Saturday, November 6, 2010

Never Believe World-Herald Numbers

We've been meaning to comment on this since Wednesday and somehow other efforts have deterred us until now, but we want to point out just how bad the Douglas Street Rag's (Omaha World-Herald's) polling was.

In the Lee Terry/Tom White race the local daily said on October 25th that the "Race Remains Competitive." Who were they trying to fool? Were they, more likely, just trying to sell Sunday papers and create news? Was their polling simply totally wrong?

Regardless of their motives, the local daily's numbers were totally wrong. First of all to publish the numbers that Lee Terry had 44% of the vote and Tom White had 39% was just poppycock. Those numbers were for registered voters--not likely voters. But still the local daily had the audacity to show them as the prominent numbers. Even if they believed their polling, this can only be excused as an attempt to sell papers and create hype for an ever-declining form of news media.

The numbers they should have highlighted were the 'committed voters' assuming they had any more credibility than the others. That showed Terry with an eight point lead over White. And of course the local daily never showed the actual 'committed voters's' numbers.
And still the most embarrassing thing was the difference between the local daily's polling and reality. Lee Terry got 61.5% of the vote and Tom White was devastated getting 38.5% of the vote. Let's see, if our math serves us right that is 22% margin in favor of Lee Terry--not 4%, not 8%!

The bottom line is that any poll the Omaha World-Herald publishes can never again be taken as serious or accurate. The same holds true for anything else they have published for other subjects based on that polling. Either the Omaha World-Herald has an incompetent pollster or they simply wanted to manipulate numbers to sell papers. Is there any wonder why fewer and fewer people are reading it?

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