5/28: Top 10 Reasons Why Polls Should Not be Used to Determine Eligibility for Debates

May 28, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, Lee Miringoff

Herding is for horses.  Not for pollsters doing horserace polls. Neither should the media herd the field in a political horserace via debates.  Why?  Here is my take on the…

caricature of Lee MiringoffTOP 10 REASONS WHY POLLS SHOULD NOT BE USED TO DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY FOR DEBATES (OR WHERE’S DAVID LETTERMAN WHEN YOU NEED HIM?)

10.  Many candidates will fall within the error margin.  Rankings become statistically meaningless.

9.1 Using decimal points makes statistically meaningless rankings even more meaningless.

7.9 – 8.1   Poll strew doesn’t necessarily taste very good.  Some polls probe undecided voters to include “leaners,” others don’t.   Some polls will be based on “likely” voters, others on registered voters. Poll results also vary when it comes to live or automated modes of data collection, proportion of cell phones vs. landlines, and weighting and analyzing data.

7.  More problems.  Some national polls take out “undecided” voters and recalculate based upon 100%.  This wreaks havoc on averages.

5.  Ok.  I know I skipped number 6, but, then again, there’s no guarantee all polls will ask all candidates either.

5.1 (Couldn’t figure out where to place this item because it is not actually higher or lower than 5, statistically speaking).  Some polls use push-button phones to record preferences.  It’s tough to include 18 names when only numbers 1 thru 9 are usable.

4.  “HELLLLOO” house effects.

3.  Given that early caucus and primary states punch a candidate’s ticket to continue, why use a national average to determine debate participation?

2.  Name recognition unduly influences results of early primary horserace polls.  Lesser known candidates will now frontload their efforts to try to make the cutoff.  Public polls altering campaign strategies?  BAD!

1.  And, finally, do you really want public polls this involved in a picking presidential nominee?

Try this on for size.  How about a random drawing of half the field of announced candidates for the first hour of a debate and the second group for the second hour.  More manageable.  More equitable. And, doesn’t require a top 10 list!

Comments

9 Responses to “5/28: Top 10 Reasons Why Polls Should Not be Used to Determine Eligibility for Debates”

  1. HUFFPOLLSTER: Retraction Of Major Gay Marriage Study Underlines The Need For Greater Transparency - LiberalVoiceLiberalVoice — Your source for everything about liberals and progressives! — News and tweets about everything liberals and progress on May 29th, 2015 11:51 am

    [...] -Stu Rothenberg and Lee Miringoff argue against using poll averages to determine debate participation. [Roll Call, Marist] [...]

  2. HUFFPOLLSTER: Retraction Of Major Gay Marriage Study Underlines The Need For Greater Transparency | Pride & Equality Post on May 29th, 2015 12:10 pm

    [...] -Stu Rothenberg and Lee Miringoff argue against using poll averages to determine debate participation. [Roll Call, Marist] [...]

  3. HUFFPOLLSTER: Retraction Of Major Gay Marriage Study Underlines The Need For Greater Transparency - GANGUPON on May 29th, 2015 12:11 pm

    [...] -Stu Rothenberg and Lee Miringoff argue against using poll averages to determine debate participation. [Roll Call, Marist] [...]

  4. Retraction Of Major Gay Marriage Study Underlines The Need For Greater Transparency | on May 29th, 2015 12:22 pm

    [...] -Stu Rothenberg and Lee Miringoff argue against using poll averages to determine debate participation. [Roll Call, Marist] [...]

  5. Here's Why One Pollster Won't Help Fox Decide Who Makes The Debate - LiberalVoiceLiberalVoice — Your source for everything about liberals and progressives! — News and tweets about everything liberals and progressives on August 3rd, 2015 2:50 pm

    [...] has been an outspoken critic of Fox’s debate rules. In May, he published a top 10 list of reasons why polls shouldn’t be used to determine who can participate in debates. “Many [...]

  6. The Investor Zone – Smart Money Making Tips | Marist doesn't want its poll used for Fox debate criteria on August 3rd, 2015 9:31 pm

    [...] Fox announced the debate criteria earlier this year, Miringoff wrote a piece called the “Top 10 Reasons Why Polls Should Not be Used to Determine Eligibility for [...]

  7. AutomaticBlogging | Here's Why One Pollster Won't Help Fox Decide Who Makes The Debate AutomaticBlogging on August 6th, 2015 6:43 pm

    [...] has been an outspoken critic of Fox’s debate rules. In May, he published a top 10 list of reasons why polls shouldn’t be used to determine who can participate in debates. “Many [...]

  8. Gideon Trokan on August 7th, 2015 1:27 pm

    Thank you for standing up to Fox News, Ailes, and all the other pollsters, and refusing to have the Marist poll used to pick a horse race.

  9. Marist Poll thrives on democracy | Adriana Belmonte on December 15th, 2015 7:58 pm

    [...] due to the margin of error that can be involved. Back in May 2015, Miringoff even released a list on the MIPO website naming the top ten reasons why polls should not be used to determine eligibility for debates. “We [...]

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