LAB 015 - BIG POLL ENERGY
COME BACK SOON TO SEE THE CHEAT SHEET FOR THIS EPISODE
ABOUT THE EPISODE
The primary election is in full swing and are IG, Twitter, and facebook feeds are full of political polls that are surveying everything from who’s on top, to each candidates favorite food. In this episode, we dive into polling to understand survey methodology and how to make sense of the results.
ABOUT THE EXPERT
Our expert for this lab is Dr. Rachel Bitecofer. She is the assistant director of the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University and a senior research fellow at the Niskanen center in D.C. She is also credited for being the only pollster to accurately predict 2018 midterm elections. You can follow her on twitter.
EXTRA TIDBITS & LINKS
There are a few important factors to look for with any poll
n size : the n size is the number of people that have participated in the poll and you want this number to be as large as possible. The larger the n size the more reliable your results.
The people participating in the survey should represent the demographic that you are trying to represent.
The way questions are asked can not be leading
randomizing the answers is important because people tend to just pick the first response
keep the survey short and sweet so more people are likely to participate
When ever you see a poll and you feel that it is swaying your opinion on a topic or person. Look for more details so you can be sure that the poll was conducted in a way that is giving you reliable results.
If a poll says 50% of people love elephants and their n size is 4 people….you gotta ask some questions.
Here is a list of pollster organizations and their ratings to help you navigate these waters.