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Politics Podcast: Not All Polls Are Created Equal

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Politics Podcast: Not All Polls Are Created Equal

Politics Podcast: Not All Polls Are Created Equal

Politics Podcast: Not All Polls Are Created Equal

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/463628465/463632306" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

An unscientific poll: Iowa's corn poll, where visitors casts their vote with a kernels of corn. Paul Sancya/AP hide caption

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Paul Sancya/AP

An unscientific poll: Iowa's corn poll, where visitors casts their vote with a kernels of corn.

Paul Sancya/AP

Ever scratch your head over political polls that seem to be looking at similar questions — say, how a candidate might do in Iowa — but predict wildly different outcomes?

Polls drive so much of the political news coverage you see and hear. Lots of politics and media reporters follow those polls and report on them — but they don't always explain where they came from, how they were conducted, or why exactly they're so important in the first place.

To Nate Cohn, reporter with The New York Times' The Upshot, not all polls are created equal. In fact, very few are worth your time. He joined NPR's Tamara Keith and Danielle Kurtzleben on the NPR Politics Podcast to talk about political polls, the methodology behind them, and which ones can actually tell us something about the race for the White House.