The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

October 11, 2012

Your View: Forget polls

By Roy Winans
Special to The Globe

JOPLIN, Mo. — Once upon a time, at an university far, far, away, I took a class called statistics. The instructor informed us that any poll with a margin of error over 1 percent, plus or minus, was bogus. In other words, it was useless for an informed people to trust.

Most polls have a minimum of 3.5 percent margin of error, and I have seen some with a margin of error of 5 percent or higher. Most of these polls favor the incumbent, and therefore put the challenger at a disadvantage. I say forget those polls, and use your native sense when it comes to voting for a candidate.

I recently took my own poll, at a local doughnut house, and came up with the following statistic. I say statistic because there was no difference of opinion of the polled. All nine of us voted for Mitt Romney, or 100 percent, and that is as good as it gets. I’m sure this would drop somewhat if I did a countywide survey, but it is just as valid as the national polls run by CBS, NBC, ABC or the New York Times.

Roy L. Winans