Why doesn’t anyone do actual journalism when investigating national polls, especially when some polls break down presidential preference by race and ethnicity?
Case in point, the latest Quinnipiac poll shared results based on race and ethnicity, and those numbers made national media, as one of our trolls reminded us earlier this week:
— LatinoPATRIOTS2016 (@AmericanMex067) June 29, 2016
But unlike @AmericanMex067 (who has problems with math, as his appearance on Latino Rebels Radio this year would confirm), we actually went to the poll’s actual methodology to check out the real numbers. This is what we found:
The poll surveyed 1,610 registered voters. Of those 1,610 voters, 8 percent are Latino. That means that 129 Latino voters were polled, and if you take Trump’s supposed 33% number, that would mean 43 Latino voters chose Trump. Also, the sample is so small that the margin of error for Latinos is 9.66 percent, which means that Trump could be as low as 24% (more likely) and as high as 42% (LOLz). The same could be said about why Trump is losing to Clinton 91-1 (yes, not a typo) with African American voters. That 1 percent would suggest that Trump is doing just as poorly with Latinos. but the Quinnipiac poll is not asking enough Latinos or African American voters.
You would think that the mainstream political media would actually read our previous post on reporting faulty polls of Latinos. Or maybe they should read what the very intelligent Stephen A. Nuño wrote for NBC News in May:
Making claims about Latinos based on 100 interviews can introduce what we political science wonks call bias in the data, resulting in a large margin of error. There are ways to reduce bias in small samples, such as being particular about who participates in the poll, but these small surveys have to be carefully examined.
A general rule of thumb is that the closer to 1,000 participants – and by this we mean 1,000 Latinos, not 1,000 participants with a few Latinos sprinkled in – will generally be a more accurate survey than those which survey just a couple of hundred Hispanics.
Or if reading is not an option, listen to this NPR segment about polling Latinos: