“Lies, damn lies, and statistics.” “You can use a poll to prove anything.” We all hear the lines like these, which reflect the popular view of statistical analysis and opinion polling. Nobody believes it. It’s all made up, says the conventional wisdom, or at least doctored to a degree that it can’t be trusted.
It’s not actually so bad at all, but it’s hard to make that case when people like the Daily Beast’s John Avlon undermine the field with examples like these.[More]