Thursday, October 02, 2008In the midst of all my joy in seeing McCain's poll numbers collapse, I noted the following question from CBS:
When the candidates make decisions, do they....? Act too quickly, Not quickly enough, Don't know.
The results were Obama "act too quickly" 23%, "not quickly enough" 41%. For McCain "act too quickly" 45%, "not quickly enough" 29%.
CBS did report those respondents who said that the candidates made decisions at the "right speed", but only if the respondent volunteered that answer.
I've been doing a lot of reading about polling lately, and I can say this is a very bad question. There's is no prompt for a middle of the road answer, so you're forcing respondents to choose between dichotomous decisions that they may not really have. Perhaps the polling firm was concerned that people would over-load onto the middle position (which respondents do have a tendency to do), but still - I think this is a very poorly constructed question.