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Jan 31, 2008

Data collector describes poll’s methodology

Story PictureBut aside from any possible political contamination, real or imagined, the question of the poll’s methodology has not gone unchallenged. The biggest criticism is that of sampling. Unlike the SPEAR poll, which selected phone numbers at random, the Iyo/Cayetano pollsters simply approached people in various localities to which they were assigned. At Monday’s presentation Reynaldo Guerrero of the Belize Institute of Management, who was one of the data collectors in the Belize District, explained how he went about his work.

Reynaldo Guerrero, Data Collector
“We did not knock on doors, that’s number one. But basically as we drove around the village, apparently on a Sunday people like to sit under a coconut, coconut tree or a mango tree or under trees. And so we found people just relaxing, lounging and it worked out very well. In no case was “the first person”, there was an attempt to just drive around and you kinda get the feel that you’re comfortable with this. We found women washing, we found women hanging out. One of the things we deliberately did was when we had a sample, let’s in one village; three females, we kinda say “okay no more females, lets do some males”. So we try to balance it like that. We also did not do any polling at any place where there was a definite preference for a candidate. In terms if we saw a blue and white flag or we saw another flag, definatley those were not polled.”

Critics of that technique say that it leaves the door too open to bias, conscious, subconscious or unconscious, on the part of the data collector and the subjects.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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