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Seriously, that is how CNN refers to a new poll released on Sunday regarding Ohio.
The poll was conducted by the University of Cincinnati's Institute for Policy Research for a collection of Newspapers across the state.  The poll found the POTUS leading Willard by 5%

Obama 51%
Romney 46%

More below the squiq

The poll had a sample of 861 likely voters and was conducted using land lines along with cell phones.

Obama holds a 5 pt lead when asked who can fix the economy, 10 pt lead with women, virtually tied among men 49-48, and 64% say the are better off or the same as 4 years ago.

All this data equals a 5 point lead which gels with other recent polls that have Mr. Obama +5 or more.

So what is the margin of error for this poll?  3.3%!!!!!!!!!!!!

How does CNN report it?  

The 5-point margin comes within the poll's sampling error
Well, it is close to the margin of error soooooooo, yeah lets go with that.

The correct way of reporting it is………….

- The 5-point margin is outside the poll’s sampling error.


- The results are outside the margin of error.

or you can just say

- The margin of error is 3.3%

That makes TEN straight polls that have been released where President Obama leads Romney. That would be TEN that span an entire MONTH!  

If memory serves me correct, Obama won Ohio by 4.6%, which equaled out to somewhere near a quarter of a million votes, that means that going by 2008 Obama/McCain results, Romney would have to turn a quarter of a million voters around to his camp, and/or out register democrats by a quarter million voters just to break even .

Now turning votes is easy enough to do at the beginning of an election, but when 64% of Ohio feels they are better off or the same as 4 years ago, and when Romney is losing out on the economy question (his supposed strong suit) by 10 pts, and when he is not hip with the ladies (again by 10 pts), and when he is tied when it comes to male voters (his supposed demographic), then YOU ARE NOT, turning a quarter of a million votes around this late in the game.  But the media still wants everyone to believe it is possible and that it is a tied race.


note: This polling group had Obama beating McCain on their last poll released by a 5 - 6 point margin in 2008 with a margin of error of 2.7%.  Obama won by 4.6% (this was within their margin of error)

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    "Dear Mr. President, there are too many states nowadays. Please eliminate three. I am not a crackpot." - Grandpa Simpson

    by ourhispanicvoices on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 08:00:03 AM PDT

  •  Maybe they just got their 'withins' and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon Wraight

    'outsides' confused? Maybe? Anyone?


    I will not say do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.

    by ReverseThePolarity on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 08:05:16 AM PDT

  •  What they didn't mention (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon Wraight, FiredUpInCA

    is that Obama's vote share, at 51%, is the biggest yet in Ohio this election season.  The trend toward Obama in Ohio continues.  

    "You're not allowed to sell your countrymen out to multinational financial corporations anymore and still call yourself a patriot." --MinistryOfTruth

    by Kurt from CMH on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 08:07:20 AM PDT

  •  Amazing they can still stand up (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    straight, spinning that hard.

  •  CNN is spinning so hard for Romney (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon Wraight, penguins4peace

    It got far worse when the conventional wisdom shifted in the country and the chattering class started acknowledging that Obama is ahead.  CNN made this clear shift towards reporting ANYTHING that could be interpreted as Good News For Mitt Romney.  

    They really are unprofessional assholes who shouldn't be considered journalists.  

    When the truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

    by Sun dog on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 08:14:04 AM PDT

  •  Uh, I could be wrong here but doesn't the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    margin of error apply to each percentage, thus Romney could be 3.3 percent higher and Obama 3.3 percent lower meaning they are technically right. What they fail to say is Romney could be 3.3 percent lower and Obama 3.3 percent higher meaning of course Obama is up by more than 11 points.

