Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Statistics don't lie?

My dad (MS in statistics) used to say, "Statistics don't lie but statisticians do." You can pull any set of numbers to make things sound the way you want. Just ask Doug Forrester about his favorability ratings. Tom Hester explained this one beautifully:

"And in yet another chapter of "Let's Not Let the Facts Get in the Way of a Good Story," Fairleigh Dickinson University recently released a poll on gubernatorial candidate favorability ratings, prompting Forrester's camp to release a statement touting how he had a 51-14 favorability rating compared to 43-27 for Bret Schundler.
Well, except for one thing, one major thing - Forrester's campaign compared Forrester's ratings among Republican voters to Schundler's ratings among all voters. Among all voters, Forrester is at 39-20.

Nice try.


Rob said...

When I worked at the radio research company, I saw just how stats were used to back a specific agenda, rather then show the actual truth.

This doesn't surprise me from Forrester. He's the same guy who was running ads before the Presidential election last year bashing John Kerry - and he was doing it in his own name, and with his own money. If that's any indication - then his smear campaign for governor is going to go the same way. Disgusting.

Rob said...
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