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View Diary: Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: More Wisconsin analysis, public aware of the issues (122 comments)

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  •  who would? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    especially now.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:58:34 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  That Lt. Governor seems ambitious. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      "The disturbing footage depicts piglets being drop kicked and swung by their hind legs. Sows are seen being kicked and shoved as they resist leaving their piglets."

      by Bush Bites on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 05:02:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I dunno, that just seems like an extraordinarily (0+ / 0-)

      stupid polling question to me . . . .

      •  well, it's the standard one (1+ / 0-)
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        Roadbed Guy

        I thought you were kidding, but now I'm not sure, so just in case....

        If the presidential election were today, for whom would you vote?
        (That's copied and pasted from the NYTimes website. I can't verify that it is verbatim, but I would expect it to be.)

        If it's stupid to ask people in June whom they would vote for, it's standard-issue stupid. ;)

        •  But there was no presidential election (0+ / 0-)

          that day, it was a recall election - and the question, as quoted in the diary, was about what would happen if Obama were on the recall election ballot, insinuating that he was running for governor of Wisconsin (or perhaps even one of the down-ballot positions).

          Maybe it was just an extraordinarily poorly written quote.

          •  I think that's too harsh toward Mike McDonald (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roadbed Guy

            A gentleman and a scholar.

            The first reason is that the exit polls show that if Obama was on the ballot, he would have won by a comfortable 51 percent to 44 percent margin.
            I concede that that is ambiguous, but I wouldn't say it is "extraordinarily poorly written." Since the exit poll only taps people who voted in the recall, tying the result to the recall ballot makes some sense. It would have been less ambiguous to write, "...if the presidential election was on the ballot, Obama would have won...." But Mike probably figured that everyone knows what Obama is running for, so it didn't seem all that ambiguous.

            Of course, that less ambiguous statement doesn't actually make sense either: If the presidential election actually had been on the ballot, the electorate would have been a lot different. So maybe Mike should have written, "the exit polls show that if the recall electorate had been voting in the presidential election that day, they would have favored Obama...." Dunno, did I get that right yet?

            The truth is that it's really hard to write unambiguously true statements about poll results without seeming to split hairs.

            •  Well, OK, but having said that, I still remain (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cream City

              completely baffled why asking/polling if Obama had been on the ballot for a state recall election that he refused to even get involved with in any shape or form was a good idea.

              If the question, as you seem to insinuate, was something like "if the presidential election were held today, and Obama's oponent was Romney, who would you vote for?" that seems like a reasonable question.

              But again, a totally different question than the quote referred to.

              I guess this illustrates the truism that outcomes of polls can be massively manipulated by the exact wording of the questions.

              •  I did my best to quote the question verbatim (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DemFromCT, Roadbed Guy

                No seeming insinuation about it. :)

                Assuming that that actually was the question (and that the answers were something like "Barack Obama," "Mitt Romney," "someone else," and "would not vote"), I agree that it's a reasonable question. I also think that Mike McDonald's paraphrase is pretty reasonable and certainly not intended as a massive manipulation.

                •  I suppose a polling insider would get that (0+ / 0-)

                  and I realize this site - from the top down - is big on polling so I guess most readers would be savvy to that.

                  Myself, I'm a bit cynical about polling (heck, either the race is so clear cut that even * I * could predict the winner, or when it's actually a close race, the polling seems to be wrong as often as it is correct) so I typically think  "why bother?" and skip over to something else.

                  •  sorry that I missed this reply (0+ / 0-)

                    Honestly, I think it's probably better to have the "hey, whatever" attitude than to obsess about the details. I think the deets can be very interesting, but sometimes people lose all perspective.

                    That said, I think that polling is very useful for figuring out which races are "so clear cut." It's even substantially better than coin-flipping for the close races, especially if you can compare several polls. But a lot can go wrong that isn't reflected in the nominal "margin of error."

                    I agree that McDonald was writing for people who would probably know what he meant, and not thinking so much about people who wouldn't. Communication is hard.

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