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Pollsters: Don't Trust Us to Shrink the GOP Field

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By    |   Monday, 05 Oct 2015 07:35 AM

After CNBC announced the guidelines for the third GOP debate on Oct. 28, pollsters are saying they're blinder than ever to trends in public thinking and the networks should not trust their numbers to winnow the Republican field, Politico reports.

"Polls are being used to do a job that they're really not intended for — and they're not as qualified for as they used to be," Cliff Zukin, a professor at Rutgers University and past president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research told Politico.

Zukin added that most Americans are hard to reach by phone and others are unwilling to participate in surveys, making polling increasingly unreliable.

"It's like asking a scale that can only tell pounds to measure ounces," Zukin said. "They're just not that finely calibrated ... I think polls can do a good job talking about tiers of candidates in name recognition. That's all that polls can do. But they can't tell the difference between Bobby Jindal, who's not in the debate, and Chris Christie, who is."

Republican presidential candidates will have to poll at least 2.5 percent during the five preceding weeks to qualify for CNBC's Oct. 28 prime-time debate, the cable network said.

But the new criteria is getting a lot of blowback including from Brad Todd, a senior adviser to a super PAC backing Jindal, who is at only 0.5 percent. "Using early national polls — especially the ones with very small sample sizes and questionable methodologies — to impair or hold back candidates separated by 1 or 2 percent is just irresponsible," he told Politico.

Pollsters added that networks are using a flawed science to judge who is in the race, and they need to stop to maintain fairness, Politico reports.

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After CNBC announced the guidelines for the third GOP debate on Oct. 28, pollsters are saying they're blinder than ever to trends in public thinking and the networks should not trust their numbers to winnow the Republican field, Politico reports.
pollsters, gop, field, polls
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2015-35-05
Monday, 05 Oct 2015 07:35 AM
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