Tuesday, February 21, 2006

DMN Poll On Taxes, Intelligent Design And A Border Wall

There's something funny about this poll, Most OK with tax hike for schools. Here's how the article on it starts out:
The majority of Texans, despite being tax leery and skeptical of government spending, are willing to open their wallets to provide more money for public education, according to a new statewide survey.
When you look at the About this poll toward the bottom of the article, which I will refer to more in this post, It says this:
Blum & Weprin Associates Inc. of New York conducted the random telephone poll of 1,482 registered voters Feb. 9-15. It has an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Taking that into consideration shouldn't the article open saying The Majority of registered voters in Texas in instead of a majority of Texans? This poll hits three areas: Raising taxes for education, teaching intelligent design as science in public schools, and building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. You can make of this poll what you will but to me it's not a good sample, again from the about the poll, I see this:
Blum & Weprin Associates Inc. of New York conducted the random telephone poll of 1,482 registered voters Feb. 9-15. It has an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

[...]

Of those polled, 301 say they are likely to vote in the Democratic primary. The error margin for those voters' responses is 5.5 percentage points.
The first question this raises for me that wasn't stated in the About this poll is, was the question asked and if so how many are likely to vote in the Republican Primary. There's also a bigger margin of error for the Democratic Answers. That leads me to believe this poll is heavily skewed to registered Republicans. And if we're getting these kinds of answers it probably means that Texans overall are probably more pro-tax for education than this poll states. It probably also means that the rest of these numbers are off. Here are the numbers:
52% would be willing to pay more in state taxes to put more money into schools (39% would not)

46% of Republicans would not want to pay more (44% would, making Republicans the only voter group unwilling to pay more)

44% think intelligent design theory should be taught in public schools as science (42% disagree)

49% of Republicans think it should be taught (37% said no)

38% of Democrats think it should be taught (50% don't think so)

47% oppose building a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border to stop illegal immigration (44% favor a fence)

Undecided voters and those who declined to answer are not included.
The writer should have correctly called it a poll of registered voters and not use "Texans" which infers all Texans, registered or not. And it's a very small sampling of Democrats, a little over 20% of those taking the poll. I think less than 38% of Democrats think intelligent design should be taught as a science.

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