A short while ago there was a post here on Paulitics which analyzed what I saw to be a discrepancy between the Ipsos Reid polling firm’s data and every other polling firms’ data. That post elicited a somewhat condescending and ad hominem response from John Wright, the senior vice president of Ipsos Reid.
Despite the profoundly unprofessional tone of this comment, this blog issued a detailed, statistical, and fully-sourced response addressing not only each one of Mr. Wright’s utterances, but also posited even further evidence to back up the initial argument that there is a statistically significant discrepancy between Ipsos Reid’s numbers for the Conservative and New Democratic parties and every other polling firm’s numbers for those parties. This response was in three parts and can be viewed at each of the urls below:
After an initial non-response from Mr. Wright to these three statistical analyses of his firm’s data, Mr. Wright has now offered his only quasi-substantive retort to date. His response merits quotation to fully appreciate it:
I don’t need to clarify anything. My initial response was correct and I stand by it. In fact, the assertion of how I somehow didn’t calculate the right average is absurd. 20 years in the business and we do $200 Million a year in Canada alone…all I can say is that he seems to have a great deal of time on his hands to burn through a lot of graphs and charts and, well, whatever…and by the way, EKOS and us have pretty much the exact numbers out in the last 48 hours with the Liberals in front by a point.
What I wrote previously still stands…despite all the charts and graphs and arrows and calculations, what I put up is entirely accurate.
You really should get your own polling company and test out your ideas.
So his response to the overwhelming mass of data presented here is three-fold:
- He attempts to push the well-known logical fallacy of an argument from authority
– (“In fact, the assertion of how I somehow didn’t calculate the right average is absurd. 20 years in the business and we do $200 Million a year in Canada alone.”)
– (“You really should get your own polling company and test out your ideas.”)
- He then attempts to engage in an ad hominem attack against me. The irony here is that his ad hominem attack is based on his belief that I have done too much research into this matter. Presumably, if I’d just started spouting off about something without backing it up with a detailed, statistical, and fully-sourced response, Mr. Wright could then have charged that I was naïve and relying on unsourced assertions that had no statistical validity.
– (“all I can say is that he seems to have a great deal of time on his hands to burn through a lot of graphs and charts and, well, whatever.”)
- He then uses the profoundly unstatistical argument that his initial support for his firm’s data is still reasonable because one of his firm’s latest data points (for the Liberal Party, no less, which was never even a subject of any analysis I’ve ever done of his firm’s data) is very similar to one datapoint for the Ekos polling firm.
– (“and by the way, EKOS and us have pretty much the exact numbers out in the last 48 hours with the Liberals in front by a point.”)
As always, I remain interested in getting to the bottom of the kind of descrepancies we have been seeing. So, if Mr. Wright would like to issue a substantive response to the actual data and arguments presented here, I would greatly welcome it.