How to read a Poll.

This story was originally published on August 23, 2012, and was written by me, with considerable editorial help by my Father, Professor Raymond L. Johnson, retired Professor of Mathematics.

First, you need a basic understanding of how statistics work.

The first thing a Pollster does before taking a poll is create a model.

Next, you have to look at the sample size.

How the Poll is gathered matters.

State Polls are more important than National Polls.

How the questions are asked matters.

The individual ups and downs of poll don’t matter. All that matters is the trendline.

Finally, remember the main thing: only one poll matters, the one in November.