Polling Primer

One topic we've been getting a number of questions about is polling. Many people just don't trust polls, sometimes with good reason: So called "push polls," as well as some polls from partisan groups, have been used to influence people instead of reflect their true beliefs. Even pollsters with the best intensions can arrive at different results, because polling is an inexact science and different polling outfits apply different methodologies to produce their data.

We're going to be delving into questions about polling quite a bit here at Public Eye, in order to give readers a better sense of why the polls come out the way they do. We've already posted a poll question here about how people rated media coverage of Katrina. Now we want to share with you this introduction to polling issues, written by the CBS News polling unit, which addresses some frequent questions about CBS News polls. You can click here to read it. And stay tuned for more polling items from PE in the coming days.