A Consumer's Guide to the Polls
Read the ingredients before you buy.
Updated Thursday, Oct. 28, 2004, at 5:31 PM
May weight your vote differently based on your: Race, sex, age, education.
Adjusts results to fit expected party shares of electorate:No.
Publishes entire questionnaire with results: No.
Screens people out based on past failure to vote: Yes.
Raises these questions before asking whom you'd vote for: None.
Presses undecideds to pick a candidate: Yes.
Average boost from pressing, last three samples: Bush +2.63, Kerry +1.97.
Disclosure of boost factor: Unpublished but available to media on request.
May weight your vote differently based on your: Race, sex, age, education, region.
Adjusts results to fit expected party shares of electorate: Yes, in principle; no, in practice. The poll's partisan breakdown has not yet veered more than four points from what ICR considers "appropriate balance." If it does, ICR may adjust it.
Will Saletan covers science, technology, and politics for Slate and says a lot of things that get him in trouble.
David Kenner is a former Slate intern.
Louisa Thomas is on the editorial staff of The New Yorker.
Illustration by Mark Alan Stamaty.