The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


October 17, 2013

For whom the poll tolls

Polls, polls everywhere and not a one agrees … at least in the understanding of the results. There needs to be a basic understanding for a how a poll works. A poll is like a scientific experiment. If, however, you listen to the media you would never know it. All they communicate to the under-informed electorate are the questions and responses.

There is, however, much more to a scientific poll than just questions and responses. A poll, like a science experiment, begins with an idea which is then extrapolated into a hypothesis leading to the experiment. The media often fails to provide the basis for the poll. So when you read 70 percent of conservatives or Republicans favor coverage for per-existing conditions it seems to say that Republicans are for Obamacare. But let me share what is really going on. First, either no hypothesis for the poll has been established, or the poll is not being put into context. For instance, I am a Tea Party conservative. If I was asked, "would I support insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions?", I would answer, "yes, sure I would. If that is where the questions stop you wouldn't get the full answer.

Here is the deception. If the purpose of a poll was to establish a political goal, and mine being a more constitutional conservative government, the question of pre-existing conditions alone would not begin to tell the truth. For example, if the hypothesis for my poll was: "Americans would choose freedom and re-establishing a constitutional republic over socialized healthcare," then the question would have to be re-framed as following: "Would you support insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions?" followed by, "which is more important, mandatory health insurance for pre-existing conditions or preserving our freedom and our constitutionally protected rights?" You would find the polls would create a much different picture.

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