Friday, January 06, 2006

One More Reason To Ignore Polls 

I read this Haaretz story with interest to see how polls were predicting Prime Minister Sharon's strokes would affect the upcoming Israeli elections:

Ariel Sharon's party, Kadima, will easily beat its closest competitors, the Likud and th Labor Party, even without Sharon at its helm, according to a survey conducted Thursday for Haaretz and Channel 10.

If elections were held Thursday, a Kadima headed by Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would win win 40 Knesset seats, according to the poll, conducted by the Dialog company under the supervision of Prof. Camil Fuchs.

Should Tzipi Livni step into Sharon's shoes, Kadima would get 38 Knesset seats. Were Vice Premier Shimon Peres to take over leadership of the party, Kadima would win 42 seats - exactly the number of seats it would have garnered four days ago, when Sharon was still healthy.
I'm stunned by any poll that would predict a Peres-led Kadima is electorally equivalent to one led by Ariel Sharon. My first reaction is just to snort derisively, reject this and all polls, and then hunker down to wait for three months until the final nationwide poll tells us the answer. But there is a puzzle-loving part of me that can't resist trying to understand how this result could have been achieved. Here are the only ideas I can come up with -- let me know if you have your own:
Obviously, this isn't the last word on the subject.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: