Sunday, February 14, 2010

Numbers don't lie, but number-crunchers do

Two polls taken during the same 3-day time period with nearly the same sample size, show a difference of 17 percentage points in Obama's approval rating:

The Rasmussen Poll shows Obama's approval-disapproval rates at 47-51, a difference of -4.

The Gallup Poll shows Obama's approval-disapproval rates at 53-40, a difference of +13.

That's a 17-point swing in approval/disapproval for two polls, both taken over the same 3-day period (11 February - 13 February), with similar sample sized (1,547 for Gallup, 1,500 for Rasmussen).

Now, does this mean that either Gallup or Rasmussen are a bunch of liars? No. Well, maybe.

How do you explain this? Or, I guess I should ask, how do I explain this? (I mean, this is my blog, not yours. If you want to offer your explanation, you can use the comments, unless you're a troll or otherwise can't follow the comment policy.)

The Gallup poll is of all Americans, while the Rasmussen poll is of likely voters.

Which supports my belief that people who don't know what's going on are more likely to support a president who doesn't know what's going on. And Americans who care about this country (likely voters) don't think so much of a president who doesn't care about this country.

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