52% support budget, 32% support water hike
According to Reach, 52% of the people support the budget but only 32% support the 30% water hike. Put it in another way, 43% was against the water hike, 24% neutral, 32% for and 1% dunno. How to put these numbers in a simpler form when there is a 24% in the neutral category? This is like a 35% Elected President, which did not look or sound good. Saying 43% against can also mean less than 50% against or can give the impression 57% was for it if the details were not given. On the other hand, saying 32% support could give the impression 68% was against. Luckily the numbers for neutral and dunno were also given to prevent the confusion.
Talking about confusion, when it was reported that 52% supported the budget, does it mean that 48% were against the budget? Was the survey conducted using only for or against, with no neutral or dunno? If that was the case, then it is understandable. If neutral and dunno were included, then the 52% for could mean a few things. One, no respondent ticks the neutral or dunno option. So it is a clear case of 52% support. Or it could be like 24% neutral and 1% dunno, leaving only 22% against the budget.
If this was the case, then there is no need to fear that support has fallen from 70% or 80% to 52% since only 22% was against. Wondering how they could get a 70% or 80% number in the past. Apparently from the reports in the media, it is likely a case of for or against type of survey, no buts and ifs, and 52% was for and 48% was against the budget.
It is not easy to use statistics to tell a clear story, like half full or half empty sometimes. Statistics are meant to make things easy and clearer to understand but turning out to be a tool for magicians to amaze or to wow the audience.