How is margin of error applied to an opinion poll?
March 2, 2008 6:06 AM Subscribe
When a preference poll has a certain margin of error, what are the minimum/maximum results?
posted by so_necessary to law & government (7 answers total)
Take the following poll as an example:
How is the margin of error applied to the prior percentages? Is that 4% either side (e.g: Clinton between 43% and 51%) or total (between 49% and 45%)? Or it the "gap" between the two - is a complete reversal (Clinton down 4, Obama up 4) within the M.O.E, or is it at most a movement of 2%+/- each to 45% with a maximum gap of 41% vs 49%?
More confusingly, in a poll like this:
Obama 46, Clinton 45, Undecided 8 (M.O.E: 4%)
How does it all work? (And why is a 21-yr-old Brit addicted to your convoluted primary process?!)