Stupid Polls

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Check out this CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll from October 1998, a full two years before the 2000 election, and well before Bush or Gore announced they were running for President.

Note how in the questioning, they only match two candidates from opposing parties head-to-head: Bush and Gore. Note that this is the first question.

And then wonder to yourself, would this influence the later questions, about who you would vote for in the respective parties?

Duh. The numbers for Gore vs. rest of field, and Bush vs. rest of field, are invalid, because the previous question already told the respondents who the pollster considers the most likely candidates to be, and many people are more inclined to vote for who they perceive to be the winner.

This is one of the many reasons you should treat poll results with skepticism, especially if you can't see the actual questions asked, and their order.

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

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