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Tue Mar 19, 2019, 09:32 AM

USA Today caught cheating on poll

USA Today breathlessly claims "Poll: Half of Americans say Trump is victim of a 'witch hunt' as trust in Mueller erodes!!!"

https://www.vox.com/2019/3/18/18271441/trump-tweet-usa-today-suffolk-poll-mueller-witch-hunt

...But the poll question on which that headline rests is seriously flawed. The question reads as follows: “President Trump has called the Special Counsel’s investigation a ‘witch hunt’ and said he’s been subjected to more investigations than previous presidents because of politics. Do you agree?”

It’s true that 50.3 percent of the poll’s 1,000 respondents said “yes” to that question. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they believe the Mueller investigation is a “witch hunt.” The prompt packs two different questions into one — a poor strategy for a poll question. Respondents simply may have meant to agree that Trump has been “subjected to more investigations than previous presidents because of politics” — a controversial but defensible position — without intending to go further and indicate they think Trump is the victim of a “witch hunt.”

69 replies, 15694 views

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Reply USA Today caught cheating on poll (Original post)
lagomorph777 Mar 2019 OP
Farmer-Rick Mar 2019 #1
Javaman Mar 2019 #13
KPN Mar 2019 #20
watoos Mar 2019 #2
NewJeffCT Mar 2019 #3
onit2day Mar 2019 #37
rogue emissary Mar 2019 #4
zaj Mar 2019 #5
mentalslavery Mar 2019 #8
KPN Mar 2019 #21
Rhiannon12866 Mar 2019 #46
Botany Mar 2019 #6
KPN Mar 2019 #23
onit2day Mar 2019 #38
dalton99a Mar 2019 #7
MadLinguist Mar 2019 #9
James48 Mar 2019 #44
Kind of Blue Mar 2019 #48
Scarsdale Mar 2019 #10
docgee Mar 2019 #11
KPN Mar 2019 #25
CentralMass Mar 2019 #51
docgee Mar 2019 #57
CentralMass Mar 2019 #59
forgotmylogin Mar 2019 #66
yaesu Mar 2019 #12
workinclasszero Mar 2019 #18
KPN Mar 2019 #26
Cryptoad Mar 2019 #14
calimary Mar 2019 #15
Blue Owl Mar 2019 #16
mwb970 Mar 2019 #17
underpants Mar 2019 #19
El Mimbreno Mar 2019 #22
Power 2 the People Mar 2019 #24
KPN Mar 2019 #27
SWBTATTReg Mar 2019 #28
lagomorph777 Mar 2019 #34
Skraxx Mar 2019 #36
uponit7771 Mar 2019 #43
louis-t Mar 2019 #29
Dorn Mar 2019 #30
PoindexterOglethorpe Mar 2019 #31
doctorzuma Mar 2019 #32
MagickMuffin Mar 2019 #33
Skraxx Mar 2019 #35
cbdo2007 Mar 2019 #39
uponit7771 Mar 2019 #42
Ms. Toad Mar 2019 #40
uponit7771 Mar 2019 #41
Papyro Mar 2019 #45
TryLogic Mar 2019 #47
Silver Gaia Mar 2019 #49
lagomorph777 Mar 2019 #62
Silver Gaia Mar 2019 #65
keithbvadu2 Mar 2019 #50
Ligyron Mar 2019 #52
PupCamo Mar 2019 #53
spanone Mar 2019 #54
janterry Mar 2019 #55
lagomorph777 Mar 2019 #63
janterry Mar 2019 #67
Awsi Dooger Mar 2019 #56
ffr Mar 2019 #58
George II Mar 2019 #60
C Moon Mar 2019 #61
applegrove Mar 2019 #64
Ilsa Mar 2019 #68
ck4829 Mar 2019 #69

Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 09:42 AM

1. It's obviously a push poll

You can get any response you want if you word your question in an obtuse and misleading way.

