Is timing a Key Ingredient in Political Poll Results?

Opinion by Patricia L Johnson

Gallup recently came out with a new poll that asked the question

27. If Barack Obama runs for re-election in 2012, are you more likely to vote for Obama or for the Republican Party’s candidate for president?

The poll was taken between February 2, 2011 and February 5, 2011 and involved automated calls to a minimum of 850 land line phone users and 150 cell phone users. Landline recipients were “chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.”

The results of this poll were then compared to a poll taken the first week of February 2010.

Not quite sure I understand the “birthday” requirement, but it’s one of the many thousands of items I no longer comprehend when it comes to political polls.

What I find extremely disturbing about this particular poll is the timing. They are comparing a poll taken during the three days from February 2010, the 1, 2 and 3rd, to a four-day poll taken in 2011 on February 2, 3rd 4th and 5th. If that isn’t strange enough for you, then check out the days of the week.

The 2010 poll was taken on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Works for me!

Yet, the 2011 poll was taken on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you’re going to compare pigeons to porpoises why not do it on the same day of week? Why wasn’t the February 2011 poll taken on the first three days of the week, just like the 2010 poll?

The answer is NEWS!

It’s really difficult to get any good juicy political news on Sunday because for the most no one is working however, if a bombshell is dropped there’s no time like the present to run a poll.

Such is the case with the February 2011 Gallup Poll.

Senior United States District Judge Roger Vinson of the Northern District Court of Florida, released his 78-page decision declaring “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” [Obamacare] unconstitutional. The decision was released on January 31, 2011, which gave it a day to hit the front page of all the newspapers, and the next day Gallop began their automated calls.

For the most part voters, in general, do not understand that Vinson’s decision is simply one of four. There have been four decisions made on this issue to date, two stating the law is constitutional and two stating the law is unconstitutional. This decision will be appealed and before it’s all over the issue will go before the Supreme Court of the United States and an actual ruling on the constitutionality will be made at that time.

But, what a better time to run a poll than when the President of the United States has just been set back on his heels.

© 2011 Patricia L Johnson

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This entry was posted in Elections 2012, Government, News and politics, U.S. Courts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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