I Haven'T Ever Been Called (And Neither Have Any Of My Friends). Doesn'T That Mean Your Polls Are Wrong?
Not at all. The samples of people we pick for our polls are valid as long as everyone else in the country has the same chance as you do to be selected. In a nation of about 200 million adults, we certainly won't talk to everyone. But if all 200 million have an equal chance of being picked, it stands to reason that the people who are chosen will generally reflect the views of all the ones who haven't been interviewed -- including you.
But Your Polls Don'T Match What I Think And What My Friends Think.
We'd be surprised if they did. We try to make sure that we have polled plenty of people just like you, but we also try to make sure that we poll plenty of people who are unlike you. Our polls aren't meant to reflect exclusively the conversations you have at work, the radio stations you listen to, or your family's dinnertable discussions. They are meant to reflect a little piece of the conversations every American has at work, radio stations all across the country, and the dinnertable conversations of 200 million Americans.
It's understandable to assume that your experiences are typical of what the whole country is thinking. But how many people do you know from the Northeast, or the Deep South, or the Mountain West? How many people do you talk to on a daily basis who are far richer than you, or far poorer? How many of your friends talk politics with people who live in inner cities and on farms, who are retired and still in college, who are divorced with several children and happily married with none? That's why CNN conducts polls -- to talk to tremendously different people all across the United States all at the same time.
In fact, in any poll, there is a group of respondents who are like you and your friends. If we just looked at those respondents, you would see poll results that reflected your views. But we want to show how the entire country feels about issues.
_________________________ **** ATTENTION! BAD POLITICIANS ARE ELECTED BY GOOD PEOPLE WHO DON'T VOTE! ****