Monday, February 26, 2024

Polls - national and local

Ever wondered why national polls are so inadequate for understanding the opinions and leanings of people who aren't white/don't consider themselves "white"? 

Here's the answer in one simple chart:

Even though there are plenty of Asian-origin, Black, and Latino (and other!) Americans, unless pollsters really work on enlarging their samples ("over sampling"), they just aren't talking to enough people to avoid distortions caused by small sample size. This is hard and expensive and often doesn't happen.

Thinking about this made me wonder about the intricacies of accurate polling in San Francisco, especially about the upcoming mayoral race. Here's a picture:
Wikipedia - click to enlarge

The sheer complexity of the project is very costly to do well -- and the cost will contribute to why we are in danger of only having well-heeled choices come November. That's too bad for the city. Most of us don't live in the tech-bro bubble and have different needs and hopes for this place.

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