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Department of Argh: Is Obama Approval Under 50%?

- March 25, 2009


bq. An absurd amount of attention has been given today to a new Zogby internet poll…It takes five seconds to put the new poll in perspective. Take that long to look at the chart above. The Zogby poll stands out pretty clearly in the chart, no? To make a lot of the Zogby poll is to deliberately ignore the context in which it appears. Yes, the left is correct that it is an outlier. A huge one. The right looks desperate or ignorant by embracing this result as meaningful.

That is Charles Franklin, doing the Lord’s work over at Pollster. I have talked to pollsters who dislike Pollster because they don’t differentiate among polls (e.g., this Zogby poll goes in their chart) and because they find the precision of their horse-race trendlines (“Obama leads McCain by 3.4 points”) a bit artificial. But in cases like these, the Pollster charts are invaluable for separating signal from noise — naturally occurring sampling fluctuation, house effects, and God knows whatever juju goes into Zogby internet polls.

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