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View Diary: Wanna know where racist nut-throwers come from? Check out this poll (111 comments)

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  •  Whoa, Dude, WTF? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, Mickquinas
    These are raw numbers, not percentages. But these responses, which stink of stereotypes of layabouts collecting free stuff, fit perfectly with the lecturing, hectoring mode of Mitt Romney at the NAACP meeting in July telling blacks what they should think.
    I know this is a failing on WaPo's part, not yours, but the way it's presented ought to set off lots of redflags that someone is trying to snowball you with misleading statitstics.  Maybe its just the stats head in me, but reporting raw numbers completely fails to support the implication of the second point.

    For example, If you have a large enough sample of Democrats, you'll probably get a small number of answers totally off the wall answers (Say LaRouchies answering that blacks support democrats because the TriLateral Commission has brainwashed them into supporing the Federal Reserve or something).  Without some sense of the overall sample size, the raw counts are utterly meaningless in terms of assessing how Democrats in general think.

    If the poll was of 200, then these are substantial fractions and might fairly be said to be representative.   if it were of  20,000, then these numbers are so insignificant as to be meaningless.  (Looking at the most common free response answers here also depends entirely upon how responses are categorized.  If you choose your categories right, it would be extremely easy to paint any picture you wanted to.  That's another easy lie-with-statistics trick in this kind of method.)

    Having looked back at the link, the OVERALL poll included 1,020 adults, so if the make up was roughly a third republicans, these responses translate into something around 18% down to under 5% .

    That kind of information is far more meaningful.

    Anyway, I'm still on my soapbox about being methodologically careful and trying to keep to what we have firm evidence for.   Tiresome in the extreme, I know.

    /public service statistics announcement.

    Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

    by Mindful Nature on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 11:50:52 AM PDT

    •  Yes, yes, yes! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mindful Nature

      I got all excited to convert to percentages (and was a little annoyed that the author had not done so). After posting below, I saw your comment.

      Without the COMPLETE raw data we can't really draw any conclusions except that "x" number of people responded in a particular way and that a plurality of folks answered "I don't know".

      I still suspect that it's significant that so many Republican respondents cite welfare but I can't argue it on the basis of the info we have here.

      Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. ~ Romans 12:21

      by Mickquinas on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 12:32:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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