Skip to content

Taking A Close Look At Polling “Mash-Ups”

The Wall Street Journal has a great blog written by Carl Bialik who is “The Numbers Guy.” Bialik takes on a whole range of ways statistics and numbers are used – misused – and this week, he takes a look at polling numbers.
In this posting, Bialik looks at web sites, many of which are linked to by major news organizations, that do “mash-ups” of polls – that is, combining surveys from various pollsters to produce an average that shows a trend. But Bialik notes: “The basic objection to combining polls is that different surveys, conducted differently, at different times, with different sample sizes, don’t belong in the same stew.” And he quotes a column by co-founder Mark Blumenthal in the New York Times, who says: “If pollsters disclosed more about how their polls were conducted, we would be in a better position to know which polls are likely to be right, and which ones can be safely ignored.”

Recent Stories

Kissinger and the Capitol

House GOP takes new tack in advancing conservative election bills

Capitol Lens | Pointing out

House debates Rep. George Santos expulsion ahead of Friday vote

Senate Democrats authorize subpoenas related to Supreme Court ethics probe

Sen. Paul uses Heimlich manuever on choking Sen. Ernst