Politics Through the Lens of Statistics

If you’re into politics, you should read FiveThirtyEight. It is an excellent resource for poll compilations and is especially interesting if you have any interest in statistics.

The writing the website is non-partisan, most of the time, and it does not seek to espouse any particular political position. What it does is to analyze other polling and statistics and make predictions based upon well-regarded mathematical models and methodologies. Read the FAQ.

The reason I bring this up is because of a poll anomaly being discussed on the website. I cringe every time I hear a poll being discussed on cable television because I know how misleading and arbitrary those numbers can be. The right questions can swing a poll in any direction you want it to go. Reputable polling organizations avoid this through very careful selection of questions and question order. However, the underlying analysis methodology is still something that could be manipulated, if one were to desire it, and it appears that some interesting statistical artifacts have been found in the polling by Strategic Vision.

Go check it out.

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