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View Diary: Punish CNN for Bogus Poll: Remove Candy Crowley as a Moderator (281 comments)

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    raincrow, Bob Duck

    Margin of error they give us is not a simple margin of error - not sure what they're doing exactly, probably calculating a margin of error based on weighting.  BUT.  If you just back calculate the raw number based on simple margin of error you get 318 >50 out of 475 total sample. Now, we already know that their sample is 430, not 475, so this shows they are using weighted margin of error calculations or something similar, but the simple back calculations should be close enough.

    So 67% >50 is only an estimate of their demographics. But for the sake of argument let's say their sample was actually 75% >50. Would this be unreasonable given how they constructed it?

    1) We know in 2008 it was 64% >45 watching debates, but there was unusually high excitement about the election with young people which there is NOT this year. EDIT: I screwed up. That includes under 18. In 2008 it was 67% of those over 18.

    2) The poll was not of registered voters, and not of registered voters who watched the debate, but of registered voters who planned to watch the debate, AND said before the debate they'd be willing to answer a follow-up survey. (This is probably the population they are weighting to, as not everybody who said they'd complete a survey would have actually done so.) I'd bet that demographic skews older and more white than debate viewers as a whole this year.

    So I think all the numbers seem reasonable, given the construction of the survey. And I really don't think CNN could have done anything else - at least this way they were able to weight to a measured population.  Calling respondents after the debate that they hadn't called before would 1) really really piss off people on the East Coast, calling so late, and 2) they would have no way to weight their sample because they would have no idea who actually watched the debate. So I can't fault the design of the poll much either.

    Now, if they are flogging this poll on TV as representative of all voters, that's a different issue entirely, of course, but the numbers look OK to me.

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