[Marxism] French not fans of the capitalist system

Michael Hoover hooverm at scc-fl.edu
Tue Apr 4 13:44:02 MDT 2006

>>> cbcox at ilstu.edu 04/03/06 8:36 PM >>>
In 1936 the Literary Digest predicted Landon would win on the basis of a
telephone poll. While I guess telephone polls more or less work now in
the U.S., they didn't in 1936. The results were so wrong that the
Literary Digest went out of business. I think the LD polls had been
accurate in earlier elections, but in 1936 there was a flood of new

literary digest poll had accurately projected u.s. prez election winner
between 1904 when first one was one and 1932...

part of problem was sampling frame error/selection bias, pollsters had 
used telephone directories and automobile registrations to their sample,
thus, excluding milions of working people without phones and cars who
comprised roosevelt's base of support...

more recent error caused by selection bias occurred during 1998 minnesota
gubernatorial election, poll was conducted by minneapolis star tribune paper,
results showed winner jesse ventura a distant third at 10% of projected vote, 
basic problem was that pollsters only called people who had voted in the
previous gubernatorial election, ventura brought people to the polls who
would not other have turned out...

selection bias issue is increasingly complicated, growing number of people
refuse to answer pollster questions or used screening devices such as
answering machines and 'caller id' to avoid unwanted calls, pollsters can't 
be certain that those who respond simply reflect views of those who don't,
in fact, some studies suggest that views of respondents and nonrespondents
differ, particularly along social class lines (affluent persons are more likely to 
take part in surveys than working class folks), 'nonresponse bias' may yet
result in future literary digest fiasco...   mh

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