believe but rather they measure what people already believe.
 

Kandahar

Enemy Combatant
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
20,688
Reaction score
7,319
Location
Washington, DC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Generally yes. As long as the poll is conducted scientifically and the questions are as straightforward and unbiased as possible, what's the problem?
 

Hoot

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 8, 2004
Messages
1,686
Reaction score
18
Location
State of Confusion
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Liberal
Depending on whether the polling company is reputable, I voted yes...

...plus or minus 3%! LOL
 

Navy Pride

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
39,883
Reaction score
3,070
Location
Pacific NW
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
I voted no........My reasons are:

1. It depends where you poll, for example if you had a poll as to the Presidents approval rating and you polled in Seattle Wash. his approval rating would be about 10%.........If you had the same poll outside the gate at the Naval Submarine base bangor his approval rating would be about 80%....

2. It is impossible to poll 1000 people when we have 300,000,000 people in this country and get and accurate approval rating.......

Nothing proved how inaccurate polling is more then when the exit polls in the 2004 presidential elections had Kerry winning in a landslide.........
 

Kandahar

Enemy Combatant
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
20,688
Reaction score
7,319
Location
Washington, DC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Navy Pride said:
I voted no........My reasons are:

1. It depends where you poll, for example if you had a poll as to the Presidents approval rating and you polled in Seattle Wash. his approval rating would be about 10%.........If you had the same poll outside the gate at the Naval Submarine base bangor his approval rating would be about 80%....
Generally polls specify the group being polled. If the polling company polled exclusively in Seattle and claimed that the poll represented the entire nation, they'd be wrong. If they polled exclusively in Seattle and claimed that the poll represented Seattle, they'd most likely be correct.

That doesn't mean that polls don't work, it just means that people have different opinions in different parts of the country.

Navy Pride said:
2. It is impossible to poll 1000 people when we have 300,000,000 people in this country and get and accurate approval rating.......
Some basic statistics/probability would indicate that you are wrong about that.

Navy Pride said:
Nothing proved how inaccurate polling is more then when the exit polls in the 2004 presidential elections had Kerry winning in a landslide.........
Umm...Please cite an exit poll that showed that. The exit polls matched the actual election results very well in 2004, both state-by-state and nationwide.
 

Navy Pride

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
39,883
Reaction score
3,070
Location
Pacific NW
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
Kandahar said:
Generally polls specify the group being polled. If the polling company polled exclusively in Seattle and claimed that the poll represented the entire nation, they'd be wrong. If they polled exclusively in Seattle and claimed that the poll represented Seattle, they'd most likely be correct.

That doesn't mean that polls don't work, it just means that people have different opinions in different parts of the country.



Some basic statistics/probability would indicate that you are wrong about that.



Umm...Please cite an exit poll that showed that. The exit polls matched the actual election results very well in 2004, both state-by-state and nationwide.
Generally polls specify the group being polled. If the polling company polled exclusively in Seattle and claimed that the poll represented the entire nation, they'd be wrong. If they polled exclusively in Seattle and claimed that the poll represented Seattle, they'd most likely be correct.
Agreed that is eactly why you can't take a poll of 1000 people that says President Bush has a low approval rating and claim it reflects the feelings of 300,000,000 Americans....
 

tecoyah

Back
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 30, 2005
Messages
9,777
Reaction score
3,417
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Navy Pride said:
Nothing proved how inaccurate polling is more then when the exit polls in the 2004 presidential elections had Kerry winning in a landslide.........
I also voted no....Polls are far too dependent on the way a question is worded. But the above statement is inaccurate....unless this is a landslide :


