Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Polling as propaganda

This morning's column in the N&O by Rick Martinez is a good example of how polling data can be misused. Instead of being about public opinion or science, it is reduced to propaganda. Discussing the Realtors' anti-transfer tax campaign, Martinez sites the Realtors own poll to prove that the campaign worked.

"The Realtors produced a poll in late July that showed 77 percent of North Carolinians opposed to the new tax."

Take a look at the poll yourself to see if you really believe that statistic. But now Martinez is helping that poll number become part of the public debate over the transfer tax despite its lack of merit.

I'll be very interested to see polling on the transfer tax county-by-county. It may not be popular (most new taxes are not), but that Realtors poll is not proof.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Why would Rick be so dense? Hint: who is his Rick's wife?

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