    "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

    by voroki on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 08:15:39 AM PDT

  •  I'm not sure you're right on this. (7+ / 0-)

    Margin of error of 3.3% means that there is probably no more than a 5% chance that either candidate's vote could be off by 3.3%.  It means that 95% of the time Obama's total (51%) would be between 47.7% and 54.3%, and that Romney's total (46%) would be between 42.7% and 49.3%.  So it is possible that Romney could get 49.3 and Obama 47.7 and be within the margin of error - that is why it is stated in terms of + or - 3.3%.  You have to really double the margin of error and see if that doubling exceeds the difference between the candidates.  Doubling the margin of error brings the possible variance to 6.6%, which is greater than 5%.

    However, most media still misstate the meaning of this poll result.  It is NOT accurate to say that the race is tied or statistically tied because the results are within the margin of error.  

    Put differently, the chances are as just as great that the margin of error will be in the opposite direction.  In other words, an Obama lead of 54.3 to 42.7 (an Obama lead of 11.6) is equally as likely as a Romney lead of 49.3 to 47.7.

    And the more polls in Obama's favor the better, since the chance that the possible "error" will all be in favor of Romney is practically zero.  In essence, having multiple polls all pointing in the same direction is like having a much larger sample, with a correspondingly much lower margin of error.

    All that said, we are winning Ohio.

  •  I've seen several other 'news' reports do the same (0+ / 0-)

    ... Saying that a poll was 'within the margin' when it was clearly outside the margin, e.g. An Obama lead of 5-6 pts with a margin of 4%.

    The only thing I can think of, (other than the the 'reporters' attempting to portray the race closer than it actually is), is that they believe that you both ADD the margin to the candidate trailing in the poll, AND SUBTRACT the margin from the leader, to determine if the results are 'within margin'.  I'm pretty sure that's dubious manipulation of the statistics, but HEY, "who's going to notice?".

    "If they're shooting at you, you know you must be doing something right"

    by ayjaymay on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 08:18:38 AM PDT

  •  So, 36% is not better off, (0+ / 0-)

    and that would be what the Republican's base is. Most issue polls have these same numbers as well. It seems only their base is still behind him and everyone else has moved on. Even Romney's favs have been close enough to that number to give me a good laugh and make me a little more comfortable with this election's potential outcome Thanks.

    I don't have to be nice to people that are destroying my nation.

    by draa on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 08:25:11 AM PDT

  •  Yeah, no (0+ / 0-)

    To echo echo Dave G, it is within the margin of error. You can only say you are ahead if you are up by at least 2 x the "margin of error".

    That said, it is extremely unlikely that Rmoney is winning in Ohio, especially if this poll was done before the 47% fiasco. And more importantly if you look across all recent polls, which are telling pretty much the same story - Obama ahead in Ohio.

    So, this is "spinnish", but factually correct. They told the truth, but not the whole truth.

    The lack of context here, not incorporating other polls into the analysis, is really what makes this spinnish. Again hat tip to Dave G, putting all the other polls into a "meta"poll narrows the "margin of error" and says Obama's ahead in Ohio, statistically and otherwise.

    But that's more mathy than most "analysts" are up for.

    A society is judged by how well it cares for those in the dawn of life, the children. By how well it cares for those in the twilight of life, the elderly. And, by how well it cares for those on the edge of life; the poor, the sick, and the disabled.

    by BobBlueMass on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 08:43:51 AM PDT

    •  Thank you Bob (0+ / 0-)

      for the hat tip.

      •  You're most welcome (0+ / 0-)

        This is the most misunderstood and most misused  concept in politics today.

        Thanks for succinctly, coherently, and politely making the point.

        A society is judged by how well it cares for those in the dawn of life, the children. By how well it cares for those in the twilight of life, the elderly. And, by how well it cares for those on the edge of life; the poor, the sick, and the disabled.

        by BobBlueMass on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 12:44:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You are wrong (0+ / 0-)

    The "margin of error" applies to each candidate's vote percentage.  Thus, we can say that, with 95% confidence, Obama's support is within 3.3% of 51%; same for Romney.

    When you put them together, the margin of error on the spread (the lead that Obama has over Romney), is actually closer to 5.5%.

    Thus, CNN is not inaccurate in its description.

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