PPP’s Results Don’t Excuse Its Bad Methodology

… Polls work for a reason. It’s not voodoo. Polling works because pollsters appreciate and employ sound statistical principles to produce a representative sample of a target population—like, say, American voters. So, no, the “goal” of a poll is not to “get it right,” or another variant of the point that “PPP gets the results right, so I don’t see what the problem is.” The goal of a poll is to take a representative sample, because a representative sample should give you a representative answer. And whether a sample is representative is determined by methodological choices, not the accuracy of the result. [cont.]

Nate Cohn, New Republic