Florida
Kerry 51
Bush 49

Ohio
Kerry 51
Bush 49

Michigan
Kerry 52
Bush 46
Nader 1

Pennsylvania
Kerry 53
Bush 46

Iowa
Kerry 50
Bush 49

Wisconsin
Kerry 51
Bush 48
Nader 1

Minnesota
Kerry 52
Bush 46
Nader 2

New Hampshire
Kerry 54
Bush 44
Nader 1

New Mexico
Kerry 50
Bush 48
Nader 1

Colorado
Kerry 49
Bush 50
Nader 1

Arkansas
Kerry 45
Bush 54
Nader 1

Missouri
Kerry 47
Bush 52

New York
Kerry 62
Bush 36
Nader 2

Nevada
Kerry 49
Bush 48
Nader 1

New Jersey
Kerry 54
Bush 44
Nader 1

West Virginia
Kerry 45
Bush 54
Nader 1
 

Kandahar

Enemy Combatant
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
20,688
Reaction score
7,319
Location
Washington, DC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Navy Pride said:
Agreed that is eactly why you can't take a poll of 1000 people that says President Bush has a low approval rating and claim it reflects the feelings of 300,000,000 Americans....
Taking 1,000 people from Seattle and claiming they represent all of America, is not the same thing as taking 1,000 random people across the nation and claiming they represent all of America. The first would be misleading, the latter is statistically accurate.
 

Navy Pride

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
39,883
Reaction score
3,070
Location
Pacific NW
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
Kandahar said:
Taking 1,000 people from Seattle and claiming they represent all of America, is not the same thing as taking 1,000 random people across the nation and claiming they represent all of America. The first would be misleading, the latter is statistically accurate.
I don't care if you divide the 1000 by 50 and take 20 from each state there is no way in hell you can know how the rest of the people in that state would vote........

Its just a wild guess at best..........
 

Kandahar

Enemy Combatant
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
20,688
Reaction score
7,319
Location
Washington, DC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Navy Pride said:
I don't care if you divide the 1000 by 50 and take 20 from each state there is no way in hell you can know how the rest of the people in that state would vote........

Its just a wild guess at best..........
No it isn't. A basic understanding of statistics will show exactly how pollsters come up with the margin of error and what it means. They don't just pull that number out of a hat...

If polls were "just a wild guess at best," you'd expect to see election results differing wildly from the final polls (as you claimed earlier in this thread). But we in fact see just the opposite: election results tend to be very similar to the poll results.
 

Navy Pride

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
39,883
Reaction score
3,070
Location
Pacific NW
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
Kandahar said:
No it isn't. A basic understanding of statistics will show exactly how pollsters come up with the margin of error and what it means. They don't just pull that number out of a hat...

If polls were "just a wild guess at best," you'd expect to see election results differing wildly from the final polls (as you claimed earlier in this thread). But we in fact see just the opposite: election results tend to be very similar to the poll results.
Then how do you explain when they are so far off?:confused:
 

Kelzie

The Almighty
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
13,534
Reaction score
1,000
Location
Denver, CO
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
Navy Pride said:
Then how do you explain when they are so far off?:confused:
They were off by 2%. All reputable polls have a margin of error. The error in the exit polls was well within that margin.
 

tecoyah

Back
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 30, 2005
Messages
9,777
Reaction score
3,417
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
How do you know they "Were so far off"....did you take another poll....or just pull that out of your hat?
 

Kandahar

Enemy Combatant
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
20,688
Reaction score
7,319
Location
Washington, DC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Navy Pride said:
Then how do you explain when they are so far off?:confused:
It's very rare that poll results differ significantly from election results. When they do, it is generally only in statewide contests where A) there was only one company polling, and B) the methodology was flawed or unscientific.

Perhaps if you cited some examples of these many polls that are "so far off" from the election results? The 2004 presidential polls were very close to the actual result; I know of none that predicted the "Kerry landslide" you claim.
 

Navy Pride

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
39,883
Reaction score
3,070
Location
Pacific NW
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
Kandahar said:
It's very rare that poll results differ significantly from election results. When they do, it is generally only in statewide contests where A) there was only one company polling, and B) the methodology was flawed or unscientific.

Perhaps if you cited some examples of these many polls that are "so far off" from the election results? The 2004 presidential polls were very close to the actual result; I know of none that predicted the "Kerry landslide" you claim.

Then you must not remember the exit polling early on election day that had the Kerry people celebrating a certain victory....

I was watching the election returns and all the pundits said Kerry was on the way to a huge victory...
 

