Friday, September 17, 2010

Catch of the Day

Jonathan Chait notices paranoia on the right:
So apparently [Jennifer] Rubin thinks the Times has been rigging its polls all along to boost Obama and inflate his apparent unpopularity. But now, as the election nears, it needs to start preparing readers for the "real results," and to cover up its past rigging. So it is slowly un-rigging the results to bring them closer into line with reality.

I would really like to read Rubin's detailed explanation as to precisely how this process works. Exactly who is making this decision? Just what are they doing to rig the numbers? Inquiring minds want to know.
In my experience, there are lots and lots of people who believe that everyone just makes up poll results.  For what it's worth, it takes about ten minutes of looking at Pollster's charts -- such as their presidential approval compilation -- to realize that everyone basically is in the same place, with reasonable "house effects" estimates usually around 2 or 3 percentage points.  It is, of course, a lot easier to question pollsters than to question one's convictions about What The American People Want, so I suppose people will continue to do it.  At any rate: nice catch!

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