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Pollster Bites Pollster

Topics: 2008 , Sampling

My NationalJournal.com column , which discusses the CBS panel survey conducted after the Barack Obama's speech on race and Jeremiah Wright and the attack on it by Matt Towery of InsiderAdvantage, is now online.

If this topic is of interest, you will also want to read Kathy Frankovic's column from last week, which discussed more of the philosophy behind panel-back surveys and includes specific findings from the follow-up to the Obama speech.

 

Comments

Mark, you rule.

Seriously - as the campaign heats up, you have had an amazing ability to stay above it all and let the polls and the math speak for themselves. You have a statisticians love for the truths hidden in the numbers, and not how the numbers can be spun to someone's advantage.

I'm glad you took this one on, and I'm guessing you were a bit nervous about it. You have a career to consider, after all. I just want to say that I, for one, really do appreciate your skill and calm. Thank you for this and everything you do. It's right on, and needs to be said.

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emcee:

"Matt Towery is a former National Republican legislator of the year."

That's just according to the byline he uses when he writes articles at TownHall.com. (http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/MattTowery/2008/03/06/mccain_must_seize_economic_issue_while_democrats_fight_on)

I'm a Georgia native, and Towery has been a GOP hack for as long as I can remember. I even take Zogby more seriously than Insider Advantage.

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crumbtrail:

Nice work. It's good to know that from time to time people are held accountable for unjustified claims.

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Mark Lindeman:

Mark, it's really a great column, but (probably due to space constraints) you didn't get to set straight the characterization of Towery's own survey. You wrote, "It [the survey] found 52 percent of those who were aware of the speech saying it would make them less likely to support Obama...." And I'd say that is how the SPR article and, apparently, Towery himself characterized it (I will let people click through and judge for themselves). But that isn't what people were asked.

"1. Are you aware of the situation regarding Sen. Barack Obama's church pastor and the past public remarks he has made? 2. Are you aware of Obama's speech on Tuesday, in which he addressed the issue of his pastor? 3. Taking all this into account, are you more or less likely to support Obama for president?"

#3 is a fair question, but it doesn't reveal whether the speech made people less likely to support Obama.

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