Viewpoint - March 24, 2010

Letter: Questions were the key to Bohannon survey

While the Bohannon poll reported in last week's Almanac may not have been a "push poll," it is well known that poll results are extremely sensitive to the exact wording of the questions.

The fact that the polling organization would not provide The Almanac with a copy of the exact questions and responses suggests that the wording was, in fact, designed to favor certain responses. Indeed, given that the poll was initiated by a party with a large stake in the outcome (David Bohannon), he would have been foolish (which Mr. Bohannon is not) not to attempt to sway the outcome in this way.

I applaud The Almanac for seeking to improve the transparency of the poll. I urge the Menlo Park City Council to disregard the results of this poll, and any poll, unless at a minimum they are provided with a written copy of the exact questions and responses, and can carefully consider how the wording may have affected the results.

L. Peter Deutsch

Santa Margarita Avenue, Menlo Park


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