Wednesday, December 17, 2008

AOL polls are not scientific

and not proof of anything in particular.

I admit, I participate in AOL polls, and I enjoy looking at them. However, that does not make them scientific or useful.

Not sure what I'm talking about? Well, polls are affected by a number of factors, not the least of which is: who did you ask? For example, if you ask a group of christians, especially evangelical christians, should we say "merry christmas" or "happy holidays", you'll probably get nearly 100% voting for "merry christmas". If, on the other hand, you ask a group of atheists the same question, you'll get nearly 100% for "happy holidays".

AOL polls are skewed toward (a) people who visit AOL; (b) people who have an interest in participating in AOL polls; and (c) people who care about that particular poll's question. Hence, unscientific. You are only learning the opinions of people who fall into those 3 categories, which isn't representative of the US, or the world, as a whole.

I mention this because, WorldNetDaily is raucously celebrating the fact that a full 48 percent of nationwide respondents believe people should be concerned about Obama's citizenship. Mind you, there were 77,000 votes. The population of the US is approximately 300,000,000, as of July of 2007. So, 2.56% of the US voted, and less than half of them think this is an issue. 1.28%.

Yeah, that proves something.

It gets even better. WorldNetDaily, who runs approximately 6 articles a day on the Obama citizenship nonissue, ran it's own poll. Let's see here. Clearly, people who visit WorldNetDaily already think this is an issue. So, in our above example, this is like asking evangelical christians if we should wish people "merry christmas" or "happy holidays". Do you even need to ask?

Unsurprisingly, a full 98% of 4800 voters said that they are unsure if Obama is a citizen. 0.0016% of the population. Insignificant much?

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