The Trouble With Surveys

I received this survey from Diana Degette in one of her regular newsletters. It’s designed so poorly that you have to ask yourself “who would consider the results from this survey seriously?” Well, politicians would, that’s who.

You can ask a simple yes/no question on a survey, but the responses need to be yes and no. With this survey, both yes and no come with qualifiers that distort the true meaning of yes and no relative to the question asked. By including subjective qualifiers, the range of possible answers grows well beyond what’s presented and clearly skews any results received.

I answered “I do not know” just to see what the results looked like, but clicking through only took me to a thank you message. Where are the real time results? Oh, right, this is politics. You wouldn’t want to show the results since they may not project the bias you wish to impart. Of course, with the responses given, any results are biased toward DeGette’s viewpoint.

On top of all this, hitting the submit button automatically signed me up to get future mailings. That’s just wrong. Please don’t conflate a survey response with an affirmative decision on my part to sign up for your mailing list.

I’m now wondering, since the survey is flawed, whether the rest of the content in her mailings is also flawed. Can I trust Diana DeGette? Hmmm…