Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Poll: a Four Letter Word

Over the next nearly 2 months, many of my fellow bloggers will make repeated references to the latest and greatest polling numbers in all of the varied races. The Oracle will not be joining them.

Polls are not really news: they are manufactured news. Furthermore, while changing numbers over a period of time sufficient to establish a trend may be interesting, the incessant reporting of minute daily fluctuations is not. The constant onslaught of varied polling information only provides fodder for partisans who laud the merits of favorable ones and explain away the unfavorable. In reality, a small daily or weekly fluctuation 2 months before the election means virtually nothing apart from the attempt of spinners to get stories into a news cycle claiming that they have established momentum.

The Oracle dislikes spinners even more than polls.

The Oracle is interested in the horses. Other than noting broad trends, he will not cover the horse race.


Anonymous joe public said...

Good for you. I admit that I've recently called attention to polls, but it was to point out the apparent closeness of the race (as several independent pollsters of varying methodology quality all put it within MOE), and not to spin for one side or the other.

9:32 PM  

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