Monday, August 25, 2008

KLRvu: New Pollsters On The Block

The folks at Democratic Space are relatively sympathetic towards Allan Bruinoodge's new venture:

On the question of methodology, we are less concerned about the use of touchtone polling in general — where questions are pre-recorded, voters are called randomly, and asked to press ‘1′ or ‘2′ etc in response to different questions. No doubt this type of survey has some selection bias in that some people will simply hang up because there is no live person on the other end. More importantly, since there is no screening, it does not ensure that the respondent is an actual eligible voter (although realistically there is no way to ensure this with traditional polling either — essentially we have to take the person’s word for it). The selection bias is probably not that significantly different than traditional polling (a live person asking the questions), where people can also refuse to participate. At issue is whether supporters of one party/candidate are more or less likely to not participate than others. It seems unlikely — that is, Conservative voters are probably just as likely to hang up as Liberal voters as NDP voters and so on. Likewise, are people who are not eligible voters more likely to participate using touchtone polling than traditional polling? Probably not. So, we’re not prepared to discount the use of touchtone polling in general.

One difference between this and KLRvu's earlier, ill-fated Morgentaler Order-of-Canada poll is that referring to Dr. Morgentalor as "abortionist Henry Morgentaler " is probably going to skew your participation rate. Morgetaler supporters will be more likely to get angry and hang-up, nay-sayers will be more likely to complete the poll. Hence the curious result.

Meanwhile, Scott has some interesting new information on KLRvu's polling methodology.

8 comments:

Cherniak_WTF said...

.... because they lie all the time... and try to give a veneer of respectability....

buckets said...

The other point about the earlier poll is that they asked "do you support" and then presented this to the public the idea that those who didn't support were opposed. This fails to capture how many neither support nor oppose. It also counts this ambivalent groups as opposers.

Ti-Guy said...

Seems to me anyone concerned about democracy would be highly skeptical of any poll, of which there are too many as it stands now. Opinion polling as a whole tends to set the boundaries for acceptable thought, which isn't good for democracy, generally.

Anyway, there are a lot of unsupported assertions in that post. And frankly, after the Morgentaler poll (and the difficulties in establishing the credibility of the pollster), I don't think that outfit should be given the benefit of the doubt anymore.

Auntie Liberal said...

"Abortionist" - how else would you describe Morgentaler?

Ti-Guy said...

how else would you describe Morgentaler?

Don't you botched abortions usually call him a baby-killer?

How else indeed.

Raging Ranter said...

Seems to me anyone concerned about democracy would be highly skeptical of any poll, of which there are too many as it stands now. Opinion polling as a whole tends to set the boundaries for acceptable thought, which isn't good for democracy, generally.

I've too have long been concerned with the negative effects polling has on a gullible populace. That means Ti-Guy actually said something intelligent. I find myself in complete agreement with that paragraph. I'm shocked. Absolutely shocked. In fact, I think I'm going to be sick.

Of course he follows it up with a typical asinine, braindead reply to a legitimate comment, but let it be noted that he did post one intelligent thing on August 25, 2008. You should get it framed Ti.

Ti-Guy said...

Oh, Lord, yeasty misery is back...out on probation, no doubt after that unfortunate incident in a public toilet.

Just keep it civil, you cunt.

democratic said...

FYI, the above quote from DemocraticSPACE refers to touchtone polling in general. The conclusion was: "The jury is of course still out on KLR VU, given that it just doesn’t have a track record for us to judge its reliability. However, the results as reported are not completely out of line with what we might expect to see, plus or minus a couple of points for each party."