Current Weather
The Spy FM

A Poll’s Query About Partisan Bias Of Pollsters Finds The Tilt Is With Voters

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
October 2, 2012

You can believe this latest poll result if you’d like. Or not.

A survey released Tuesday that was conducted by Public Policy Polling asked people if they thought pollsters were rigging their results to show President Obama leading Mitt Romney (h/t Josh Voorhees at The Slatest).

The poll found respondents virtually split, with 42 percent saying “yes” and 40 percent saying “no.” Eighteen percent weren’t sure. The poll was conducted for the Daily Kos, the liberal blog, and the SEIU, the service workers union.

Not surprisingly, given how polarized the national psyche is, how one responded to this question had almost everything to do with one’s political party identification.

Asked if there was any partisan funny business in the polls, Democrats said “no” 65 percent of the time, versus 14 percent who said “yes.”

Flip that and you just about had the Republican view, where 71 percent said “yes,” 13 percent “no.”

Thus, a question on whether pollsters are showing a partisan bias reveals the partisan bias of the respondents. It’s just more proof of what we already knew. Republicans and Democrats represent two parties divided by a common Constitution.

There’s been much written in recent weeks about the possibility of a Democratic bias in polls that show the president ahead of Romney. One of the best responses to the charge of such a bias, compelling because of its logic, is that it would be counterproductive for pollsters to misstate public sentiment since pollsters are only as good as their track record. (See the end of this CBSNews.com piece.)

As good as Gallup is, people still haven’t forgotten its infamous 1948 poll that had Thomas Dewey beating President Harry Truman. (It was the Chicago Tribune, my old employer, that ran the “Dewey Beats Truman” headline. Even into the 21st century, a lot of people in the Tribune newsroom who weren’t even born when that giant fail happened still wince when reminded of it.)

Erick Erickson, the conservative blogger whom no one would mistake for someone in the tank for Obama, made the same point about reputable pollsters having their names to uphold.

And just FYI, NPR characterizes PPP, the group behind the “do you believe the polls” survey, as Democratic-leaning. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

Listen Live Now!

10AM to 11PM On Point

On Point

On Point unites distinct and provocative voices with passionate discussion as it confronts the stories that are at the center of what is important in the world today. Leaving no perspective unchallenged, On Point digs past the surface and into the core of a subject, exposing each of its real world implications.

View the program guide!

11AM to 12PM The Story

The Story

The Story with Dick Gordon brings the news home through first-person accounts. The live weekday program is passionate, personal, immediate and relevant to listeners, focusing on the news where it changes our lives, causes us to stop and rethink, inspires us.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center