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Response to Farmer-Rick (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 10:18 AM

13. my first thought as well. nt

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Response to Javaman (Reply #13)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 11:07 AM

20. As transparent as the would be dictator himself. The world would be far more stable and peaceful

without 45 and Rupert M.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 09:43 AM

2. Polls are gimmicks by the right

 

to control the far right narrative.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 09:44 AM

3. it's a terrible question

It really should be two questions

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Response to NewJeffCT (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 01:34 PM

37. I knew it as soon as I read the results.Trump is a pathological liar and everybody knows this

 

So many have already been convicted, (indicted on the Russian side) to believe this is a 'witch hunt'. Seems to me that most people would know this.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 09:44 AM

4. Polling 101 is make the question as specific as possible.

That question is vague and clearly open to interpretation.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 09:55 AM

5. Or they are agreeing that Trump calls it a witch hunt.

Which is a fact.

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Response to zaj (Reply #5)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 09:58 AM

8. Exactly....they agree that he has said its a witch hunt and that he has said...

 

that he has been subjected to more investigations that any other president.....yep...I heard him lie that way....I agree...

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Response to zaj (Reply #5)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 11:08 AM

21. Correct. It's not just a two question in one push.

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Response to zaj (Reply #5)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 02:36 PM

46. And that he has been the subject of more investigations -

But with good reason! They said the exact same thing on Morning Joe today.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 09:56 AM

6. DU has the greatest and smartest posters

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1014&pid=2287574

But the damage is now done and certain members of the media and of the right wing
will still quote the USA today poll that Americans see Trump as a victim as gospel.

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Response to Botany (Reply #6)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 11:11 AM

23. I agree. I saw the poll results on CNN yesterday with nary a word about its credibility.

Last edited Tue Mar 19, 2019, 10:58 PM - Edit history (1)

I was dumbfounded, shocked, dismayed and discouraged ... immediately, and that feeling stayed with me through the remainder of the yesterday.

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Response to KPN (Reply #23)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 01:36 PM

38. Was hoping other media sources would shine a light on that skewed USA poll.

 

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 09:57 AM

7. Kick

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 10:05 AM

9. Actually THREE questions. I would agree to "Trump has called ..... witch hunt"

Respondents could agree to any of the following:

1. President Trump has called the Special Counsel’s investigation a ‘witch hunt’

2. said he’s been subjected to more investigations than previous presidents

3. said blah blah because of politics.

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Response to MadLinguist (Reply #9)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 02:17 PM

44. Exactly- this!

I agree that he has said that!


I don't agree that that is what it is, but i DO agree that Trump has made those statements.

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Response to MadLinguist (Reply #9)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 05:24 PM

48. +1000!

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 10:07 AM

10. WE are the victims, not

tRump. No person with a brain could dismiss the loud signals in this administration of corruption.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 10:15 AM

11. Who the hell reads USAToday?

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Response to docgee (Reply #11)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 11:15 AM

25. Don't have to. It was all over the news yesterday afternoon -- but no mention of the question's

credibility. Saw it on CNN and also, if I remember right, on MSNBC. I didn't watch any evening news because I was so dismayed with the "news" and how it affected my spirit earlier in the day so don't know about the big three (NBC, CBS, ABC).

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Response to docgee (Reply #11)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 06:02 PM

51. It's great - for lining the bottom of weasel cages.

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Response to CentralMass (Reply #51)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 06:25 PM

57. You got them weasels too?

We have 2. Best pets.

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Response to docgee (Reply #57)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 07:32 PM

59. I knew someone who had one. They are smart critters

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Response to docgee (Reply #11)

Wed Mar 20, 2019, 01:38 AM

66. They put it outside your hotel door for free in fancy hotels.

Hm.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 10:16 AM

12. MSM will always be working for the orange hitler & his fascist party

because they give them "yuge" tax breaks & a constant circus atmosphere entertainment value.

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Response to yaesu (Reply #12)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 10:54 AM

18. Yup

 

The "liberal" MSM is playing it's dirty little game again I see.

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Response to workinclasszero (Reply #18)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 11:16 AM

26. Right?!

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 10:23 AM

14. thought this was common knowledge,,,,,,,

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 10:51 AM

15. Good catch.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 10:53 AM

16. Well color me shocked!

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 10:54 AM

17. trump cultists say that all polls are wrong because Hillary.

