Tuesday, July 13, 2004

WaPo Statistical Errors

The Washington Post has a new survey out that essentially echos the same poll for the last year: Bush and Kerry in statistical tie.

What I noticed was how the WaPo did the breakdown of the statistics. With each question you can select an option to see it broken down by age, race, education, sex, etc. With each question, I selected "race" to see how minorities are answering these questions.

The only category they include is "black," no Asians, Hispanics/Latinos, Natives, etc. When you click to view the answer's by black constituents you notice something peculiar. The column heading, "blacks," appears in red. If you take the time to read the legend of the poll, you then see that, "a red column header indicates that there were not enough respondents in a particular category to insure reliable results."

HMMMM. If blacks were statistically insignificant, then why do the numbers reflect an equal weighting to the respondents race?

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