Survey says: polling works

The big winner in Wisconsin’s most recent election may be Charles Franklin.  The frequent Here & Now guest and director of the Marquette University Law School Poll faced a lot of skepticism from Republican partisans for his poll just before the election showing a healthy lead for President Obama and a winning margin for Tammy Baldwin.

The partisan reception mirrored how Democrats viewed his polling during Wisconsin’s gubernatorial recall election earlier this year.

Much has been made of the drama surrounding Fox News’s calling of Ohio and thus the election over Karl Rove’s objections.  When asked, the pollster behind Fox’s projection dispassionately said he was “99.5% confident” that Obama would be victorious in the Buckeye state.  Spoken like a true statistician.

The quote attributed to Mark Twain that there are “lies, damned lies, and statistics” was turned on its head this last election season as statistics – at least those derived from proper random sampling – spoke truth to lies that many partisan supporters were telling themselves.

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