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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fun With Numbers!


This is why I rarely give any credence to polls presented by the media.  The headline for this story states: “Most NYers say gov did weak job choosing senator.” 

The actual numbers were Excellent: 6%, Good: 27%, Fair: 33%, Poor: 29%.  So in reality most New Yorkers think the choice was Fair.  In order to make it look bad they chose to invent their own category, “Weak,” by combining Fair and Poor.  No one polled was asked if they thought the choice was “Weak,” just Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor. 

So yes, technically most New Yorkers thought the choice was either Fair or Poor (62%) compared to Good (27%) or Excellent (6%), but let’s look at some other ways the same results could be stated. 

“Most New Yorkers say gov did fairly good job picking senator.”  See, I invented my own category, Fairly Good by combining Fair and Good (60%) which is more than Poor (29%) or Excellent (6%).  I could invent yet another category, Great, by combining Fair, Good, and Excellent (66%) compared to Poor (29%).

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