18 Aug 2010

Blatant Polling Bias Against Independent and Third Party Candidates

Third Party and Independent Daily found a great post detailing three rather blatant examples of polling bias against third party candidates. His findings are pretty disturbing to anyone who cares about accuracy in polling.

I noticed something quite disturbing when studying recent polling for elections around the country. Rasmussen Reports will include upwards of 6 or 7 candidates in the Democrat and Republican Primaries, sometimes with candidates that only receive 1% of the vote, yet when it comes to the General Election they will only include the two Democrat-Republican candidates despite there being sometime upwards of 3 or 4 other candidates from Third Party Nominations or Independent Nominations.

Regardless of whether or not these third party candidates in question align with my personal beliefs, or those of this site in general, it should be a general principle that polls should actually aim to represent the will of the people. You can’t do that without asking them about every candidate that can be reasonably expected to have a statistically significant amount of the sample.

Read on at Third Party and Independent Daily…

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7 thoughts on “Blatant Polling Bias Against Independent and Third Party Candidates”

  1. That is rather disturbing, and it should damage the reputation of Rasmussen Reports–and probably others. Though the polls may greatly influence public opinion and therefore elections and public policy, I am unaware of any of them being in politicians' back pockets. (I'd be eager to consume any evidence to the contrary.) So, I think what you're doing here is the most that can be done. Advertise the fact and encourage folks to ignore the polls.

    The real crux of the problem is outlined in your other post: http://bit.ly/b7w5l3 I'll have comments over there, as well.

  2. Most polls, either locally, regionally or nationally do the same thing. The conventional wisdom is third parties or Independents have no chance of winning; so they ignore them as the answer. I think it's wrong, because it has been shown that even a 2% election return for a minor candidate can put a major party candidate over the top. It's a self-fulfilling prophesy, and almost all newspapers treat minor candidates and second class citizens.

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