Falling Awake

Just Darts Since 2009

The problem with polls

Yesterday I took a Harris Poll on the subject of banks and banking services.  One of the questions asked me to agree or disagree with a series of statements about three banks.

Here’s a screenshot:

 Harris Poll

Do you see my problem?  My primary bank is Bank of America, and it is certainly “a leader in addressing social and environmental issues.”  Unfortunately, there was no way for me to add the comment, “and I wish they would cut it out!”

I want my bank to give me a high rate of interest on my money.  That’s the point of banks.  If they did that, then all of their customers would have more money to give to the charities of their choice.  It’s not a bank’s job to save rainforests or combat global warming.  And it’s certainly not their job to subvert federal immigration laws by issuing credit cards to illegal aliens. But I bit the bullet and answered the question honestly, even though I disagree with their policy–and I know they’ll take it as a pat on the back.   And then on another question I ranked Bank of America very low on the matter of “valuing its customers,” because they never ask us where we want them to spend our money.

I’m bringing this up because of the infamous Rasmussen poll that purports to  show that two-thirds of Democrats either think President Bush knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance or are “not sure.” To participate in a poll honestly, you have to answer the question that’s asked.  If you answer each question as if it’s a referendum on whether or not you “approve” of the person or issue involved, you end up making yourself–or in this case an entire political party–look like a bunch of loonies.

I do not believe that two thirds of all Democrats are nuts.  I believe that some of them are nuts, and the rest are willing to lie on an anonymous survey in order to make President Bush look bad.  And I believe that tactic boomeranged.


One response to “The problem with polls

  1. ClapSo June 9, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    These polls are written to make whatever point whoever is paying for them wants to make. Take em with a grain of salt. If you have some time and want some shits and giggles, take a “research methods” course at any college. If you go and ask the prof if you can sit in, ya won’ even have to pay for it. In such a course you learn WHY and HOW they pull this crap.

    The scientifically impossible I do right away
    The spiritually miraculous takes a bit longer

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