Politics depend on polling
After perusing the New York Times requirements and checklist for political polls that can be published I realize how many polls I have probably read that are somehow biased or badly produced. Recently I have found polls on TPM and RealClearPolitics that I have found interesting and useful.
Reading about how the Wisconsin polls are impacted and the statistics behind them makes me curious about the Michigan polls, especially after reading that Ohio data was used to conduct how the race between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum would end up in the primary elections. Michigan was a extremely close race, which I understand may make results less reliable and more inconclusive. However, when it comes to standards I believe it is better to state the misleadings within the writing than take statistics from an outside source not directly related to the poll area.
There seems to be so many different polls on TPM it makes me wonder how all of them were conducted. I learned the basics of polling and the different types of random sampling that make a credible survey or poll in my high school statistics class. And while these are professionals it is always true that there is some sort of bias behind data.
Also, reading through the Times guidelines I found it surprising that a lot of pollsters us robo-polls and internet sources as reliable information. Yes, it is easy to gain access to opinion and information online but that does not mean that the "old-fashion" face-to-face way of surveys should become extinct. It provides the lowest margin of error and the clearest results. Online results become confusing and more censored than a one-on-one interview would.
I am looking forward to a more enlightening, professional briefing on the inner-workings of polls from Visiting Professor of Law, Charles Franklin.