Friday, October 03, 2008

The CBS VP Debate Poll

Here's the headline from the poll taken last night by the Couric Broadcasting System:

CBS Poll: Uncommitted Voters Say Biden Won

Here's the data report (.pdf link).

Let's take a closer look.

First, let's look at how CBS defines the word "undecided".

Immediately after the debate, CBS News interviewed a nationally representative sample of nearly 500 debate watchers assembled by Knowledge Networks who were “uncommitted voters” – voters who are either undecided about who to vote for or who have a preference but say they could still change their minds.

So, some of the respondents who participated in this poll of "undecideds" went into it with a preferred candidate in mind, But, nowhere in this report do they show the breakdown, either by candidate preference or by party affiliation, of the sample of respondents.

46% of these uncommitted debate watchers said Biden won the debate tonight, while 21% said Palin won. 33% thought it was a tie.

Without the breakdown showing the number of Democrats and Republicans in that sample, these numbers are as meaningful as White Lion lyrics.

But here's my favorite line.

Even a quarter of Republican uncommitted voters thought Biden won the debate.

Nope, no pro-Biden bias there.

It's evident that they did, in fact, record the party affiliation of the respondents, thereby knowing how many Republicans were included in their sample, but for some unknown (uh-huh) reason, they've decided to keep that information secret.

So, there's no way of knowing what number "a quarter" of Republicans really is.

And, from the Truly Shocking Files, they make NO MENTION of the number of Democrats in their sample who thought Palin won the debate.

How anyone can read this report that emphasizes how many Republicans thought Biden won the debate, and fails to report the number or percentage of Democrats who felt Palin won the debate, and call it unbiased or statistically relevant is beyond my level of comprehension.

This is nothing more than the kind of pro-Obama propaganda we've come to expect from the mainstream media, a collective of "smarter than thou" elitists sworn to do everything in their power to assist in Obama's "rightful" ascension the presidency.

Bruce's Rule of Thumb #21: If anyone tries to feed you poll results without providing you a complete set of polling internals, odds are, you're being taken for a fool.

Bruce's Rule of Thumb #22: Any poll from the people who brought you Rathergate should be taken with a grain of salt the size of Barack Obama's ego.