Interpreting The Polls

As election season heats up our focus group facilities and researchers get more busy with research for campaigns, committees, parties, and other groups who are looking for insights into the electorate. Pittsburgh is a go-to market for all types of market research for products and services, but it’s a can’t-miss location for political research. Pennsylvania is hugely important state that swings the electoral college, but it’s also bellwether for other swing states and districts.

While we don’t typically conduct publicly released polls like those you’ll see in the news we’re definitely avid consumers of polls. We read about them all and because of that we couldn’t agree more with the team at FiveThirtyEight when they say “Beware: Reading polls can be hazardous to your health. Symptoms include cherry-picking, overconfidence, falling for junky numbers and rushing to judgment."

Their recent article on how to read polls is a great resource for keeping some perspective with the deluge of polls that will be coming to you.