I was polled tonight!
I really wish I had recognized the name of the polling agency, because by the end of the phone call I had forgotten it. And I really wish I could identify it here.
But I did discover one possible cause of variations in polling statistics.
Poller error. Those they hire to make the phone calls aren’t always the brightest. Who would sign up to probably get paid crap to phone people and ask the same questions over and over? People who couldn’t get any other job.
After verifying that I was planning on voting for Kerry, the next question the individual asked me began with the phrase, “Even though you aren’t now supporting Kerry, is there anything…” I had to give him some credit. He caught himself though.
My guess is the “script” had a line between both questions reading “If caller answers Bush….”, and his eyes skipped over that line.
However, I was somewhat surprised he didn’t follow up with a parallel question. “Even though you aren’t now supporting Bush, is there anything…”
It makes me wonder….did he forget to ask that, or was it not on the list? Did they only ask that followup question for Bush supporters?
Later he asked me what religion I was.
I told him I was Jewish.
The next question he asked, swear to God, was “Do you consider yourself a Fundamentalist Christian?”
I laughed, and said, “no.”
So there you have it. These are the people they have conducting the polls.
I wonder if the “margin of error” takes this into consideration.
One last complaint. When he asked me if certain descriptions of Bush/Kerry describe them “Very Well” “Somewhat Well” “Fairly Well” or “Not Well”, even I got confused. I have a degree in English. What’s the difference between Somewhat Well and Fairly Well? I much preferred the part of the poll where I ranked stuff on a scale of 1-100.