Incredibly poor news judgment shown by the editors of the Wall Street Journal Online. This story‘s headline reads: “Poll Shows Strong Public Support For Range of Health Practices.” One of these health practices is a 75 percent support for universal health care, the message touted in the email alerting me to the poll.
But, the poll was conducted online — presumbably by computer users who chose to log on and answer the questions. By no means does this represent a statistically representative sample of the “public.” (Very little detail was given regarding the collection of the poll, but online surveys as a rule can’t be called representative because no attempt at getting a cross-section of the public is made.)
The fact that the editors chose to make this into a news story either shows (a) their bias in favor of universal health care or (b) their illiteracy in reading polling data. At the very least, the story should point out that the poll isn’t representative. And the headline shouldn’t have the word “public” in it.