A Note on Bogus Polling

Which Polls To Trust?

I’ve heard from a few people really concerned about the polling in Florida, showing Gingrich down, and Romney up, which seems at least in part to be contradicted by the sense of things on the ground. I am going to show you how a poll can be twisted, and how you can’t trust them, and if you allow them to form your opinion, you can actually be manipulated.  Let’s start with a very popular poll, the PPP(Public Policy Polling) outfit that currenty shows Romney leading 40% to 32%.  

In this poll, when you read to the bottom of the page and examine the data, you discover the following:

“The PPP poll surveyed 387 likely Florida Republican primary voters on January 28th with a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.”(emphasis mine)

Ladies and gentlemen, when you see ANY poll with such a small sample size, it’s GARBAGE.  When you see any poll with a margin of error of more than 3%, it’s likely garbage, particularly if it has a small sample size.  For a state as large and diverse as Florida, any poll that doesn’t survey at least 1500 people, with a margin of error well below 4% is a poll intended to generate a headline and drive you.

Now, here’s their insurance: With a margin of error of 5%, if you add that to Gingrich, and subtract it from Romney, this poll may actually tell you nothing, because Gingrich could in fact be leading.  This kind of poll is GARBAGE as any serious analyst will tell you, and worse, when you see so-called analysts on television referencing such polls, you know they are LYING to you because as trained professionals, THEY ABSOLUTELY KNOW BETTER.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to “shout” at you, but I am disgusted with the media manipulation, as they try to create some false momentum in Romney’s direction. You should let others know this too.  387 people? Really? A margin of error of 5%??? That’s a potential 10-point swing in either direction, which gives them cover if their pushing doesn’t work out, but also helps them create a theme.

Don’t believe such polls. They are intended to mislead you. I have rejected four such polls from publication on this site in the last month because they were this egregious.

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  • http://gravatar.com/janthames jan

    I haven't talked to anyone who isn't voting for Newt. Now, that might not be a lot of people and, therefore, not mean anything.

    Romney needs to go, he is hateful and disrespectful.

    • http://midnightangel50.blogspot.com/ Kathleen

      Amen, I agree with you on Romney. His associates are that way too.

      • Donna C

        I agree too. He is one heck of a dirty politician!! I will always be in Newt's.

  • Laurie

    Wow, ty for the info Mark.

  • Donna

    I feel better after reading this. I was so freaked out.. NEWT/WEST 2012. THANK YOU,,I will spread this around

  • http://u2sa.wordpress.com G. C. Forsman

    Reblogged this on United to Save America and commented:
    I love this article. I saw one poll showing Gingrich ahead by 8 points, then another showing Romney ahead by 12 five minutes later. Don't believe everything you hear from these so-called-polls.

  • Deb in Texas

    Just like in Wisconsin when Al Frankin INSISTED on every single vote be re-counted until he was ahead and then they quit counting. Hmm… so it's the same with polls so small. They stop taking them when their guy starts to drop.

  • http://www.theboilingteapot.com lou-dallas

    With the fact that the Speaker has a more sympathetic policy regarding illegal immigration, there is a belief that he may be more in favor of Floridian voters, I know he has my vote……and that has nothing to do with immigration. It's just that the man is the smartest guy we've had in a long time to be running for the president, and he is the perfect guy to go up against NObama…..it's a no brainer….!!

  • Dusty F.

    I get the feeling that it is a lot closer or even Newt is leading in FL primary. The harder they push the more desperate they are. On twitter it 3/4 anybody but Romney by conservatives I follow. I feel the momentum is falsely generated to keep people home on Tuesday. It may end up back firing on Mitt's campaign. Full disclosure I currently support Newt for the Republican nomination.

  • Bob Loblaw

    PPP is consistently one of the better pollsters.

    • http://www.markamerica.com MarkAmerica

      Bob, I don't care if they are. I'm telling you that a a guy who has analyzed data professionally, a 5% Margin of Error makes the poll useless, and a sample size of less than 400 is meaningless in an election the scale of the state of Florida. They might get things right when they do a complete poll, as I suspect would be the case, but this, and many others like it is GARBAGE.

      • Aubrey Sheats Jr.

        Also is the very diverse population of Florida. From citrus and cane farmers to upscale Miami types, it all depends on where they called the 387 people. Out my 200 calls to voters i came across very few Romney people.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1147091082 Lynda Armstrong

        Mark thank you for the information…I am so sick of all this …

  • PA

    You bring up good points, but I still think Newt is going to lose Florida by double digits, sadly.

    • http://www.markamerica.com MarkAmerica

      He may, or he may not,but this poll and any like it provide no useful indication.

  • Todd

    If you all don't like Polls go on in-trade, in-trade is where people put their money where their mouth is. It's not who they want to win, but who they are certain to win.. Check it out..

  • fred johnson

    Mark I just read George Soros said mitt is the same as Obum-ma. and that if elected nothing will really change. That should take him to the top of the rino polls and all the others. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the media now won't it?

  • http://gravatar.com/gggtexas oldtexasgal

    Or perhaps it could be the 387 votes were all they had left after they weeded out the ones that did not reflect their desired number?

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