Friday, December 18, 2015

PolitiFact and opt-in polling

On Dec. 9, 2015, PolitiFact doled out a "Mostly False" to Donald Trump.

Trump had cited an opt-in poll that found about 25 percent of American* Muslims think it may be okay to commit violent acts against Americans in the name of jihad. PolitiFact found it improper to report the results of the poll:
Trump is referring to a poll conducted by the Center for Security Policy. However, polling experts raise numerous questions about the validity of the poll’s results, including its "opt-in" methodology and the dubiously large percentages of respondents who said they were unaware of ISIS or al-Qaida. Moreover, an official with the Center for Security Policy cautioned against generalizing the poll results to the entire Muslim-American community.
So, the opt-in methodology makes poll results suspect?

Is PolitiFact consistent on that point?
PolitiFact and PunditFact will soon announce our Lie of the Year -- the most significant falsehood of 2015, as chosen by our editors and reporters. We're also inviting PolitiFact readers to vote for the Readers' Choice award.

Here are our 11 finalists and a link to our survey so you can vote for your favorite. We accept write-ins. We also have a mobile-friendly version of this survey.
Does PolitiFact claim or imply that its "Reader's Choice" award accurately reflects the opinion of its readers?


*Though the poll surveyed American Muslims, Trump did not mention that aspect of the poll when he made his claim. PolitiFact apparently found the words Trump chose unimportant when it fact checked his claim.

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