Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
In the last six weeks before the election you will be inundated with polls and you may not pay much attention to the fine print.
That's the language -- the bottom of the graphic that explains who is survey.
And the margin of error and those boxes -- -- well tonight we're going to explain how that's fine friend can have a major effect on the numbers above it.
Here's correspondent -- I know people obviously think of polls as being forecasts.
But from a professional standard that they're not pollsters across the spectrum say there are limits to the information they produce that polls simply capture a single moment in time not predict the future.
No two sibling groups are ever the same and there are multiple methods of interpretation.
There is however across the board agreement that the 2012 electorate will be markedly different than 2000 weeks.
With younger and minority voters less enthusiastic and less likely to -- up this time around.
It's true that 2012 will be different -- 2008.
But it's also true that if you tried to base your 2008 models -- of 2004.
That when you worked either.
Reputable polling operations focus first on putting together a demographic sample that matches what we know about the US population things like gender race and income level.
Once that's set pollsters asked respondents increasingly via cell -- about which party they feel most aligned with -- not their party registration.
In recent weeks many experts say they've been able to qualify -- -- by independents into the democrats' column.
So they've been on a bit of a roller coaster ride with President Obama initially giving him high approval rating but then.
To the depths of 2011.
When they were strongly against him and now we're at a point where while most unaffiliated voters.
Do not approve of the president's.
-- hostility isn't quite as strong as it was a year ago.
Experts caution that September polling numbers are notoriously volatile with the October debate still to come.
Him all the discussion continues about whether Americans party preference is truly shifted or whether to many Democrats are being included in recent party sampling.
Strategists say the GOP should use the recent less than ideal numbers to their advantage.
Spiral the Republicans -- looked as if this is a big warning sign.
Good news is it's forty days -- so so you've got time to do something about it if you start to deny denying does not change the problems.
So what's the impact of the various poll numbers -- strategists say it affects donors willingness to give and volunteers excitement about showing up to make calls and go door to door.
Things that could make all the difference in the presidential race as tight as this year's -- All right Chad thank you we get a lot of emails on that topic do you follow the polls do you think they help or hurt the process.
Let me know on Twitter you can follow me.
At -- there --
Filter by section