The internet was jolted into a frenzy on Sunday after
The Washington Post published a story about a Qualtrics check that
found a whopping 52% of Republican respondents believed
President-elect Donald Trump won the renouned vote.
Of course, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton won
the renouned vote, and is now forward by nearly 3 million
votes as a tiny splinter of ballots continue to be counted.
So what happened? A rather heading doubt competence be to blame
for the startling series of those who answered in the
affirmative, as the outcome stood in contrariety to information from a
new Pew check that showed 32% of Republican
respondents either suspicion Trump won or were unsure.
The Qualtrics doubt was phrased as followed: “In last month’s
election, Donald Trump won the infancy of votes in the Electoral
College. Who do you consider won the many renouned votes?”
It’s a classical case of a “leading question,” one that is frowned
on in polling.
As Carl Bialik wrote in The Wall Street Journal in 2010:
“Subtle differences in how check questions are phrased, or
in which choices are offering as responses, have a significant
outcome on polling results.”
Mike Dixon, an partner highbrow of operations government at
the Naval Postgraduate School’s Graduate School of Business and
Public Policy, helped to better explain this in a display on
avoiding bad consult questions.
On heading questions, he wrote they advise “to the respondent
that the researcher expects or desires a certain answer.”
Dixon offering a doubt as an example: “Now that you’ve
seen how you can save time, would you buy the product?” it asked.
The highbrow pronounced it “tipped” the palm of the questioner,
indicating a enterprise for a “yes” answer.
That doubt was fairly identical to the Trump question,
which settled that Trump won the Electoral College before
asking, “Who do you consider won the many renouned votes?”
It was an denote that Trump was the winner, before the person
had to answer who, in fact, won.
The polling firm could have listed Trump and Clinton as
options and some-more directly phrased the doubt as, “Who won the
renouned vote?” Another option: “Did Hillary Clinton or Donald
Trump win the renouned vote?”
After the Post went with the headline, “A new check shows 52%
of Republicans actually consider Trump won the renouned vote” for the
story, it found life online. (Business Insider also published a story on the poll,
observant how the doubt was phrased.)
Many on Twitter jumped on the number, which jumped off the page
at first glance:
Reality: Clinton won renouned opinion by 3 million.
52% of Republicans trust Trump won.
— Alexander Nazaryan (@alexnazaryan) December 18, 2016
Trump claimed he would have won the popular
vote if “millions” didn’t opinion illegally, an outlandish
claim made but a fragment of ancillary evidence. Also, in
responding the question, a vastly smaller series of Democrats and
eccentric electorate answered that Trump won the renouned vote.
That, however, doesn’t forgive the bad framing, which may have
played as big, if not a bigger, role in the results than
the first factor.