Except this one, I suspect.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 10:54 AM

19. AND some may think they are just agreeing that he said it

Sorry didn’t read the link if they mentioned that

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 11:08 AM

22. Lies, damned lies, and statistics. nt

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 11:12 AM

24. Disgraceful! Enabling such an evil man.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 11:22 AM

27. The sad thing about this is there are many who will never hear this part of the story, and many of

those go with the pack -- so they now will tend to believe it IS a "witch hunt" and Mueller's report will be tainted by that belief.

This in itself should be considered obstruction of justice when it comes to the highest level of corruption and treason we have ever seen at the highest level in our national government. That is, USA Today (it's owner Rupert Murdoch and family) should be held accountable for malicious negligence and conspiracy against the people and the Constitution of the USA. That's my feeling. I l know it won't happen, but that's what I feel right now.

What can we do about it?

We should all contact by email, letter or phone all of our news sources and urge them to right this faulty reporting they did yesterday.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 11:28 AM

28. Gosh, what a poorly written question...I used to write instructor's guides, and test questions ...

for courses that were taught (by me and others) at a major company and one thing that you learned was how to construct your questions properly so you won't get confusing answers etc. like this poll question. Seems like USA Today didn't want to pay anyone a little extra money to have a question properly written...this demonstrates a poor lack of thought and control and USA Today trying to hype up sales of their newspapers.

Very irresponsible and just provides another reason to not read their papers (I can't stand them anyways, since their papers are so generic and 'fake' to me, I'd rather read a local paper and get more of a 'local' flavor to the news.)

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Response to SWBTATTReg (Reply #28)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 12:12 PM

34. USA Today paid somebody extra to craft this question in a deliberately confusing way.

It's not an accident.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #34)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 12:21 PM

36. Yup

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #34)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 02:15 PM

43. K&R,

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 11:32 AM

29. Had a feeling about this.

USA IS pro Trump. How disgusting.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 11:43 AM

30. Push Polling, this is a great example

For example: Do you agree that Lima beans taste like poop, would you like some Lima bean casserole ?

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 11:50 AM

31. What Madlinguist said.

Three questions.

And yes, Trump has said over and over that he's been subjected to more investigations than previous presidents. I certainly agree that he said that.

If one of the choices was "neither agree nor disagree" I'd have gone with that. Or maybe refused to have answered the question at all.

Although usually polling doesn't allow a skipped question.

Other examples of bad questions, are the ones that purport to determine just what part of the country you grew up in (or what part of the UK or other English speaking place) by asking you how you'd pronounce a particular word, or which is the word you use for something (see-saw vs teeter-totter or pop vs soda for instance). Well, because I've lived in different parts of the country sometimes both pronunciations or both word choices coexist equally in my brain. Invariably I have to give up part way through. I keep on hoping they can't tell I was raised by wolves.

Or other kinds of surveys will give choices for doing things (skiing vs ice skating) or between pop singers (any two people I've never heard of) and again, I can't complete the survey.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 11:57 AM

32. Test Construction 101

Each question should be designed to measure only one variable. So, the conservative websites, who love to push ignorance, are running with this one.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 12:02 PM

33. So, USA Today only sampled 1000 people to represent the whole country???




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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 12:21 PM

35. Or they are agreeing that he has called the investigation a witch hunt. Push poll question.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 01:41 PM

39. That's part of the fun of being in the data analytics field....

you can really get the data to tell any story you want.

Now of course, those of us who believe in doing the right thing, will try to best represent what the data actually shows and interpret what it actually means, but all of us in this field work with other data analysts and executives who want to bend the interpretation to tell the story the way they want it to sound. It's a tough spot to be in the middle of sometimes.

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Response to cbdo2007 (Reply #39)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 02:14 PM

42. That's if the WWWHW are covered up, if so then trust is deminished. I'll never trust a USA Today pol

... before looking into it now.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 01:45 PM

40. The question is even more flawed than this suggests.

The question is phrased, "President has called . . . and said . . . do you agree?"

Yes, I agree "he has called the Special Counsel’s investigation a ‘witch hunt’ and said he’s been subjected to more investigations than previous presidents because of politics.

