The recent discussion of pollsters reminded me of a story from a couple years ago that perhaps is still relevant . . .
I was looking up the governors’ popularity numbers on the web, and came across this page from Rasmussen Reports which shows Sarah Palin as the 3rd-most-popular governor. But then I looked more carefully. Janet Napolitano of Arizona was viewed as Excellent by 28% of respondents, Good by 27%, Fair by 26%, and Poor by 27%. That adds up to 108%! What’s going on?
I’d think they would have a computer program to pipe the survey results directly into the spreadsheet. But I guess not, someone must be typing in these numbers one at a time. Another possibility is that they are altering their numbers by hand, and someone made a mistake with the Napolitano numbers, adding a few percent in one place and forgetting to subtract elsewhere. Or maybe there’s another explanation?
P.S. Here are some thoughts from Mark Blumenthal
P.P.S. I checked the Rasmussen link today (9 July 2010) and the Napolitano numbers still add up to 108%. So I guess nobody at Ramussen noticed my blog that I posted earlier on the topic!
P.P.P.S. In case you were wondering: No, I can’t see how you could possibly get to 108% from rounding error.