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Opinion polls got it wrong on Australia's election, Brexit and Donald Trump's 2016 presidential win, just to cite three examples. How important and reliable are opinion polls in this day and age?


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Ideally, polls should be the voice of the people on certain issues, but in reality, the results can be easily influenced and skewed. I think polls today hold less credibility since not everyone (and they are growing in number) is concerned with current events which would make the results inconsistent and unreliable.

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The main key to good statistic poll is it has to be random (so that no particular segment is over- or under-represented)

The "how" to achieve that random is the hard part (how do ya make sure it's random as possible)

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However perfectly a poll is conducted, it still only tells us how people answer questions in the poll, not necessarily how they will actually behave.

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people don't tell pollsters what they think because:

a) people are afraid of being labelled as racist

b) people are afraid of being labelled as a science denier re: global warming

c) people are afraid of losing their jobs because of their beliefs

d) people are afraid of antifa showing up at their door

e) people are afraid of being labelled a nazi

the surveillance state is real, and there is good reason to fear the pollster.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

people don't tell pollsters what they think because:

It was exactly for those reasons that I told some people that I thought Trump could actually be elected last time. The media demonized him and his supporters so much that it was only natural that they would avoid telling strangers and pollsters the truth about who they wanted. Seeing the same thing still, so I wouldn't put much stock in these polls. There really is a "silent majority."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

From my limited reading and listening on this topic, it appears that it is not that polls can't be trusted, just that there are polls - and then There Are Polls.

From accounts I've come across, most polls in the recent Aust elections lacked the scientific qualifications of established recognized polling companies like Gallup, AAPOR, Langer research etc.

Most "Pop Polls" take treat elements like Margin of Error, Sampling Error, Coverage Error, Measurement Error, Weighting etc as a little in the "too hard" basket to apply seriously - or they don't have the background and skills in the first place.

These Pop Polls now are no further away than downloading an app.

Instant Inc - Instant Polls for Instant People.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is this a poll on he accuracy of polls.?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not really.

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