| June 27, 2006
Nearly two-thirds of Americans support health courts.
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Let’s be accurate here.
This particular Harris Interactive poll involved 2,583 American adults age 18 and older.
The responses were:62 percent – in favor of special health courts17 percent – not in favor21 percent – don’t know
62 percent of a sampling of fewer than 2,600 people does *not* constitute two-thirds of Americans. It is only representative of that particular survey sample, although reasonable individuals might be able to extrapolate to a wider population.
Also, the poll was conducted in March 2003. Not exactly ancient history, but it’s hardly “recent” either.
So anon 6:03, it appears that you are against health courts. So why would you want to maintain the status quo? Do you have any good reason(s)?
Anon 6:03:For the last 50 plus years sampling using representative populations is how we have been polling. It is the best we have short of polling every person on every issue (clearly not feasable) and has been shown to be accurate (with a standard deviation) for the most part. Of course you could always try to get the largest population possible in a poll, but as Truman/Dewey found out back in 1948, that is not nearly as accurate as representative populations. Seems to me like you are reaching based on your own bias.
It all depends upon how the questions in the poll are written. For example, sometimes an interviewer will read two statements and then ask people which statement they agree with more. If a person responds that they do not agree with either statement, they are asked, “But, which do you agree with more,” making them choose an answer. What ends up being reported is that X percent of Americans believe statement A. When in fact that is not what people are saying.
Incidentally, I support health courts. I just happened to have worked for one of these major polling organizations in my younger years so without knowing the wording of the questions it’s impossible to determine the credibility of the survey. Things have changed since the Truman/Dewey polling days.
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