Guest post by Tom M.
I read your interesting take on the Steadman polls (creative arithmetic) and decided to offer a another perspective. I hope you publish it.
Have a nice day
Opinion Polls and Voter Programming
The latest SM opinion poll showing convergence in the popularity of the two leading presidential hopefuls represents voter programming at its hilarious worst. It is voter programming equivalent of scraping the barrel.
It's a long story, walk with me to Tena Hq and learn. PNU's original strategy was to use SM to malleate Kenyans into a Kibaki-win mindset by having them buy into the "credibility" of SM polls. The strategy was simple, set Raila up with good initial ratings then whittle them away by gradually cranking up Kibaki's "popularity". It was a no brainer; I mean everyone knew Raila's electability was inversely proportional to the square of the distance from his Nyanza homeland? I mean seriously, this was grown up stuff, not the referendum!
Unfortunately for the PNU brainiacs, Raila turned out to be electable after all. So much so the tide poured across six provincial borders and threatened a seventh! And just when they thought it couldn't get any worse, rogue pollsters firmly buried any notion that Raila was unelectable. Caught between questionable statistics and damaging press, SM opted for "science." They blamed their drastically different poll ratings on a new data collection method "it made the opinion poll "more â€˜reflective."
Finally out of ideas, and with panic dancing a frenzied jig at Tena Hq, PNU strategists called in the butchers. It was brutal. Screams could be heard all the way to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics as the butchers got down to work. When it was over, the numbers and computations lay in a gruesome mangled mess, spluttered across tens of pages. Early the next morning cleaners from Normalization Ltd. came and hosed-down and fumigated the pages.
They did their job well, but not well enough, for when the "latest" opinion poll was presented to Kenyans an amazing thing happened; from deep within the muddled recesses of the poll, plaintive cries for help could be heard. For in the midst of the violence and the number-spluttered mayhem that was the SM poll, some original statistics had survived! Their brave story of survival reflects our tenacious spirit and absolute determination to make a break with the past.