Those Poll Questions Aren’t So Wacky After All
Farrah Bostic
282

Your writing is ignoring the most important question on polling, “is this poll asking questions that should be asked?” It’s well know if you ask a wrong question and then the answer is not only useless but misleading. A poll that asks wrong questions is same thing as a fake news.

The question on unemployment is a good example of this. What exactly is “the unemployment rate has gone up” supposed to mean? Does this mean “have you seen the government report saying this is true”, “is your community having a higher unemplyment rate” or “is someone you know (including yourself) unable to find a well paying job and/or recently laid off”? An illegal immigrant from Panama may answer “no” because the priest at his church uses the government report in his sermon (but he actually can’t read the report because he can only speak Spanish). A programmer may answer “yes” because his team will be laid off to move the operation to India (but he has read the report and is aware that he can get a job at a Starbucks owned by his friend). Both are answering honestly based on what they know and their knowledge is correct but the latter will be called “ignorant”.

News media will need to stop using polls with poorly worded and inaccurate questions as well as denounce those polls for failures. Or “drain the swamp” as you-know-who is saying.

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