Journalists love polls, notes the Committee of Concerned Journalists, but what are the drawbacks? Using examples from the US, Jon Margolis writes:
“[A]ccurate” is not a synonym for “meaningful,” and it is time to consider whether journalists are so poll-happy that they are suckers for anything with a chart and a margin of error even if the end result distorts rather than clarifies reality.
Public opinion polling is useful, but only if the public has an opinion on the subject under review. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes its opinion really doesn’t matter. And sometimes it shouldn’t.