It is interesting that he is ahead, but of course the quoted reporter does not understand sampling error.

Because Webbâ€™s edge is equal to the margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points, it means the Democrat can be considered slightly ahead.

No, becaue his estimated lead is equal to the margin of error, we can’t say for sure that either is ahead, however slightly. In fact, the percentages of the candidates could actually be exactly the opposite!

Comment by MSS — Tuesday, October 31, 2006 @ 3:27 pm

Indeed.

I should have clipped that sentence or explained the error.

Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Tuesday, October 31, 2006 @ 3:30 pm

It is interesting that he is ahead, but of course the quoted reporter does not understand sampling error.

Because Webbâ€™s edge is equal to the margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points, it means the Democrat can be considered slightly ahead.No, becaue his estimated lead is equal to the margin of error, we can’t say for sure that either is ahead, however slightly. In fact, the percentages of the candidates could actually be exactly the opposite!

Comment by MSS — Tuesday, October 31, 2006 @ 3:27 pm

Indeed.

I should have clipped that sentence or explained the error.

Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Tuesday, October 31, 2006 @ 3:30 pm