Media persist in misreporting political poll results

    There’s a story in this morning’s edition of The Des Moines Register (see HERE) bearing the headline: “Iowa Poll: Cruz holds 3-point lead as Trump attacks.” The piece is a classic example of how the mainstream media often misreport the results of political polls. Indeed, the Des Moines paper’s story is especially bad. You have to go way down in the story to find the respective poll percentages for Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. They’re buried in a graphic of poll results and appear only in fine...

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Poll shows that GOP Benghazi panel did Hillary Clinton a big favor

One of the big problems for today’s conservative Republicans is that too many of them spend too much time in an echo chamber. The feedback they get from constituents, from Fox News and from talk radio leads them to believe that most Americans agree with them on most issues. When they find out that isn’t true, they’re bewildered. Take, for example, the recent grilling of Hillary Clinton by Republicans on the congressional Benghazi committee. Many of the GOP panelists seemed to believe that hostile questions are just...

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Pollsters warn against using their surveys to exclude candidates from debates

As you’re probably aware by now, some of the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination have been relegated to second-tier status by sponsors of televised debates. This strategy is prompted mainly by the fact that so many people are in the GOP race. The thinking is that it would be unwieldy to have all the candidates in a single debate. So, the solution has been to create a so-called kiddies debate for the candidates who seem not to be doing very well in the polls. The problem here is that the polls aren’t always...

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Polls on the Republican race are mostly misleading and badly misreported

As an inveterate poll-watcher, I find that the surveys at this early stage of the race for the Republican presidential nomination are in a class by themselves — if I might use the word “class” in this context. These polls are useless for the most part. Their only importance is that weak numbers might prompt marginal candidates to withdraw from the race for lack of money. Fat-cat donors aren’t likely to waste too much moohlah on somebody who seems doomed to defeat even before the contest heats up. Another problem with...

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Is Donald Trump paying the Wall Street Journal to toot his horn?

Here’s the situation: New Hampshire ranks 42nd out of the 50 states in population. It has fewer residents than the combined Illinois counties of DuPage and Kane, which are mostly just suburbs of Chicago. Politically, New Hampshire is a swing state, but it has voted for the Democratic candidates in the last three presidential elections. New Hampshire is important in presidential politics only because it has the first primary election. Still, winners of either party’s primary in the Granite State don’t always win the White...

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