Take With A Grain Of Salt: Polls Cover The Gamut

Some people are scratching their heads today after two separate polls tracking the race for Colorado Governor come up with opposite results.

Two polls released yesterday on the Colorado Gubernatorial Race show markedly different results. A KUSA 9–news poll shows Democrat Bill Ritter with a 17–point lead over Republican Bob Beauprez, but another poll released by Zogby–Wall Street Journal shows a margin of less than three percentage points difference between the two candidates.

A Mesa State College statistics professor says if one poll is drastically different from others it probably should be discounted--and most show Ritter with a substantial lead. But he says whatever the numbers, the quality of the results depend on how the poll is done, including the type of question asked and the number of people questioned.

Dr.Jerry Moorman says polls do matter and can affect the outcome of an election, especially when there is a large number of undecided and unaffiliated voters.