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Costco Poll is worthless if it is a self-selecting poll

Reader comment on item: Should airport security procedures include ethnic and religious profiling?

Submitted by EFG (United States), Nov 19, 2006 at 03:44

I saw no link that would let someone look at this poll more closely. However, seeing as this is the internet, I am betting that this was an internet self-selecting poll. Meaning that somewhere on a webpage was this poll, with an open invitation to fill it out.

Polls like this are completely worthless from a statistical standpoint. The only people who will respond are those who feel strongly about this topic. Those who don't will not bother to fill it out.

Also, polls like this are regularly swarmed by bloggers and thier readers. This could include right wing blogs like Little Green Footballs or left wing blogs like Daily Kos.

If a Kos contributer finds a poll like this, he may write a post about it on the blog Daily Kos. And he will ask others Kos readers to vote on it. And then you will get a sudden swarm of thousands of voters, all with the same mindset.

The fact that this poll is so lop sided is almost assuredly due to something like this.

This poll is worthless and meaningless.


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