Notes that the Pollsters have disclosed
that large Segments of the Electorate
confess ignorance of many Political
Questions, and asks why the Pollsters
ignore this when they announce the
results of Polls.
FROM TIME to time, polling organizations ask questions in order to find out how much information a sample—and thus the population or the electorate—may have on certain persons or policies. They also detect areas of ignorance through "filter questions" that are designed to discover whether the person interviewed comprehends what he is being asked about.
"One that has been found particularly useful in connection with proposed legislation,"writes Dr. Gallup,
"is this: 'Have you heard or read about the proposal to . . . ?' The person who has neither heard nor read about a bill before Congress, obviously is not equipped to give an opinion about it."1 With this conclusion everyone will agree, but Dr. Gallup sometimes ignores it.
A yes answer may not be evidence of the respondent's competence. "Further questioning is necessary to establish his knowledge or lack of it." Indeed the lack____________________