As NewsBusters reported Wednesday evening, a new CBS News poll pegged President Bush’s job approval rating at 35 percent. Tom Bevan of Real Clear Politics posted an analysis of this poll’s methodology at his blog last evening (hat tip from a NewsBusters reader named “Jsemby.”) What his figures show is that CBS polled 46% more Democrats in its weighted sample than Republicans:
To put these numbers in proper perspective, according to the November 2004 exit polls, the nation’s current party affiliation is 37 percent Democrats, 37 percent Republicans, and 26 percent Independents. As such, the polling agency involved in this result fell 36 percent short in sampling Republicans while over-sampling Independents by 59 percent.
This demonstrates what many statisticians have been saying about polls for years: If you are trying to ascertain a certain answer to a question, all you have to do is ask the right people.