[Publisher’s Note: As part of an ongoing effort to bring original, thoughtful commentary to you here at the FlashReport, we are pleased to present this column from Arnold Steinberg.]
Only ten candidates will participate in the first Republican presidential debate, ten days away, hosted by Fox News in Cleveland. The remaining six may be awarded a lesser debate, an improvement over excluding them entirely.
The decision is based on the placement in averaging five recent polls. It’s still unclear which polls will be selected. But we do know that these polls have different sample sizes. Further, the number of actual Republican registered voters likely to vote in the primary election is only in the 150-300 range for each survey, with a substantial margin of statistical error – perhaps plus or minus five to eight percent, and that doesn’t even count non-sampling error. For example, the surveys have different methodologies and even ask the ballot question differently. Most do not even indicate whether the candidate is a governor or senator. Reading just the names of the sixteen candidates favors those candidates… Read More