October 31, 2004 1:29 pm

Who Gets Polled – Seriously?

When MSNBC says things like…

Bush hangs on to slim leads in state polls
Good news for the president in two states Gore carried, Iowa and New Mexico; virtual tie in Ohio, four-point Bush edge in Florida

…readers probably assume that the people polled represent accurately the views of the nation, right?

According to MSNBC.com, In Florida, 800 likely voters were interviewed and the survey had a margin of error of 3.5 points. In Ohio, 625 likely voters were interviewed and the margin of error was four points. In Iowa, 636 likely voters were interviewed and the poll had a margin of error of four percentage points.

The 2003 population estimate for Florida is 17,019,068 people. The 800 “likely voters” they interviewed make up only 4.7 of the entire population of Florida. The 2003 estimate for Ohio is 11,435,798, so the 625 people make up about 5.5 percent of the population. In Iowa, the 636 people make up about 2.2 percent of the population of Iowa (2,944,062).

How in the world is that representative? :grumbly: Yeah, they say Bush may have a lead over Kerry in certain areas, but interviewing 2% of the population hardly gives you a good idea of what’s actually going to happen. And I’m sure they didn’t interview people under the age of 20. :mad:

My guess is that they’re bluffing. They’re going to say, “Bush is winning in these areas,” in the hopes that the undecideds are going to see that and think, “Well, since he’s winning, I may as well vote for him.” That’s what I think. :P

And I apologize for all the political posting lately, but I swear I just have to get it out of my system. It’s annoying the hell out of me. This should all slow down after the election. Do we find out the day after? Is the day of reckoning November 3rd?

census info from quickfacts

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