Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Essence matters

Ann Coulter picked up the previous post on twatter. In her wake followed a flotilla of what Vox Day derisively refers to as "midwits". Some of the 'criticism' was cringe-inducingly terrible:

But some of it was reasonable enough:

Yes, following the link would've revealed that it applied to less than one-quarter of all responses, but the issue is worth addressing.

If we wanted the results of the poll to put the FBI/DOJ/Deep State in as unfavorable a light as possible, the graph would've looked something like this:

Just half of Clinton voters think the FBI is acting impartially, while majorities from every other group do not think they are doing so! Looks positively catastrophic for the FBI, as opposed to just bad, as is actually the case.

In the same way reporting that polling on the eve of the 2016 presidential election showed Hillary Clinton's support at 26% would have been technically true, since she garnered just under 66 million votes out of an adult population of 250 million, presenting it like this is intentionally misleading. There's a reason serious polling outfits restrict responses to likely voters, or preface questions to registered voters with "if you were voting today, ..."

Presenting the three different responses across 11 different demographic groups would leave us with 33 bars in the graph. It would be more obfuscating and overwhelming than clarifying.

What I'm always after in these exercises is the expression of general sentiment in a clear, concise way that is easy to comprehend. The source data is, except in the rare case where something is paywalled, directly linked to and freely accessible, and notes on presentation--in this case, that "unsure" responses were excluded--made clear.

In this case, the figures are from Reuters-Ipsos raw survey data, not from a write up on the results. Parenthetically, the poll was only administered for a week, no public release was made (so far as I'm aware), and it never showed up on the interactive polling explorer site's main page. It's almost as if this little doozy is one the bosses weren't too keen on getting out!


Joshua Sinistar said...

I scream, you scream, we all scream while the Rich get the Lugenpresse corporate media to LIE TO YOU.

What's the difference between Red and Blue and sports? Not much nowadays. ESPN talks politics now. Its the basketbrawl team sport of the New Shithole that used to be America.

Who's team is winning, corn-fed loserbot? The Rich own them BOTH.

DissidentRight said...

Oh midwits. Never change! I'm pretty sure that midwits are not actually intelligent enough to genuinely understand how statistics work, anyway. Basically they are barking at the moon.

Joshua Sinistar said...

No, I understand these figures better than you do sport. They spell out that Democrats who oppose Trump support using the government against someone who leads the opposition. If it was Hillary, expect the inverse proportions of these numbers.

Anonymous said...

It would have been easy to stack up the 3 answers in different colors, with "yes" on the bottom, "no" on the top and "I don't know" in the middle, adding up to 100% for every category.  Or solid, white and cross-hatched.

Audacious Epigone said...


Create, send it my way, and I'll post it. That many bars looks like a cluster(heh)fuck. Otoh, it is useful to see how much more common "unsure" is among disengaged groups ("independents") than it is among Trump/Clinton voters.

Dan said...

Jeff friggin' Sessions is the boss of these f$ckers.

I was feeling excited when he became attorney general. What was the point? Maybe he just doesn't have the temperament to be the boss of people.

Audacious Epigone said...


I keep hearing that he is doing great work behind the scenes, etc etc.

Maybe, but he is the top official when it comes to administering justice in the US. Administer it, damn it!

You may be right--he was a senator rather than a governor, after all.