A ‘Fair’ Assessment

It might be said that in polling you get what you ask for. That’s the case in the word choice of questions that measure the approval rating of an elected official. Different polling organizations use different approaches. For more than three decades, The Marist Poll, has relied upon a four-point question asking respondents to pick from “excellent, good, fair, or poor.” “Excellent” and “good” in this measure are combined as a positive score.

In the interest of transparency, all of our poll results are released publicly sometimes creating a poll-watchers give-and-take. This is the case in the minor dust-up in our latest NYC measure of Mayor Bloomberg. Some have argued that our measure undercounts how well the mayor is doing because some voters who say “fair” have a positive view of his job performance. [cont.]

Lee Miringoff, Marist Poll