The Talk of the Town

Marc Ambinder reports:

Folks at my company are super excited about our newest product — a 300-sample-per-night daily tracking poll sponsored by the folks at Diageo. Last night’s track has Obama up six, 46 to 40 among registered voters.

In the past I’ve noted that the Gallup Daily Tracking Poll’s information is presented in a way that’s likely to generate buzz via misleading narratives — statistical noise looks meaningful the way they present it. But Hotline/Diageo are doing one better by using a much smaller sample, 300 people per day instead of 1000 per day. One bonus of the smaller sample is that it’ll be cheaper. And, ironically, another bonus of the smaller sample is that it’ll produce worse data — more random noise — that, in turn, will probably help gin up more interest in the poll.