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Old 09-05-2008, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
21,881 posts, read 16,692,462 times
Reputation: 30805
Default Do People Lie To Pollsters?

This is not about Exit polls, like when exit pollers got Bush/Kerry really wrong.

But, do you think people lie to pollers in some of these daily tracking polls that are done over the phone? If so, what question do you think they would lie about the most during this current election?

Example: Do you think they lie over whether they are likely voters, registered voters or uncommitted voters? Do you think they lie about their age, household income level, race, religious affiliation (or not) or education level? Do you think they lie over whether they are Independent, Republican or Democrat? Do you think they lie about who they will be voting for?

If you think they lie to pollsters, why do they lie?
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Old 09-05-2008, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Home, Home on the Front Range
13,802 posts, read 6,675,767 times
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Short answer 'yes'.

Long answer: this sort of explains it.

When Voters Lie - WSJ.com
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Old 09-05-2008, 06:15 PM
NCN
 
14,084 posts, read 11,715,675 times
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If the pollsters start getting it wrong all the time they will lose their creditability and maybe stop taking polls because no one will listen to what they say.

We go into a booth to vote so we can vote for the person of our choice without duress. Do you think I am going to tell someone the truth when they call to ask my opinion. It is none of their business. Everybody should lie to them.

Just want you to know my mother taught me better, but if we have all these polls, why do we need an election. I wish it was against the law to ask a person who they plan to vote for. I really just tell them I do not answer questions on the telephone. How can you know for sure who that is calling.

I once had a candidate stand in front of me and ask me if I would vote for him. I told him that I did not tell anyone who I vote for, but I would consider him when I went in to vote. He was running for judge and he seemed to appreciate my honesty.
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Old 09-05-2008, 06:16 PM
 
Location: OC, CA
3,310 posts, read 3,531,376 times
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I, personally dont think the lies have a huge impact on the physical numbers (who people are voting for) because those numbers will just cancel eachother out on each side.
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Old 09-05-2008, 06:23 PM
 
1,113 posts, read 1,262,538 times
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It's pretty easy to fudge surveys by simply intentionally or accidentally choosing a "slightly less than random" sample. Location can inherently bias surveys. The results of surveys conducted in urban vs. rural areas will probably yield different results.

Time of day can bias a survey. For example, if you take a survey during the day when most people are at work, you'll get a different population than if the survey was taken in the same area during the evening. If you call people at dinnertime, you are just going to a ticked off person who might think it's funny to give false answers as repayment for interrupting their meal!

No matter how a Political survey is conducted, error margins of +/- 3% are totally unrealistic.

I do not know anyone who has ever participated in a political survey. It could be that they just make most of the data up!
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Old 09-05-2008, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Ohio
10,275 posts, read 5,543,833 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
If you think they lie to pollsters, why do they lie?
It's really fun.

Besides, it makes a social and political statement, namely, stop it with damn polls already.

You don't need a poll every freaking day or week for that matter.

And you do understand that you pay for that right?

NBC commissions a poll, and they have to pay for it, so they raise ad rates and the advertisers raise their rates and the retailers raise their prices.

Aside from pollsters, other fun people to screw are telemarketers. I'd keep them on the phone for as long as possible just to waste their time so they couldn't harass someone else.
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Old 09-07-2008, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
21,881 posts, read 16,692,462 times
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I think pre-election, people lie about whether they are registered or likely voters. I think people who don't vote would be ashamed to tell a pollster they don't vote or are not registered to vote. The other things I'm betting they lie about is their education and/or income level.

I'm less inclined to think they lie about the candidate they prefer or if they are undecided.
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Old 09-07-2008, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
21,881 posts, read 16,692,462 times
Reputation: 30805
Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerLily24 View Post
Short answer 'yes'.

Long answer: this sort of explains it.

When Voters Lie - WSJ.com
I was a liitle amused at the "Have you ever been to a dinner party with a black person?" question. It violates a survey rule not to ask a compound question (my terminology) because it presumes the respondent has been to a dinner party. If you have never been to a dinner party and answer "no," the survey taker presumes you have no black friends or aquaintences which is the wrong conclusion.
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Old 09-07-2008, 08:40 AM
 
2,866 posts, read 4,031,745 times
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I do think that there are some white voters who are not quite ready to vote for a black candidate, but will not admit that to a pollster. Likewise black voters for a white candidate when there is a black candidate running against him.

I have seen white candidates with big leads in the polls in predomininantly black neighborhoods, only to lose badly at the ballot box. I don't think this is racism, people just tend to vote for people who they perceive as more like them.
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