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August 27, 2008
3:29 PM

CONTACT: The Real News Network

Taruna Godric , 416-916-5202

Polls, The Media and Who Will Win in 2008

Public opinion polls: do they measure public opinion or make it?

- August 27 - Dr Barry Kay, Associate Professor of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University, says that there is sort of an 'obsession on the part of the media with polling and I don't think it can be easily ignored. Are there flaws? Absolutely. It's a matter of knowing how to judge'.

'People should be mindful of the fact that the polling industry has changed; getting information by telephone is so much more difficult than it used to be with cell phones now'. When using the traditional telephone polling only 1 of 5 people who are contacted agree to participate. There have been many changes in technology that some say online polling will be the wave of the future.

The Obama and McCain polling may be steady now, but there is still two more months left till the elections. People who are not so interested with the polling will wait till the first Presidential debate on September 26th to make their decision.

The role of the media in public opinion is enormous. Right now the television news seems like an echo chamber. It echoes the advertisement campaigns but never takes into account if the information is correct. Dr. Barry Kay comments that 'media focuses on polls because it entertains and amuses the audience'.

'In general people who do not vote do not participate in polls, the problem is some people who do vote do not participate in polls either'. However generally, the polls on average are pretty good.

Watch the full story on The Real News Network:


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