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Wednesday, January 11, 2006


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Matthew Shugart

Dan, I was wondering where you had gone! Welcome back.

On this poll, it is unfortunate that the polling company, even at the PDF you can download on their methodology, says nothing about the sample (other than its size).

It is very common for pollsters in developing countries to avoid rural areas and poll only in the cities. Naturally, in countries where the rural areas are much more traditional and/or under the sway of local armed groups (as is very much the case in many parts of Afghanistan), a sample that does not contain a representative proportion of rural respondents may be skewed.

I have no idea whether this might be the case with this poll, because they do not tell the public how they sampled. Take any poll that does not describe its sampling methods with several large grains of salt, especially if it is of a developing country, and even more so if it is of a war-torn country.

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