RoboPolling

The WSJ had a really good article about robo-polling today. If you haven’t already, read it now. This bit really caught my eye:

Yet, they have proved themselves to be every bit as accurate as other, widely reported polls — in some cases, more so.

These shunned polls, however, are conducted by computer rather than by a person, so they don’t make the cut with many of the big mainstream media, nor with polling experts. One prominent polling textbook, by Paul J. Lavrakas and Michael Traugott, refers to these surveys as Computerized Response Automated Polls — insulting acronym intended.

In other words, the media doesn’t really know shit about polling, and non-robo pollsters try to demagogue the robo guys. Which is stupid, because there’s no evidence that automated polling is inferior to traditional polling. In fact, Nate has SurveyUSA and Rasmussen, 2 pioneers of robopolling, ranked among his top 3 most accurate pollsters from the primary season, while media darling Gallup is near the bottom.

Long story short, there’s no reason to hate on the computer guys whatsoever, and you should always keep in mind that the media is fundamentally ignorant about these things.