Friday, September 11, 2015

Polling That Conflicts

A couple of weeks ago.....the political show "Politbarometer" which appears on ZDF (Channel Two of the state-run TV empire).....did up a poll asking if Germans felt the immigration episode was acceptable.  Their poll at the time was eighty-percent in favor of the current refugee program in Germany, with twenty-percent negative.

Today, there's a ARD poll for another political chat show (Channel One of the state-run TV empire), which asked the question if Germans felt safe around the new immigrates or refugees.  The result was 61-percent feeling safe, and 39-percent who felt unsafe.  Naturally, they wanted you to know that it was big difference between former east Germany and the western side of the country (43-percent of the easties said they felt unsafe, while 36-percent of the westies felt unsafe).

When you look at the two polls....while the questions are slightly different in wording....it's a big difference.  One poll tries to say that the massive bulk of German society is accepting the situation......the other poll asks about the safety factor and you top out at roughly sixty-percent.  That's a twenty-point difference....which is a fairly big difference if you sit and ponder upon the numbers game (the draw of a poll in the first place).

ARD didn't finish at that question though....they asked a second question....has your life changed since the immigration or refugee crisis begun? Eighty-one percent said nothing had changed....life was the same.  Roughly seventeen percent said some small element of their life had changed.....although there's no listing as to how.  One might be curious what these people felt.  Then they came to the crowd who said they were absolutely affected in a negative way.....totaling roughly two-percent (an awful low number).

I looked at the polling data that ARD used.....roughly 1,020 people.  It's probably a decent poll, but they don't explain where in the country or percentages from state to state that were involved.  It should be noted that the polling took place between 7 and 9 PM.

As for commentary under the ARD page with the story?  Well, that's an interesting piece as well.  The moderators allowed roughly seventy comments so far....of which I'd say about ninety-percent are negative about the use of the poll....questioning the methods used to produce the poll.....and saying that among their neighbors, it's a big difference from their view of things.

Near the end of the commentary area...was this one comment that concerned the 1.5 million illiterate German people and how they probably weren't approached or used for the polling data.  Years ago, I had a professor for a German history class that got into the brief discussion of illiteracy in Germany.  On the books....Germans usually say that it's like one-tenth of one-percent of the nation which is illiterate....meaning unable to read or comprehend.  Generally, if you set the posts higher and simply asked how many Germans read or comprehend below the fifth-grade level....it might be near one percent (I won't cite reports or studies, but simply the act of walking around and observing the public at large).  I might suggest that it's better off that you don't use the illiterate crowd in surveys because it'd really screw up the final product or acceptance of the data.

The impact of these polling episodes?  The news folks believe that it's reinforcing the message that they are sending out.  The real poll?  In March of 2016, there's three state elections in Germany, and it'll be curious how the three play out.  If the AfD folks came out with a harsh view of the refugee episode and thirty-one percent of a state's voters went to them.....it'd really flip the narrative of the state-run news media.  You'd have to spend days and days explaining how this occurred and the potential difference in what they've been saying for months.

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