|August 7, 2020: The Commission on Presidential Debates rejected the Trump campaign’s request to add a fourth debate or alter the debate schedule. Kanye West discussed his campaign in an interview with Forbes.
“The real margin of error is often about double the one reported. The notion that a typical margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points leads people to think that polls are more precise than they really are. Why is that? For starters, the margin of error addresses only one source of potential error: the fact that random samples are likely to differ a little from the population just by chance. But there are three other, equally important sources of error in polling: nonresponse, coverage error (where not all the target population has a chance of being sampled) and mismeasurement. Not only does the margin of error fail to account for those other sources of potential error, it implies to the public that they do not exist, which is not true.
Several recent studies show that the average error in a poll estimate may be closer to 6 percentage points, not the 3 points implied by a typical margin of error. While polls remain useful in showing whether the public tends to favor or oppose key policies, this hidden error underscores the fact that polls are not precise enough to call the winner in a close election.”
– Courtney Kennedy, Pew Research Center
What We’re Reading
Flashback: August 7, 2016
John Kasich said the Trump campaign had contacted his aides about his interest in running for vice president.
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