Pet peeve

June 20, 2012

There's a new Bloomberg poll showing President Obama with a 13-point lead over Mitt Romney. That's a far cry from the 0.6 percent lead Obama held in this morning's Real Clear Politics average of polls. The poll is pretty clearly an outlier.

The proper way to report this poll is not "Obama Holds Wide Lead Over Romney." It's that an outlier poll shows Obama with a wide lead, and it will be interesting to see if any subsequent polls reproduce its findings. We all know, theoretically, that the sampling polls do means that one in every 20 polls or so is very, very wrong. When that poll comes along, we shouldn't report its findings as a fact about the world.

Also, please get off of my lawn.

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Ezra Klein · June 20, 2012