Poll Finds Some Americans "Do Not Always Lie" in Political Polls
San Francisco, CA, March 22, 2008 -- A new CNN/Zogby/Pollsters Club poll of American political polling habits finds that a majority of Americans admit “they do not always lie” in political polls. The results are expected to grant greater credence to the results of pre- and post-election polling conducted during the 2008 presidential election campaign season.
American pollsters suffered a serious loss of credibility following the Clinton-Obama polling debacle during the New Hampshire democratic primary election, which was predicted to end in Obama's favor by an 8% margin. Contrary to poll predictions, Hillary Clinton emerged from the primary with a small victory margin.
“I think that illustrated more clearly than anything in recent history that political polls are a fickle beast,” Sherman Willow of Chicago-based Pollsters Club said. “In order to exactly compute the extent of that fickleness, several of the major polling groups got together to perform this, the most comprehensive analysis of American polling habits ever conducted.”
The CNN/Zogby/Pollsters Club poll, titled “Honesty In American Polling”, was conducted over a two-week period in February following Barack Obama's unexpectedly stunning Super Tuesday rout over rival candidate Hillary Clinton. In it, participants were asked whether or not they routinely lied in polls, and if so, how often.
“What we found out,” Mr. Willow said, “was that contrary to popular belief, a majority of Americans do not, in fact, routinely lie in political polls. On the contrary, a certain percentage—up to 50%—frequently answer honestly. Based on the current poll, we can now know with a high degree of accuracy approximately what percentage of honest answers we can expect, give or take a few, and recompute our regular poll results accordingly.”
Several Honesty in American Polling poll participants agreed to perform follow-up interviews with the press. Here are a few of their comments:
Albin Barker, automotive mechanic, Allenstown, PA:
“I've never lied in a poll in my life, except for this one time.”
Dieter Wittgenstein, insurance broker, Dallas, TX:
“Sometimes I lie, sometimes I tell the truth. It depends a lot on how stupid or existential I think the poll is.”
Sally Curlicue, dental assistant, Seattle, OR:
“I always, without exception, lie when responding to poll questions. It's how I maintain my personal integrity.”
James The Strange, hypnotist, Las Vegas, NV:
“You eyes are getting very heavy. When you awaken, you will remember that I am available for birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, and corporate kickoffs at reasonable rates.”
“That's a solid data set,” Mr. Willow said. “I think we can look forward to predicting the results of presidential races more accurately now that we have this meta-analysis to work with. Assuming, of course, the respondents to the Honesty in American Polling poll weren't trying to screw with our heads.”
The CNN/Zogby/Pollsters Club telephone poll was conducted using a random sample of 4,356 likely poll respondents from all major demographic groups, and carries a margin of error of +/- 49.98 points.
By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor
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