Polls: How the math is figured matters

By · Wednesday, February 19th, 2020

not teaching,
still THINKING …

Political polling is in full force, and it brings to mind the importance of knowing the difference between percent and percentage point. These terms do not mean the same thing. Using one instead of the other will alter the accuracy of the information.

Here is an example and an explanation:

Consider a $90,000 home assessed at a tax rate of 2 percent of the full value of the home.

When following coverage of poll numbers as they rise and fall, read and listen carefully when percent and percentage points are mentioned. You know the difference. And, should someone misuse one for the other, you will know that, too.

(These two profs are no longer teaching at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, but we are still thinking.)

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