Polling is a bit of a science and often poor polls are given the same headlines as quality polls. It make one wonder at the political motivation of the press to cover all polls the same without understanding the quality.

From American Thinker

May 24, 2008
Why Polls Can be Off
Richard Baehr

Survey USA has a new poll out showing Obama ahead of McCain in the crucial state of Ohio by 48%-39%.

This is, to say the least, an odd result, since the same group’s recent poll showed Obama beating McCain by only 8% in California. When you look at the cross tabs for this survey, you discover that 52%of those surveyed were Democrats (Obama wins this group by 59%), 28% Republican (McCain wins this group by 69%), and 18% independent (McCain wins this group by 10%).

Does this distribution among the Parties sound right for Ohio? If the number of Democrats were 7% fewer, and the number of Republicans 7% higher (a 45-35 split) you get a dead heat.

Two other recent polls in Ohio show McCain up by 1% and 4% (Rasmussen and Quinnipiac). When you get a poll result that does not look right, there usually is a reason. And the reason is more often than not, a poor distribution between the number of members from each of the two parties who were surveyed.