10 December 2011

Don’t Worry Yet

Vox is gloomy:

This is a rather timely poll, following as it does my recent column on the subject. It makes it very clear that there is no point looking to the Republicans to save the nation. John Hawkins polls the nominal right-wing blogosphere about the Republican primary…

From there, Vox quotes the results of this poll, which shows Perry an Gingrich to be the front-runners (the two combined account for nearly 66% of primary preferences and 50% of secondary preferences) and also shows Ron Paul to be one of the most reviled candidates.  The poll, however, suffers from two serious problems.

First, the sample size is too small to be useful.  Hawkins reports that only 78 bloggers responded.  There are considerably more Republicans (and registered Republicans will be the one voting for the Republican nominee) than this, so 78 respondents isn’t enough to form a reliable reflection of potential Republican voters.

Second, the poll suffers from quite a selection bias.  Only bloggers were polled, which is problematic, and the only bloggers that were polled were selected by the one conducting it, which is also problematic.  Since the title of the post was “polling conservative bloggers,” it stands to reason that those polled would have a bias toward selecting a candidate that personifies conservative principles.

Vox’s gloominess notwithstanding, this informal poll doesn’t prove much beyond the fact that approximately 60 bloggers are complete idiots.  This doesn’t mean that there is reason  for hope yet—perhaps that will come in time—but there is not yet reason to give up yet, either.

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