Unlikely Voter

Conservative views on polls, science, technology, and policy

It’s now socially acceptable to question PPP

For a long time, I was placing myself in the fringe for coming out and questioning Public Policy Polling. Having picked Obama when Obama managed to win was supposed to make them untouchable, no matter how many red flags I saw.

But as with Zogby in 1992, coincidentally being right does not make bad polling fundamentally sound. So I guess it’s now become acceptable, in the post-Obama political age, to begin questioning PPP.

It’s not often I come into this space not to give my own value add on, where I use my math and independent-minded perspective to interpret the polling news. But in this case I think it’s important for me to link to Nate Cohn’s take down of PPP. Cohn brings a variety of the criticisms of the kind that I, Dan McLaughlin, Sean Davis, and others have been making for some time, only he brings them from a left-leaning publication. That mitigates the ways that criticisms from the right often get dismissed.

Cohn understands that a pollster only has value for anyone if the numbers have a scientific basis to them, so he’s smart to do this. As his piece concludes truthfully, “we need pollsters taking representative samples with a rigorous and dependable methodology. Unfortunately, that’s not PPP.”

Preach it.


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