Margin of error in political polls


Fifty-three percent (53%) disapprove.The latest figures include 30% who Strongly Approve of the way Trump is performing and 44% who Strongly Disapprove. Owing to the US Constitutional provision of the Electoral College, it is possible in a very close election that a candidate might narrowly win the popular vote yet lose errro election in the Electoral College. (See Wikipedia: Electoral College.) The observations that follow pertain only to the ability of candidate preference polls to forecast the national popular vote in an election.The main point of these observations is that the results of such polls, especially in a close election, must be taken with a grain of salt.

Sleepy. MichaIn presidential elections, even the smallest changes in horse-race poll results seem to become imbued with deep meaning. But they are often overstated. Pollsters disclose a margin of error so that consumers can have an understanding of how much precision they can reasonably expect. But cool-headed reporting on polls is harder than it looks, because some of the better-known statistical rules of thumb that a smart consumer might think apply are more nuanced than they seem.

The confusion begins with the name itself. The official name of the margin of error is the margin of sampling error (MOSE). It has nothing to do with the accuracy of the poll itself. In mid-October, a Gallup poll of likely voters nationwide showed former Massachusetts Gov. Pills Romney po,itical President Barack Obama by a 7 percent margin.




Margin of error in political polls

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