Answering that I agree to that factual assertion about what Trump has said indicates absolutely nothing about whether I believe that either of the statements he has repeatedly made are true.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 02:12 PM

41. They asked a compound to get the noise they wanted and only posted one part of the question.

... ok USA Today, you on the map for that ish

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 02:30 PM

45. Here's the problem with the question

 

Vox is correct.
Respondents might believe that they are being asked only whether Trump has been subjected to more investigation then past presidents.

USA today I was us all an apology and retraction.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 04:14 PM

47. I was highly suspicious there was a flaw, or fraud, someplace in this survey.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 05:45 PM

49. Another thing I noticed that outed their bias...

My daughter was all upset about this article yesterday, which she called "disheartening." This is part of my reply to her:

Good grief! Their very wording admits their bias. They say "a 52 percent majority say they have little or no trust in the president's denials that his 2016 campaign colluded with Moscow" and call that an "improvenent" over a 57 percent majority last year. Improved for whom?! If they think a lower number is an "improvement," then their bias is pretty fucking obvious. Don't trust this. That's a propaganda tactic designed to make you feel discouraged, and I think the poll is skewed. It's an outlier. They WANT to demoralize and divide us.

I also said I wanted to see the actual question asked, how many people were polled, and the ratio of Democrats, Republicans and Independents polled. I could tell it was bogus right off the bat. Sheesh. Come on, news media! If I could see this, why didn't you? Do your damn job!

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Response to Silver Gaia (Reply #49)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 11:57 PM

62. I noticed the "improvement" language too.

An improvement for Putin, not so much for Americans.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #62)

Wed Mar 20, 2019, 01:00 AM

65. Exactly

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 05:58 PM

50. There are many polls. Pick the one you like and swear by it. Swear at the others.

There are many polls.
Pick the one you like and swear by it.

Swear at the others.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 06:02 PM

52. "...because of politics."

No, because it looks like he's a criminal and this needs to be investigated. Who knows if he's been subjected to more investigations? That would probably be a good guess though.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 06:06 PM

53. who writes these poll questions?

or better yet who approves them?

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 06:13 PM

54. the media already appears to be circling the wagons around trump...

They have greatly enriched themselves on the trump insanity

why would they want it to stop?

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 06:18 PM

55. A terrible question is not cheating

It makes the results unreliable/not valid.

But it's not cheating.

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Response to janterry (Reply #55)

Wed Mar 20, 2019, 12:01 AM

63. Sure, it's purely accidental.

They spend huge sums of money to push this poll out, and nobody glanced at the questions to notice the bias? Come on.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #63)

Wed Mar 20, 2019, 05:51 AM

67. I've seen lots of bad survey designs

n/t

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 06:22 PM

56. Gad, I didn't even look at that question yesterday

The result was being touted on sports sites everywhere, from chirping right wingers.

I had no idea it was such an awfully worded question that could only lead to two different perspectives being lumped together on one side.

I would expect that question to have perhaps 40-43% agreement, not 50%. The 40-43 is bad enough but at least it aligns with approval rating. This 50% was like an intentionally designed push, guaranteeing tons of related press.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 06:39 PM

58. Title would be correct saying Half say tRump is a "TARGET" of more investigations

Like the question states.

Poor integrity by USA Today. Shame!

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 07:50 PM

60. Kind of like the age-old trick question, "did you stop beating your wife?"

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2019, 11:55 PM

61. When I saw that here, I had a feeling it was skewed.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Wed Mar 20, 2019, 12:55 AM

64. It is a form of gish gallop. People don't always remember all the facts

In the question if you pack the facts in there. Likely purposeful and they are manipulating an availability heuristic in many people's minds that the last or most recent thing is more salient. Heuristics are shortcuts in people's brains.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Wed Mar 20, 2019, 07:27 AM

68. Morning Joe staff and guests called it a bogus poll yesterday.

They stopped short of calling it a push poll, or accusing USA Today of being a tool for trump. But they said it was a garbage poll.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Original post)

Wed Mar 20, 2019, 07:30 AM

69. Something I learned in research methods in college and on ethics in doing research...

Combining the questions into one, making it sound like one question on one end but another something else, etc., it usually reflects an agenda on the part of the poll-taker or an accident.

Which one was this?

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