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Old 10-24-2008, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Chicagoland
41,314 posts, read 38,426,333 times
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RealClearPolitics - HorseRaceBlog - A Note on the Polls

Quote:
With this stuff in mind, let's focus on some hard numbers. As of this writing, Barack Obama's share of the vote in the RCP average is 50.3%. His standard deviation is 2.7. For McCain, whose average is 42.5%, the standard deviation is 2.3. For comparative purposes, I looked at the polls RCP was using from its 2004 averages. For roughly the same time in that cycle (10/17/04 to 10/24/04) Bush's standard deviation was 1.8; Kerry's was 1.7. This means that there is more disagreement among pollsters now than there was in 2004.

So, we have made three observations: (a) relative to 2004, the standard deviation for Obama and McCain's polls are high, indicating more disagreement among pollsters at a similar point in this cycle; (b) the shape of the distribution of each candidate's poll position is not what we might expect; (c) multiple polls are separated from the RCP average by statistically significant differences.

Combined, these considerations suggest that this variation cannot be chalked up to typical statistical "noise." Instead, it is more likely that pollsters are disagreeing with each other in their sampling methodologies. In other words, different pollsters have different "visions" of what the electorate will look like on November 4th, and these visions are affecting their results.
Very good article on why we are seeing so much disparity between the pollsters. I think he really hits the pertinent point - the pollsters are speculating this election is like no other and are trying to "guess" what the electorate will look like.

This election reminds me a lot of 2004. Remember all the claims of new, young voter turnout that Kerry would bring to the polls? The media is bleating the same narrative today that they did in 2004. According to a Gallup survey today, first time voters are not that much different than 2004.

Zogby admitted as much with his poll sampling. You must have "enough" young, new, hispanic voters in your sample - and that's why other polls showing a much closer race are invalid in his opinion. But, what is enough?

It's obvious they are having a tough time - and I think they will have it even rougher with the exit polls - which were an utter disaster in 2004 when they indicated Kerry would be victorious.

If Mac is able to pull out a miraculous victory, many people will look to the pre-election polls and think something nefarious happened, that the election was stolen, when in fact the pollsters were just wrong.
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Old 10-24-2008, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Washington state
7,208 posts, read 8,178,470 times
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I wouldn't count on "Mac" pulling out any miracles...From your link:

Quote:
Importantly, there is one thing that the polls do not disagree on, the fact that Obama has a lead. All the polls show that. Also, we might begin to see convergence here soon. If pollsters have different methods for predicting what the electorate will look like, those methods might produce similar-looking "electorates" by the time we get to Election Day. At least for now, though, there is disagreement - not about who has the lead, but about how big that lead is.
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Old 10-24-2008, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Chicagoland
41,314 posts, read 38,426,333 times
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Yes. A lead that has been padded with an oversampling of democrats in most polls.

One thing I forgot. In 2004 the pollsters did fail miserably to account for a voting block of the electorate that came out in droves that overwhelmed the democrat get-out-the-vote efforts.

The conservative base.
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Old 10-24-2008, 07:12 PM
 
Location: On Top
12,388 posts, read 11,289,872 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanrene View Post
Yes. A lead that has been padded with an oversampling of democrats in most polls.

One thing I forgot. In 2004 the pollsters did fail miserably to account for a voting block of the electorate that came out in droves that overwhelmed the democrat get-out-the-vote efforts.

The conservative base.
This year with the help of young, smart voters I think the conservative base will not matter.
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Old 10-24-2008, 07:29 PM
 
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Plus the conservative base doesn't even like McCain. And they will waste no time saying so beginning Nov 5.
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Old 10-24-2008, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Washington state
7,208 posts, read 8,178,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanrene View Post
Yes. A lead that has been padded with an oversampling of democrats in most polls.

One thing I forgot. In 2004 the pollsters did fail miserably to account for a voting block of the electorate that came out in droves that overwhelmed the democrat get-out-the-vote efforts.

The conservative base.

Recent polls have shown Obama getting a higher percentage of the Democratic vote than McCain of the Republicans.

FiveThirtyEight.com: Electoral Projections Done Right: Sorry, Jim, the PUMAs are Dead
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Old 10-24-2008, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Chicagoland
41,314 posts, read 38,426,333 times
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The Base loves Palin though.
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Old 10-24-2008, 08:47 PM
 
Location: On Top
12,388 posts, read 11,289,872 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanrene View Post
The Base loves Palin though.
Yes that says a lot.....
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Old 10-24-2008, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Washington state
7,208 posts, read 8,178,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanrene View Post
The Base loves Palin though.

Unfortunately for you, the base isn't enough to win. McCain needs to get a large majority of independents, something he's not getting.

In fact, in the Newsweek Poll (http://www.newsweek.com/id/165570?tid=relatedcl - broken link) that was just released Obama is leading McCain among independents by 8%. He's also getting 91% of the Democratic vote while McCain is receiving only 86% of Republicans.
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Old 10-24-2008, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
2,868 posts, read 8,433,139 times
Reputation: 1500
MmmmmK.
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