Parsing the Polls: Des Moines Register Confirms Cruz-Trump Tie in Iowa

By Carney, Timothy P. | Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, January 13, 2016 | Go to article overview

Parsing the Polls: Des Moines Register Confirms Cruz-Trump Tie in Iowa


Carney, Timothy P., Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The


Yesterday, three polls came out showing Donald Trump leading in Iowa, with Ted Cruz two-four points behind. These followed two earlier Iowa surveys showing Cruz four points ahead of Trump.

Today, The Des Moines Register released a poll showing Cruz three points ahead of Trump.

Here's what this does not mean: It does not mean that the lead is see-sawing back and forth. No one poll can really tell you the lay of the land, especially if it's close. Here's a very quick lesson on poll-reading.

The "margin of error" on the DMR poll is +/- 4 percent. Simplistically, that means that on questions where the answers are around 50/50, the pollsters say that they are 95 percent certain that their results are within four points of the actual results. On these lower results -- such as Cruz's 25 percent -- the MoE is probably smaller. …

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