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Thread: Why Donald Trump loves online polls

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Why Donald Trump loves online polls

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...-online-polls/

    Why Donald Trump loves online polls

    By Philip Bump October 14

    A few weeks ago, I wrote an article suggesting that Donald Trump's poll numbers had slipped. The next day, the candidate called me.

    "I'm not complaining," Trump said. "But we have actually been going up. I know a lot of the online polls have been phenomenal, too, but I know that you don't cover that stuff as much."

    Both parts of that are true. Some of the online polls have been phenomenal, and we don't cover them too much.

    We don't cover them much because The Post relies on polls "based on the principles of inferential statistics," in the wonky words of our pollsters. The worry with online polls is that they "typically base their samples of respondents on groups of people who join a panel to take repeated surveys." If you take out the randomness of the sample, our pollsters say, the results can't be overlaid on the overall population "using traditional methods and without strong assumptions about participation in such surveys."

    But there's something interesting about Trump's broader point. And it's that Trump actually does much better in online polls than in live-caller ones.

    Polling guru Charles Franklin noticed this and tweeted about it.

    Using data from Huffington Post Pollster, we can recreate the difference for Trump among the two types of polls. The lines here are polynomial regressions of the data -- averages of the polls, if you will.

    The gap between live-caller and Internet polls is obvious here. It helps explain why we regularly get feedback contrasting the shape of the Real Clear Politics polling average -- which excludes most online polls -- and the curve displayed by Pollster. The latter shows an uptick for Trump where the former does not, which mirrors the uptick you can see in the online polls above.

    Interestingly, the patterns for other candidates are different. There's less of a gap between the two survey methods for Ben Carson and Jeb Bush -- and in the case of Carson, he does better with live calls.

    So what's happening here? One theory is that it's a function of there being an interviewer or not. (Live phone polls obviously include a person on the phone.) The implication being that there is a percentage of the population that doesn't want to talk about its support for Trump with another person. But, then, what does that say about Carson?

    Donald Trump's goal is not to carefully analyze his position with the electorate and then share those findings with the world, of course. His goal is to reinforce that he's holding on to a big lead in the polls, and the gap between live-caller and Internet polling means that he naturally emphasizes the latter.
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    Whether or not those higher numbers accurately reflect the Republican electorate is something that will be determined only once people start going to the polls.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...-online-polls/
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    So what's happening here? One theory is that it's a function of there being an interviewer or not. (Live phone polls obviously include a person on the phone.) The implication being that there is a percentage of the population that doesn't want to talk about its support for Trump with another person. But, then, what does that say about Carson?
    The Silent Majority is who supports Trump. People who are not that kin to spending time on the phone with a pollster, most are too busy, see the caller ID and don't pick up or answer and say no they don't want to spend time on the phone answering questions. Taking a poll isn't just who do you support, it's a long involved series of questions that take a lot of time. Trump supporters just want to say "I LOVE TRUMP", they don't want to have to spend time answering all the other questions which you usually have to ask them to repeat several times to understand the question. So I totally understand this. I know several of the poll companies caller ID and when I see it, I don't answer because I don't want to spend the time on it.

    If they would simplify the polls to just a simple question, are you a Republican or likely Republican, who do you support of the following candidates, more Trump supporters would participate in the polls.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member ReformUSA2012's Avatar
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    So in reverse those who answer phone call polls are generally on a list willing to accept them. They are more often those who aren't working steady jobs or not working at all. People who tend to have time they don't mind wasting on a polling call from a place they have never heard of and likely never would look at. As with other aspects those being called are likely getting their information from mainstream TV media which is very slanted one way to the extreme on key issues. Further those being called can't see how their statistics add in to the overall picture or even know that one of their earlier questions didn't disqualify their answers from counting which we have seen is actually very common on phone call polls.

    Those doing online polls are more likely to be more aware of issues as they are internet users. They answer polls that have meaning to them personally and do so at their leisure when they have a few minutes to burn. The online poll takers are those more likely to have a job and be part of the working class due to more skills and being more in *the know* (this means people of higher motivation). Poll takers online also can usually see their voice counted at the end of the poll on many of the simple poll places.

    Both ways of polling can be easily manipulated. However phone call polls are manipulated easiest by those conducting the polls by using questions at the start that are used to disqualify people or simply conducting the calls in key areas that are highly leaned one way or another. Online polls they can't pick and choose as well and many of them can in a way be manipulated by those taking the polls using multiple accounts, devices, IPs, and other methods to vote many times. Further they can be manipulated by someone dragging in those who side specifically one way to tip the scale over what the normal viewers may want.
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReformUSA2012 View Post
    So in reverse those who answer phone call polls are generally on a list willing to accept them. They are more often those who aren't working steady jobs or not working at all. People who tend to have time they don't mind wasting on a polling call from a place they have never heard of and likely never would look at. As with other aspects those being called are likely getting their information from mainstream TV media which is very slanted one way to the extreme on key issues. Further those being called can't see how their statistics add in to the overall picture or even know that one of their earlier questions didn't disqualify their answers from counting which we have seen is actually very common on phone call polls.

    Those doing online polls are more likely to be more aware of issues as they are internet users. They answer polls that have meaning to them personally and do so at their leisure when they have a few minutes to burn. The online poll takers are those more likely to have a job and be part of the working class due to more skills and being more in *the know* (this means people of higher motivation). Poll takers online also can usually see their voice counted at the end of the poll on many of the simple poll places.

    Both ways of polling can be easily manipulated. However phone call polls are manipulated easiest by those conducting the polls by using questions at the start that are used to disqualify people or simply conducting the calls in key areas that are highly leaned one way or another. Online polls they can't pick and choose as well and many of them can in a way be manipulated by those taking the polls using multiple accounts, devices, IPs, and other methods to vote many times. Further they can be manipulated by someone dragging in those who side specifically one way to tip the scale over what the normal viewers may want.
    Exactly.
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