Unlikely Voter

Poll Analysis and Election Projection

Neat technology shouldn’t come ahead of poll transparency

Hey look, a post!

While I’m sure everyone involved is so proud of Vanderbilt’s data filtering app for its recent poll of Tennessee showing Barack Obama still losing in one of the two states he ran behind John Kerry in, but the problem is that the details are made less transparent.

What a shame.

Some pollsters put out lots of information. I’m going to single out Public Policy Polling and SurveyUSA. They put out big, beautiful tables full of information. That serves a dual purpose: It not only lets us study what’s going on with the poll to find out what it’s saying about the public, but it also lets us analyze the poll itself to see if we should trust what it’s saying about the public.

The Vanderbilt poll makes it very difficult to try to figure out just what it’s saying about the basic demographic and political makeup of the voting public in Tennessee. Without that information, we have a difficult time evaluating the poll’s validity and its results.

I hope this doesn’t become a trend.

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