That being said, I’m not as concerned about differences in the wording of that portion of each item - (I’d be willing to bet that order effects would play a more significant role) – a much bigger problem is that he’s combining data that was collected using different scales. Here a just a few illustrative examples:
ABC: Favorable, Unfavorable, or Unsure?
CBS: Favorable, Not favorable, Undecided, Haven’t heard enough or Refuse to answer?
NBC: Very positive, Somewhat positive, Neutral, Somewhat negative, Very negative, or Don’t know?
USA: Favorable, Unfavorable, Never heard of it, or Unsure?
AP: Favorable, Unfavorable, Neither, Unsure?
This is a huge problem for lots of reasons!
To illustrate a few by comparing the first two polls:
1) Respondents for ABC have almost a forced choice comparison between Favorable and Unfavorable – "Unsure" is included as a catch-all, but people can interpret that in a variety of ways which (I assume) is why a lot of the other polls break it out.
2) Respondents for CBS are asked to indicate their opinion on a *much* different scale. Whereas the ABC poll tries to push people into a simple dichotomy, the CBS poll allows people ample room for that gray area with “undecided” and “haven’t heard enough” options. That latter option is especially noteworthy in that it brings certainty into the equation, prompting a “favorable/not favorable” response only when you’re reasonably sure you won’t change your mind in the future.
They’re really two different questions. You would expect that someone with limited exposure (maybe they caught a few negative headlines) – would classify their opinion as “unfavorable” on the ABC poll, and maybe “haven’t heard enough” on the CBS poll.
Predictably, people are less willing to commit to a favorable/unfavorable opinion when they are given choices that more closely reflect their opinion. People consistently report "unfavorable" opinions at roughly twice the rate as those in the CBS poll:
36% Haven't heard enough to decide
2% Refused to answer
Going back to the trendline, hopefully the above is sufficient to show that his trendline doesn't have a consistent meaning - what it means to "unfavorable" changes depending on which polls are used to determine a given point on the curve. Further, it's not difficult to imagine that spurious trends could appear simply because of how the CBS poll and other "low predictors" are temporally distributed in relation to the ABC poll and other "high predictors."
I really have no idea why this guy gets away with such junk. I guess he's had some successes that lead people to overlook his faults, or maybe he's popular among his circle of readers and nobody wants to face an angry mob. Zogby called him on some of the same stuff I took issue with in another thread, but was kind of half kissing his ass at the same time.
Oh my goodness...what will we do?
Our "unfavorability" is going up amongst that watch CNN.....we aren't worriedabout it kids.
Obama is NOT 50 feet tall, he is ONE inch deep.
Matthew 10:34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
Where did you claim this?I also went on to claim that the poll items he treats as equal are anything but.
Thanks for showing your error in reasoning. First of all, your attack on Nate Silver was an ad hominem. Second, how do you know the sky is blue? The sky is black where I currently am. Third, Jennie doesn't have to be a girl.[Also, "Nate Silver is a hack" is no more a fallacy than "the sky is blue" or "Jennie is a girl" -- these are all simple propositions. A fallacy refers to an error in reasoning.]
I had to paraphrase. You said:Haha, no I most certainly did NOT say that "anyone who doesn't agree that the data is inaccurate is a partisan hack."
You are still doing the same thing. So now, those who disagree with you are either "partisan hacks" or "ignorant of the methology flaws". All without you having to demontrate how they are sufficiently flawed for the result to be invalid.I said that anyone who recognizes that the methodology used is flawed but nonetheless assumes the data is accurate is a "blind partisan":
The key words there are "knowing that" -- I am making no claims as to those who don't recognize that the methodology is flawed.
This is just counter factual. I have documented the fallacies you used.Again, there's no "fallacy" here.
I already did: I asked if you have anything to show that the polls don't agree. To which you replied that "you don't, and you don't really need to".Whether or not I'm correct (again, a proposition) has very little to do with whether I've proved that to you or anyone else (another proposition). If you'd like to try to characterize an argument that I made that you think is fallacious, I'd be happy to go over that.