Alternate Reality

National Poll Reveals Pollsters Split Evenly Between ‘Don’t Know’ and ‘None of the Above’

We just conducted the first-ever national poll of national pollsters. Here’s what those nosy bastards really think. An eSarcasm exclusive.

By (@tynanwrites)

October 24, 2012

The story you're about to read is not (entirely) true. It is, however, more accurate than most things on network television.

It’s official: There are now more political pollsters in this country than there are people left to be polled.

Who are these pollsters? What do they think? What do they eat? Do they ever sleep? And why are they such nosy bastards?

We decided to find out. So we conducted a random drunk-dialing sample of 1,087 adult pollsters between the dates of Oct 22 and 23. The respondents included pollsters from Harris, Gallup, Pew, Rasmussen, Zogby, Ipsos, PPP, Marist, SurveyUSA, and 347 others – even that unhinged whackjob at Unscrewed Polls. The poll had a sampling error rate of +- 4 percent and sales tax of 6.5 percent.

Not surprisingly, the eSarc Pollster Poll (EPP) reveals an extraordinarily tight race. For example, just over 48 percent of pollsters favor ending multiple-choice questions with “None of the above,” while an equal number prefer “Don’t know” or “Don’t care.” Three percent of pollsters refused to answer the question, saying they didn’t know and/or didn’t care.

In addition, we found that 42 percent like to brag about the size of their polls, 39 percent say it’s not the size of the polls but the sampling technique that matters, and 17 percent had to have this joke explained to them.

What follows are the topline results. For a more in-depth look at the questions and responses, click here.

Naturally, because all pollsters are statistics geeks, we asked them questions about their sex lives:

  • 26% have never touched a member of the opposite sex
  • 47% have touched a member of the opposite sex, but only while the other person was sleeping
  • 4% have experienced actual sex, plus or minus 4%
  • 23% have nicknamed their naughty bits “margin of error”

It turns out that most pollsters are just a little bit kinky:

  • 37% are sexually aroused by the words “bubble test”
  • 63% keep a sharpened No. 2 pencil with them at all times
  • 46% keep a sharpened No. 2 pencil in their anus
  • 17% are pissed off there was no “none of the above” option for this question

We asked them about how satisfied they were with their jobs and if they enjoy toiling in relative obscurity.

  • 42% have a poster-sized photo of 538 blogger Nate Silver on their walls
  • 19% are secretly plotting to murder Nate Silver and take over his gig at the New York Times
  • 38% know they could do as goddamn good a job as Nate Silver if only someone would give them a goddamn chance
  • 0.1% are Nate Silver

Like normal humans, even pollsters like to have a little fun on the job:

  • 17% like to ask female poll respondents what they’re wearing right now
  • 22% have left a flaming bag of dog poo on people’s doorsteps
  • 34% conduct phone polls using a fake Scottish accent, like Fat Bastard in the Austin Powers movies
  • 0.1% conduct phone polls while laying in a bathtub filled with butterscotch pudding*

* Yep, it’s that Unscrewed polls guy. But you knew that already.

There is one thing, however, that all of the pollsters we polled agreed on. On Wednesday, November 7, 100 percent of them will be unemployed. And for that, we are all deeply grateful.

Mountain graph image courtesy of GraphJam.

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