Polls: All black or white with few shades of gray

October 03, 2012

Polling surveys all seem to ask black or white questions that leave little or no room for grays. Take the gambling survey used your recent article "Poll finds support for same-sex marriage, but not gambling" (Sept. 29).

I think the question on gambling should have been a bit broader. For example, instead of simply asking "would you vote for expanded gambling Maryland," the survey might have asked "would you vote for allowing table games in Maryland casinos?" Or simply "does Maryland need another casino?"

One could clearly be for the first (table games) and not the second (another casino).

Once that's established, surveys could tackle the other claims, such as "is this measure really about more jobs or is it just about more money for the usual suspects — education, fire and police services?"

I always like to know who commissioned, designed and paid for the surveys published in the media.

Peter Bell, Monkton

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