avatar
Is Reuters Allowed to Report More than One Pollster’s Results?


Reuters’ Caracas folks write as if they’ve been told that only Datanalisis poll results can be reported.

Datanalisis is an opposition aligned pollster. Its director, Luis Vicente Leon, regularly criticizes Maduro’s government in pages of El Universal. Diego Ore of Reuters says that, according to Datanalisis, support for the government has “inched” up to 25%. He describes Datanalisis as a “leading” pollster. At the end of the article, Diego Ore concedes that opinion polls in Venezuela are “divergent and controversial” but justifies one-sided reporting of Datanalisis by saying it is “one of the most closely watched and respected”.

Reuters doesn’t actually report as if Datanalisis were “one of” the most closely watched. It reports as if it were the ONLY one worth mentioning.

To get beyond subjective and politicized claims about who is “respected”, consider the chart below. It shows biases based on election results from 2004-2012.

 

Note that Hinterlaces had a slightly larger anti-government bias than Datanalisis over that period. The analysis that produced this chart (explained by CEPR here) is based on comparing each pollster’s findings just before elections to the actual election results.

Hinterlaces just reported that the government approval rating has surged 9 points over the past three weeks and that it now stands at 40%.

Reading much into polls so far from the upcoming parliamentary elections is foolish as I explained here, but there is absolutely no objective reason for Reuters to assume that Datanalisis is the only pollsters whose results are worth reporting.

Leave a comment