Poll: 2004 Election Was Stolen
Rob Kall describes a survey his Op-Ed News conducted along with Zogby Polling* that found that Americans who watched any network other than Fox News overwhelmingly thought the 2004 presidential election was stolen.
Given that a majority of voters voted for George W. Bush in 2004–a fact that nobody disputes–the results initially struck me as initially implausible. This is even true given that the overwhelming number of Republicans that watch network news choose Fox and Democrats tend to watch CNN or one of the old line network shows.
Upon looking at the sampling methodology, I understood:
Zogby International conducted interviews of 707 likely voters online. Panelists who have agreed to participate in Zogby polls online were invited to participate in the survey. The online poll ran from 5/9/06 through 5/10/06. The margin of error is +/- 3.8 percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups. Slight weights were added to party, age, race, religion, and gender to more accurately reflect the population.
So, this was a self-selected online survey. Not exactly a random sample.
*Disclaimer: My wife is a VP at Public Opinion Strategies, a polling company that employs random sampling with useful results.