All About Polling - Introduction
"It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." Winston Churchill was describing Russia, but many people probably think his observation applies equally well to public opinion polls. It seems to defy common sense that anyone could discover what 300 million Americans are thinking by interviewing just 1,500 people. And yet, somehow, public opinion polls seem to do just that.
This discussion is intended for those who still find opinion polls mysterious, enigmatic, or puzzling violations of common sense. The objective is to explain how polls work and why, so that the reader will be a more informed and discerning consumer of polling data. The focus of the explanations is on how to understand opinion polls, not on how to conduct them.
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A Brief History of Polling
Polls, Polls Everywhere
Questions - Heart of All Polls
Mechanics of Polling
21st Century Technological Challenges
20 Questions a Journalist Should Ask About Polling Results