A footnote on the footnote

In “A footnote on the Newsweek poll,” I provided reader Greg Nesmith’s breakdown of the party affiliation of the Newsweek poll respondents. The party affiliation of the respondents is not apparent on the linked page from Polling Report.com. Greg has written to clarify the calculations he performed in arriving at the party breakdown of the poll respondents:

I did it algebraically. I’m sorry if I implied otherwise. The 1st column is Bush, 2nd is Kerry, 3rd is Nader, and 4th is undecided:
Republicans 90 7 1 2
Democrats 8 86 1 5
Independents 39 45 7 9
Apply the percentages to the above breakdown and you get the split. The only reason this wouldn’t work would be if there was a group that didn’t identify themselves as GOP, Dems or Independents (and I can’t imagine that) and Newsweek did not provide that data. Applying the calculated percentages:
Bush = 30% x 90 + 38.5% x 8 + 31.5% x 39 = 42.365
Kerry = 30% x 7 + 38.5% x 86 + 31.5% x 45 = 49.385
Nader = 30% x 1 + 38.5% x 1 + 31.5% x 7 = 2.89
Undecided = 30% x 2 + 38.5% x 5 + 31.5% x 9 = 5.36
Rounding those off, you get the same overall result that Newsweek got, Kerry 49, Bush 42, Nader 3 and Undecided 6. Well, okay, the undecideds are a little bit short, but the actual breakdown may be a little different.
Okay, I did it with a spreadsheet this time, and the breakdown is:
Republicans 29%
Democrats 36.5%
Independents 34.5%
As you can see, the Dems were still overpolled. Sorry it wasn’t completely accurate the first time. I am an engineer my trade. “Close enough” is often our mantra. Ha!

Put this in the category mentioned by Rocket Man below: Our readers do the work.


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