You are viewing an obsolete version of the DU website which is no longer supported by the Administrators. Visit The New DU.
Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Reply #17: The Margin of Error [View All]

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Election Reform Donate to DU
Febble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-05 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. The Margin of Error
has relatively little to do with the accuracy of polls. It is normally computed on the assumption of random sampling, which means that the larger the sample the smaller the MoE. Exit polls therefore have a very small MoE; pre-election polls rather larger.

However, the MoE does nothing to protect your "educated guess" from any violation of randomness in your sampling, and it is extraordinarily difficult to get a truly random sample - which is where the educated guesses actually start. Pollsters often aim at a "representative" rather than a "random" sample, by having demographic quotas, by stratifying the sample, or by weighting for the visible demographic characteristics of non-responders.

It is a scandal and a tragedy that we cannot rely on your vote-counting system (or even rely on your entire electoral system to ensure that everyone entitled a vote can get as far as casting a vote). But that simply means that both the vote count and the polls may be inaccurate; it doesn't not magically confer accuracy on the polls.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Election Reform Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC