Erroneous Sampling


Last September, I watched Stephen Colbert do a piece on a Fox News poll concerning the election. Unfortunately Fox News seems to have taken down the poll (likely because it is quite a stab at their credibility) and the only remnants remaining of it on the internet are from the above blogs.

In an attempt to determine who would win the swing state of Ohio between Obama and Romney, Fox launched a poll among its own viewers. It determined that Romney would lead Obama in Ohio 90% to 10%, effectively giving Romney the White House.

If this isn't an example of sampling error, I don't know what is. The sample is a nonrepesentative, convenience/haphazard sample as Fox News obviously took what was available. It would be fair if they generalized these results to their own viewers, but they generalized them to the entire US population. So not only did they discredit their entire poll, but they unethically presented the results of research.

Luckily, political pundit and media critic Stephen Colbert stepped in and called b***s*** on the poll, saving America, yet again, from the lamestream media (his words, not mine).

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