In response to:

The Particulars of Polls

USNbubblehead Wrote: Oct 01, 2012 12:00 PM
I live in N.H. and I blew-off a pollster last night. I had a butt-load of schoolwork to do, and I've already participated in a number of polls. This one was from Penn State I think. Anyway, I don't have time for it. Something has to explain the poll results. I only know a couple of people voting for the big O this time. Far fewer campaign signs too. I have seen news photogs as I've traveled to work taking pictures of Democrat campaign signs in Durham, N.H., home of the UNH campus. They've had to travel here from wherever to find a place where there is any great concentration of them. No surprise there; UNH is a very liberal school. If you see a picture of a NH street lined with Dem campaign signs, look at the caption. I bet it's Durham.
As a recovering pollster (I worked for Democratic pollster Peter Hart from 1974 to 1981), let me weigh in on the controversy over whether the polls are accurate. Many conservatives are claiming that multiple polls have overly Democratic samples, and some charge that media pollsters are trying to discourage Republican voters.

First, some points about the limits of polls. Random sample polling is an imprecise instrument. There's an error margin of 3 or 4 percent, and polling theory tells us that one out of 20 polls is wrong, with results outside the margin of error. Sometimes it's easy to spot such an...