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Participation in Government. Unit II: Polling Data. 87% say Bush is a bumbling moron. Should you take this at face value? What questions should come to mind? Who was asked? How many people were asked? What was the question polled? How was the poll administered?

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Participation in Government

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Participation in Government

Unit II: Polling Data

87% say Bush is a bumbling moron

  • Should you take this at face value?

  • What questions should come to mind?

    • Who was asked?

    • How many people were asked?

    • What was the question polled?

    • How was the poll administered?

    • Were there any errors in collecting the data?

87% say Bush is a bumbling moron

  • Question:

    I believe Bush is

    a) a stud muffin.

    b) a bumbling moron.

    c) the best US President ever.

88% of Seniors in high school look forward to coming to school.

  • How can this stat be misleading?

  • The question was asked to 50 honor students in the KenTon School District

75% of people want to outlaw cell phones completely.

  • How can this stat be misleading?

  • This question was asked to 20 people in a rural area of Western New York.

Types of Polling

**In the late 1800s STRAW POLLS were first introduced by newspapers and magazines as a way to liven up their political coverage.

STRAW POLLS: a group of people questioned INFORMALLY to determine public opinion.

Straw Polling

Ex)mail survey, person-on-the-street, interviews, telephone call-ins, Internet pop-up surveys, etc. (AMERICAN IDOL)

Why are these UNRELIABLE?

  • People can easily lie

  • Only those that care / have time will answer questions!

Scientific Polling

  • The determination of public opinion through precise SAMPLING and STATISTICAL methods.

    National Renowned Examples:

    The Gallup Poll

    The Harris Poll

    The Roper Poll

Steps to Scientific Polling:

Identify the universe to study:

  • UNIVERSE: the population to

    be studied.

    “A cook does not have to drink an entire pot of soup to determine if it needs more seasoning, he merely takes a sip.”

    2. SAMPLE:a SMALL GROUPof people who accurately represent a universe.

Step in Scientific Polling

3. RANDOM:sample chosen in such a way that every member of THE UNIVERSE has an EQUAL chance of being selected.

4.The questions must beUNBIASED and EASILY UNDERSTOOD.

  • What does this mean?

Step to Scientific Polling

5. Results must be ACCURATE and documented CORRECTLY.

Ex. Margin of Error +/- 3%

  • It should report all the questions about the poll.

What is the PURPOSE of polling?

  • Measure the popularity of a candidate.

  • Get voter’s opinions on issues.

  • Exit Polls – predict who the eventual winner of a race will be.

Biggest Polling Blunder Ever!!

  • In 1948, newspapers stopped polling too soon and printed the headline, “Dewey Defeats Truman.”

  • Truman actually won the race and was proud to prove all of the pundits and pollsters wrong!!

Go to GALLUP.comor Roper Polls- Find a poll that address your Research topic.

On the Index card answer these questions.

  • Who is the universe being studied?

  • Who administered the poll?

  • How was the poll administered?

  • What is the Sample?

  • What is the Margin of error?

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