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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Polling Methodology 101

With the extraordinary number of polls made public these days (particularly late in election cycles), it’s often hard to keep straight which polls are more credible than others, and what to look for in assessing relative accuracy. That’s why so many observers tend to just pay attention to the polls that provide the results they prefer.
But the irreplaceable Mark Blumenthal of pollster.com has begun posting something of a primer on polling methodology that would be good to closely read and then keep close at hand.
His first installment covers the basics of polling techniques and sample selection, and includes a fairly extended discussion of the Rasmussen techniques that have been so controversial of late. It’s a great place to start a beginner or refresher course.

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