>>> dhenwood at panix.com 08/16/00 02:12PM >>>
There's a lot wrong with polls - the narrowness of the categories, the forced choices, the attention to horserace matters over substance - but I find it hard to believe they're "manipulated." The people who do them are, as far as I can tell, earnest social scientists who want to do the right thing within the limits of their discipline. They're united in condemning Frank Luntz for spinning polls and focus groups to conform with his right-wing agenda (in fact, the AAPOR has formally condemned Luntz for his Contract With America polling). They're "objective" and "nonpartisan" in the classically American sense.
CB: Most of the polls I hear about from the television, radio and newspapers. Somebody pays for them. The people with the most money can pay for the most polls. Many, many more than those with a little money. Are you sure that everybody with influence and authority in these polling processes is merely an independently self-sufficient or I mean moneyly independent social scientist ? We have long past the point when even many people of science are wage-laborers of capital, needing grants , fellowships, $$$$$$$, like everybody else. All it takes is a few , the normal fraction within a profession who are willing to do something unethical, and a scabby newspaper outfit like Knight-Ridder to combine for a few misleading numbers in a Mayoral race in Detroit here, a Michigan Senatorial bid there. Even University of Michigan Institute of Social Researchers need $$$$$$$.
What's the money flow chart in the polling market ?