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...
If the media are going to run political poll results as news, then they should be legally obligated to feature the party identification of those polled, if any "weighting" went on, and if the sampling was all Americans, registered voters or likely voters. It should also list all of the questions that were asked. The media's credibility is now always in question, and they need to prove their work.
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.
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