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DEMOCRACY: Government & Politics | October 26, 2004


A Guest Appearance on "NewsRap with Barry Gordon"

This was the first of several appearances I have made as a guest on Mr. Gordon's Pasadena-area cable-access show/webcast. It was prompted by my several e-mails to Democratic activists analyzing the various political polls, on the eve of the Presidential election; I had earned A's in both lower and upper division statistics classes at UC, Davis. Topics during the hour, with phone-in guests, included the following:

* Reviewing the current major political polls: Gallup, Zogby, Washington Post, CBS/NY Times, etc.

* Exposing the apparent discrepancies between the polls, at present and in recent months

* Presenting the statistical concept of "margin of error"

* Explaining how the discrepancies between the polls could be explained by overlapping margins of error

* Using the overlapping margins of error to determine the probable actual support for each Presidential candidate 

* Exploring possible sources of error inherent in political polls in particular, including both unintentional and intentional sources of bias

* Considering what would be most effective to sway public opinion in this Presidential election

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