Navy Pride

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
39,883
Reaction score
3,070
Location
Pacific NW
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
Kelzie said:
They were off by 2%. All reputable polls have a margin of error. The error in the exit polls was well within that margin.
Is that so.......The experts might disagree with you on that one..


http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/vote2004/2004-11-03-polls-burn-pundits_x.htm

Predictions burn pollsters, pundits — again
By Mark Memmott, USA TODAY
The polling industry is on the defensive for its surveys of voters on Election Day, which some TV pundits relied on Tuesday to overstate support for Sen. John Kerry.
 

Kandahar

Enemy Combatant
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
20,688
Reaction score
7,319
Location
Washington, DC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Navy Pride said:
Then you must not remember the exit polling early on election day that had the Kerry people celebrating a certain victory....

I was watching the election returns and all the pundits said Kerry was on the way to a huge victory...
Hmm, I'm going to call bullshit on this, as it is simply not true. Here are all of the major polls leading up to the 2004 election:

http://www.pollingreport.com/2004.htm
 

Kandahar

Enemy Combatant
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
20,688
Reaction score
7,319
Location
Washington, DC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Navy Pride said:
Is that so.......The experts might disagree with you on that one..


http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/vote2004/2004-11-03-polls-burn-pundits_x.htm

Predictions burn pollsters, pundits — again
By Mark Memmott, USA TODAY
The polling industry is on the defensive for its surveys of voters on Election Day, which some TV pundits relied on Tuesday to overstate support for Sen. John Kerry.
Of the ten polls listed in that article, seven of them showed Bush leading just prior to the election. One showed Bush and Kerry tied, and two showed Kerry ahead by 1% or 2%. None of them show the Kerry landslide you claim.
 

Navy Pride

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
39,883
Reaction score
3,070
Location
Pacific NW
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
Kandahar said:
Hmm, I'm going to call bullshit on this, as it is simply not true. Here are all of the major polls leading up to the 2004 election:

http://www.pollingreport.com/2004.htm

whatever, so much for polling reports.This is what happened......

http://www.usatoday.com/news/politic...-pundits_x.htm

Predictions burn pollsters, pundits — again
By Mark Memmott, USA TODAY
The polling industry is on the defensive for its surveys of voters on Election Day, which some TV pundits relied on Tuesday to overstate support for Sen. John Kerry.
 

Navy Pride

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
39,883
Reaction score
3,070
Location
Pacific NW
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
Kandahar said:
Of the ten polls listed in that article, seven of them showed Bush leading just prior to the election. One showed Bush and Kerry tied, and two showed Kerry ahead by 1% or 2%. None of them show the Kerry landslide you claim.

I will say this one more time........Prior to the elections (I am not saying the day before) the liberal media was full of glee because the president's approval rating was in the mid forties and no president had ever been re elected with and approval rating of below 50%............

So much for polls on approval ratings.........
 

Connecticutter

Active member
Joined
Jun 25, 2005
Messages
432
Reaction score
0
Location
New Haven, CT
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Navy Pride said:
I don't care if you divide the 1000 by 50 and take 20 from each state there is no way in hell you can know how the rest of the people in that state would vote........

Its just a wild guess at best..........
Actually the margin of error is based upon the number of people polled, and is not related to the total number of people in the country. Theoretically, if you have a pool of an infinite amount of people, you can still gain a great deal of information on the distribution of those people by polling 1000 randomly. There's a formula that relates the number polled to statistical error.

Of course, a poll is no good if you don't select randomly. No poll is completely random - for example a phone poll would select random phone numbers, which is a little different from random people.
 

Kelzie

The Almighty
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
13,534
Reaction score
1,000
Location
Denver, CO
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
Navy Pride said:
I will say this one more time........Prior to the elections (I am not saying the day before) the liberal media was full of glee because the president's approval rating was in the mid forties and no president had ever been re elected with and approval rating of below 50%............

So much for polls on approval ratings.........
What? There just saying it had never been done before. The fact still remained that his approval rating was in the mid 40s, regardless of if he was voted in or not.
 

Navy Pride

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
39,883
Reaction score
3,070
Location
Pacific NW
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
I might also add that in a lot of polls it depends what questions are asked and how they are asked........
 
Top Bottom