November 2012 Archives

New Jersey voter confidence in Christie.

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A new poll by Quinnipiac University shows that voters believe in New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, an believe that he will be reelected. According to the poll, "two-thirds of registered voters in New Jersey believe that Christie should be reelected in November of 2013. Christie is said to have a 53% to 35% lead over his main opponent, Newark mayor Cory Booker. New Jersey and Virginia are the only two states\ to hold elections this upcoming year.

Christie's approval ratings have largely been soaring on account of his actions in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Hurricane Sandy devastated the New Jersey coastline, leaving many homes in shambles and forcing much of the state to rebuild from scratch. Christie has been proactive in relief efforts, making it clear that he wishes to help the people of New Jersey in any way possible. Because of this, Christie is seeing sky-high approval ratings, one's that are far beyond any of his previous ratings.

The survey drawn by Quinnipiac University was conducted from November 19-25. 1,664 registered New Jersey voters were questioned via telephone. Sampling error was recorded at plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

In looking at the poll, I wonder how the registered voters were selected. There is no information from CNN about a random digit dialing technique or convenience structure. Clearly, the results of the study are thought to be representative of all New Jersey voters. There must be some element of random response generated. Additionally, I wonder how questions in the survey were structured. Were the questions structured in a way that Christie's actions as a result of Hurricane Sandy were brought up? Was the poll solely about the election or Christie's approval as well? Knowing more details about the study could provide better insight and make the results seem credible and valid beyond the scope of the article.

CNN Article -

The Nature of Black Friday Shoppers

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Black Friday Poll.gif
A new National poll from Gallup shows that less people are shopping on Black Friday, and that most of those shoppers are young. Fewer than one in five Americans plan to shop the sales from the day after Thanksgiving. Of those one in five, more than a third of the bargain shoppers reported being within the age range of 18 to 29. Older shoppers drop in their intention to purchase.

The recent Gallup poll was the first of its kind from the company. While 18 percent of Americans reporting that they plan to shop for the deals of Black Friday may seem low, there is no range of comparison for Gallup. The poll also shows that woman, nonwhite citizens, those from the Midwest, and those making between $50,000 and $75,000 a year in household income are more likely to go shopping for Black Friday deals. Most people shopping report that their main shopping intentions arise from their belief that prices on Black Friday are cheaper than a regular business day.

Gallups methods are as follows: "Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Nov. 15-18, 2012, with a random sample of 1,015 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points."

The Gallup Poll possibly provides insight into the shopping patterns of Americans. For all of the media attention and store promotion that comes from Black Friday each year, only a small percentage of the population devotes their time and money towards the deals of Black Friday. Additionally, younger Americans are more likely to withstand the weather and crowds of Black Friday in search of shopping deals. Perhaps this poll goes to show that marketing attention on Black Friday should shift towards the nation's young in order to maximize profit.

American Satisfaction

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While Americans may not place much trust in the media and government, their satisfaction is beginning to grow. According to a new poll conducted by polling agency Gallup, American satisfaction with the United States is at 31 percent. This is only the third time since 2009 that United States satisfaction has gone above 30 percent.

According to Gallup, the rise in satisfaction can be attributed to the increasing satisfaction of Democrats. Since the Democratic Convention, more support has been thrown in the direction of President Barack Obama, rejuvenating the spirits of the party that has grown with Americans. With this being said, Democrats are much more optimistic about the country's future, with 51 percent of those affiliated with the party saying that they are satisfied with the country as opposed to the 9 percent of satisfaction among Republicans.

The poll was conducted through random phone surveys of over 1000 Americans, 18 and over, from each of the 50 states and Washington D.C. The confidence Level stood at 95 percent with a margin of error of 4 percent.Gallup 1.gif


According to a national survey administered by polling Nielsen, more Americans are would be willing to serve up a thanksgiving dinner to New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow than President Barack Obama. The poll shows that 23 percent of Americans would enjoy having Tebow at dinner, while only 5 percent would wish for Obama.

The poll clearly aimed to have fun with the American public, as little to no information was given on polling methods or techniques. This survey was simply an enjoyable bit of information for the pleasure of Americans. Obama was also beaten out in the survey by Lady Gaga and Sesame Street character Big Bird.

Article in the New York Post -

How Reliable is Market Research to the Public?

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In Journalism 3251 class, we have often discussed reliability versus validity. A study could be extremely valid (evaluating and answering what it means to answer), but have little reliability (similar results with promising insights time after time. Consistency.) An interesting question that arises out of this is, when Americans look at the research world around them on a consistent basis, do they deem the studies to be reliable?

This question was posed by market researcher Greg Deinzer in his article "Is Market Research Reliable". Throughout the article, Deinzer notes a study conducted by Morpace in which 1,019 Americans were surveyed on their media perceptions. The article notes the findings, saying, "When asked about perception of market research results overall, 24% answered 6 or 7 on a 7-point scale (where 1 means very unreliable and 7 means very reliable) (Deinzer). Additionally, when research is credited to a well known source, such as a scientific journal, perceived reliability rises.

I find these finding a bit shocking. Americans seem to place an uneven amount of trust in market research. This strictly contradicts the recent Gallup poll presented in class, showing that Americans deem the media to be untrustworthy and unreliable. In a sense, there is little reliability in the two survey results, as a high amount of trust in a media source is contradicted by low perceived reliability. I know on a personal level, I am skeptical of all surveys or research studies until I read of the methods conducted and background information. I wonder what specific questions were asked in the Morpace survey to elicit answers from the public. Perhaps the surveys led respondents towards the reliability answer or impacted the net results. Perhaps there was question as to what reliability truly meant within the population. I don't believe that the Morpace study was a valid one simply because there is not enough information about survey methods in order to show the results.

CNN Exit Polls

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CNN conducted exit polls during the election day throughout the country. The polls asked Americans, beyond who they voted for, what issues remained at the top of their minds when thinking about the country. In terms of general issues, those polled said that the economy was the top issue facing the COUNTRY. However, when CNN questioned using wording like "people like you", 38% said unemployment was the top issue, 37% said rising prices, 14% said taxes and 8% said it was the housing market facing them. According to CNN, "Of those who voted Tuesday, 25% said they were doing better today compared with four years ago, 32% said they were doing worse and 42% said they were doing about the same."

While all of these insights are interesting, I question the precise questions asked, the methods of the polls, and how generalizable the results were. CNN fails to give much information relating to question wording, outside of the "people like you" question. Wording of questions can play a critical role on responses. How did CNN select their exit poll respondents? Did they use a systematic approach or a convenience sample? Was the poll based on response or nonresponse. None of this information was listed within the exit poll article. Without this information, we can't know if the results are generalizable to the entire nation or if they are even relevant. The data simply looks at public opinion at one point in time; the answers can't be generalized within the entire population. CNN should give more detail on their sampling methods to gain credibility.

Exit Poll Article -

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