Opinion Columns & Blogs

October 17, 2012

Jon Cohen: 5 myths about political polls

When Mitt Romney was trailing in public polls before the first presidential debate – particularly in swing states – his campaign manager was dismissive, contending that, according to his camp’s superior internal data, the race was “inside the margin of error.” After the debate, when Romney grabbed the advantage in some public surveys, it was the Obama campaign arguing that “polls don’t matter.” Well, polls do matter. And it matters how they’re conducted and scrutinized. When trying to make sense of the numbers, here are a few myths to keep in mind.

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