Browsing Reddit, I’ll often come across political posts, and polls from various sub-reddits on the main page, advertising that such a percentage of voters feel such and such way about an individual. Today, I came across a quick heading that 50% of voters feel if Donald Trump was re-elected, they’ll feel less safe. Initially, when you’re quickly browsing through a mass of posts, you often tend to look at the number of comments and votes a post has to feel if it has any form of validity.
This particular post, at the time, had over 200 comments, with 1.4k upvotes. That seems quite reasonably enough to figure that it’s a decently held statistic they’re more than likely stating — checked out with the article linked, too. However, digging further into the specifics revealed a deeper understanding of these forms of polls, and what they’re capable of.
The University that conducted this poll shared publicly, yet buried deeply, the number of participants for this specific poll to conduct their outcomes of these questions, revealing that only a little over 100 people participated.
The specific question in mind, if you’d feel more or less safe with Donald Trump being re-elected, had a whopping 88 democratic votes of “less safe”, to 58 republican votes of “more safe”, with a few independent, and misc votes thrown in.
The statistics, however, was a 50% between the roughly over 100 people that participated in that singular question out of the 20+ they had polled on. With viewing Reddit, and finding such a statistic being published and making it to the front page of that platform with the amount of positive feedback, it’s alarming that such a “poll”, if we can call it one, has an affect when it’s merely a quick statistic that most are not willing to research.
A majority of pollsters that widespread media groups use today are primarily comprised of 1,000 participants per poll, and then released to the public with a attention grabbing heading that makes you feel that’s the bulk majority of american participating in that poll. You’ll often hear “…50% of American’s believe…..”, yet, it’s only a percentage of less than 0.00031% of the population in America.
It’s essentially our responsibility to ensure that we’re not comprised of social media perspectives and opinions, and validate through our own research to the source of information. As America is under protest and heavy critique today, it’s easier to go with the flow instead of basing what you’re fighting against and for with facts.