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NYT polling standards March 17, 2009

Posted by Sverre in : Methods in political science , add a comment

I recently found out that the NYT actually have published standards for what polls they are willing to publish. It doesn’t appear to be an entirely new thing (the article is from september 2008), but I found it to be an encouraging surprise. I wish more media were as quality conscious.

The standards document seems to be very basic, but still lay down some important ground rules for minimum requirements for the credibility of a poll. I’d like to see it go into some more detail also on what is required of the questions, but that would of course have to be less concrete and authorative.

10 points to the NYT for a good start.

A tip of the hat to Bård Vegard Solhjell for bringing this to my attention.

Pollster biases revealed November 3, 2008

Posted by Sverre in : Methods in political science, US Presidential election , add a comment

The Monkey Cage led me to a paper by Len Adleman and Mark Schiling that compares the election polls made by American networks. They’ve compared them to the polls made by Gallup And Rasmussen, and show that the political inclination of the networks seem to influence the polls. Fox’s polls show a trend of predicting more to the right, and CBS/NYT more to the left. This is really interesting.

I agree with Andrew Gelman who comments that this surprises him. I would expect their coverage of the polls to show some bias, but had expected the polls themselves to be done in a professional way eliminating personal biases. This apparently goes to show that being completely neutral is difficult if not impossible, even in quantitative analysis.