Nation: POLLS: Confusing and Exaggerated

POLITICAL poll taking in recent years has proved considerably more reliable than oneiromancy, haruspication or the casting of rune stones. George Gallup has erred in his election polls by only 1.5% since 1954. Yet last week, Gallup and Louis Harris published such divergent interpretations of the preconvention G.O.P. standings that Gallup's son and partner, George Jr., admitted that the psephologists were facing "a credibility-gap problem."

Gallup's survey showed Richard Nixon defeating both Hubert Humphrey and Eugene McCarthy for the presidency. If the election took place at the time of the poll, Nixon...

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