The Bright Coast

Progressive Thoughts from San Diego Alums on Law, Politics, and Culture

Zogby = Coolest Dude in America?

Posted by demkid on October 22, 2008

As someone who’s big on polls, I found this particularly amusing.  I really don’t know what to say about Zogby or his surveys.  His Zogby Interactive internet state tracking polls are pretty much the least accurate ones out there.  ZI totally blew it in the last (2006) cycle when they tracked Senate and Governor races.  “We have more work to do” to improve online polling, Mr. Zogby said, but he added, “we believe it’s not only the wave of the future, but the future is very close to now.”  He may be right, but 2 years later, the future just hasn’t arrived yet.  Telephone-based surveys are still far more reliable, and their methodologies are a lot better. 

For instance, look at ZI’s latest state tracking numbers.  Sure, some percentages are close to where other standard polls are, but to say that the race is tied in states like Colorado, New Hampshire, and New Mexico, is totally crazy.  ZI also claims that McCain is up by 7.5% in Nevada….huuuh? 

On the other hand, ZI is completely separate from Zogby International, the main telephone-based polling unit that’s in charge of the Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby daily national tracking poll.  This poll is definitely more respected, although it’s still somewhere in the middle of the pack when it comes to past results.  (I believe this poll’s biggest claim to fame was that it was the only one to call a Gore popular vote win in 2000.)  In any case, this national tracker has been interesting as of late, and Thursday’s edition will come out showing Obama with an 11.9% lead over McCain.  Compare this spread to just 4 days ago, when Zogby had Obama leading by a mere 2.7%.  Really, it’s implausible that Senator Obama gained over 9 points in the race in just 4 days, so again, I really don’t know what to say about John or his surveys.  I just know that his own survey considers him to be the Coolest Dude in America, and with a zero percent margin of error, how can I argue with that??

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