How Pollsters Use Clever Wording Tricks To Fit Certain Narratives

DM

Beyond the methodology pollsters use, the wording of questions, and the specific questions asked, can give the impression of a certain result that may not be the case. With a federal election just about to start, we are going to inundated with a barrage of polls. And, while Canadian polling companies haven’t suffered the same loss of credibility as US companies (many of whom predicted a 10+ point win for Joe Biden, rather than the actual 4 point advantage), many people in Canada also have doubts about polling in this country. Those doubts are furthered by the wide range of results, with some polls showing a nearly 15 point lead for the Liberals, and others showing a 4 point Liberal lead. This is why I tend to recommend that people look at the trend in polls, rather than specific polls. For example, in the 2019 campaign, and leading up to it, many polls showed the Conservatives leading, while others showed the Liberals leading. Most pollsters ended up being off by 2 or 3 points at most, with the final result being 34% for the CPC, and 33% for the Liberals, though the Liberals won more seats because of vote distribution. By comparison, things look much worse for the CPC.

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