Friday, March 03, 2006
Ezzie is correct if you think the mathematics in polling never advanced beyong the level of 4th graders.
The link to that poll contains methodology at the bottom. They randomly select phone numbers. A very common method is to weight responses based on demographic details. For example, if your sample contains 47% men, but the US census says the population is 49% male, then the responses of the men are weighted slightly more. This is a quick way to correct for some random sampling biases without needing to quadruple the sample size. They don't weight by political affilation because that changes over time and no Census quality documents contain that information.
Each poll contains only about 1000 people in the entire nation so they say there is +/-3% error for the total responses (I'm assuming 95% confidence intervals) and more error in subpopulations. For a 38% approval rates that means there a 95% chance that the true approval rating is within 35%-41%.
As more polls with more respondants all come out with the same results, it increases the likelihood that a result is accurate:
43% approval (dropped from 52% in January)
There is absolutely no question that his approval rating is dropping and definitely below 46%.
Anon Y. Mouse | | Email | 03.03.06 - 1:56 pm | #