Questioning the Validity of an poll

I was reading an article from the AP on yesterday about whether or not the media is favoring Obama or McCain with the amount of coverage. The article admitted that Obama was getting the spotlight and poor old McCain was left in the wings. Come on; that’s obvious. I expect the media to be liberal and favor the Democrats. They’re consistent. However, the strange thing is that they set up a supposed poll to see if readers agreed or not. I voted and got back the results. I must admit that I was rather surprised by the number of readers who voted that they, too, see the media as liberal. Well, then I checked in today to see how the numbers had changed.

Somebody who’s knowledgeable in statistics tell me: what are the chances that your percentages will stay EXACTLY THE SAME when you’ve had 103,594 MORE people vote since the first screenshot? Check this out:

Yesterday’s screenshot:

Today’s screenshot:

One thought on “Questioning the Validity of an poll

  1. So I finally broke down and came. And this is a cool blog, Larrie. You’re an entertaining writer for sure.

    And there’s something mildly political? KEWL!

    Yeah, you can question the poll, but there was movement. It may be really difficult to accept for individualists, but once you hit a statistically significant sample of people, polls don’t move much. Generally, unless some other website is linking to it to push it one way or another, web polls are the same way. In telephone polls, you can get an accurate sample of the entire country with under 1400 people surveyed, which wouldn’t change significantly even if you polled 3 million more.

    Like I said, that’s scary for people who actually think they are unique. Me, I’m a pseudo-individual conformist, and that suits me fine. 🙂


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