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Gray Ladies Don’t Do Math, But They Can “Click-Bait”

Today’s NY Times coverage of the presidential campaign goes with “Hillary Clinton Widens Lead over Donald Trump in Poll”.


Which is interesting, especially when we get to the math.

The CNN/ORC poll, released Wednesday morning, shows Mrs. Clinton with 54 percent of respondents’ support, compared with 41 percent for Mr. Trump, a lead that is one percentage point above her showing in a similar survey in March.

So Hillary picked up “one percentage point” above the previous poll, the basis for the headline about the widening lead.

Which sounds good, until we get to the disclaimer at the bottom of the article.

The CNN/ORC poll of 1,001 adults had a margin of sampling error of 3.5 percentage points.

So the 1% bump is statistically meaningless, and the article’s premise is false.

The headline is unquestionably written as ‘click-bait‘, and while I know the Times is trying hard to expand their on-line profitability, there must be better ways.

I really expect more from “The Paper of Record”.




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