The polls say what?


Be sure to catch the cover story in the CT – the Capital Times weekly – about Scot Ross from One Wisconsin Now.  It’s a good piece but it was a quote from a UW professor that, at least for me, stuck out like a tea-bagger.

Jessica VanEgeren writes about Ross’ targeting of various “right-leaning” individuals and organizations, one example being the conservative Wisconsin Policy Research Institute.  WPRI contracted with the UW’s Ken Goldstein to do a series of state-wide polls. After asking for copies of emails, Ross caught WPRI asking Goldstein to “bury” the numbers on how people state-wide tepidly supported school vouchers – something WPRI strongly supports.

Goldstein complied. And when asked about it by VanEgeren stated, “Numbers are just numbers … chosen to try and convince the public, the media and legislative leaders of whatever point a group is trying to get across.”  This is Ken Goldstein, one of the UW’s most highly regarded poly-sci professors. I thought polling was, according to my Encarta Dictionary, a “…questioning of the population or of a representative sample to tally opinions or gather other information.”

I’ll never look at another poll the same way again. Especially if Professor Goldstein is behind it.