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Subject: Is this poll legit? rss

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Josh
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Pollsters and math guys. Is this a serious poll? If so it seems to be a Very bad Thing for the R candidate. Forget national numbers, if he is losing the three biggest swingers by this much it seems like a pipe dream.
http://m.yahoo.com/w/legobpengine/news/blogs/ticket/poll-oba...
 
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J
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Romney has had a tough week. I think that 47% remark is having an effect, whether it will be sustained is another question. But this close to the election, a lead like this for an incumbent is hard to come back from for the challenger. I believe Nate Silver said it was 8/10.
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Mac Mcleod
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If it also has an impact in congress and the senate, it's going to be a sobering wakeup call to the republicans. (of course they ignored the sarah palin wakeup call so perhaps we'll be lucky and they'll just wander completely off into la la land and we get get a new party which is really fiscally conservative and socially liberal).
 
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J
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The Romney camp isn't buying the polls:

Quote:
For the Romney campaign, Tuesday brought yet more bad news from the Buckeye state: a new Washington Post poll showed the Republican presidential nominee trailing President Barack Obama by eight points in this critical battleground state, with 52 percent of Ohio voters in favor of giving the incumbent another four years. Before Mitt Romney's plane touched down at the Dayton airport today, two top aides were dispatched to the press cabin to put out possible fires the numbers might have sparked.

"The public polls are what the public polls are," Romney Political Director Rich Beeson told reporters. "I kind of hope the Obama campaign is basing their campaign on what the public polls say. We don’t. We have confidence in our data and our metrics."

What the Romney team’s data indicated about Ohio, Beeson wouldn't say. He argued that Romney was inside the margin of error here “by any stretch,” and dismissed the much-hyped Obama ground game in Ohio as activity confused with progress.

"I will put our operation up against anybody’s. But at the end of the day, Ohio is going to come down to the wire and we’ll be in it down to the wire and I’m confident that we will win,” Beeson said.
 
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J
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Quote:
Karl Rove is openly speculating about whether the Republicans ought to start thinking about doing what they’ve never done before – chart an Ohio-less route to the White House. “Look, there are 11 different ways to win without Ohio,” Rove said on Fox News Monday night. Yes, it’s come to that: the man who secured George W. Bush’s reelection with a tremendous turnout effort in Ohio in 2004 is now on the verge of declaring the Buckeye State a lost cause. And that was before the latest Ohio poll came out, the Washington Post one this morning that has Obama up eight.

For Romney to win without Ohio, he would have to get Florida. That's possible, but looking iffy. But he would also need quite a few of the smaller states which doesn't seem possible right now: Nevada, Iowa, Virginia
 
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It all comes down to whether you believe the sample or not. Here is a nice discussion of this poll in National Review Online

http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/328555/mornings-...

Basically, the polls are saying that their is a much bigger spread of Democrats than Republicans -- which is possible if many Republicans switched to Independent since 2008 (the Democratic numbers are fairly stable).

This is Dick Morris' take on it (former Clinton staffer):

http://www.dickmorris.com/why-the-polls-under-state-romney-v...

This is an article by a former Reagan staffer that showed the same thing happened in the Carter and Mondale elections against Reagan

http://spectator.org/archives/2012/09/25/how-carter-beat-rea...

I think that it is very interesting. If the polling demographics are going to be that different, it really shows a hard shift of historic proportions away from one of the parties.

 
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jmilum wrote:

Quote:

"The public polls are what the public polls are," Romney Political Director Rich Beeson told reporters. "I kind of hope the Obama campaign is basing their campaign on what the public polls say. We don’t. We have confidence in our data and our metrics."
.


I think this is key. Internal polling is usually a lot more accurate, and a lot more expensive. It is hard to know if this is spin by the Romney campaign or not.

But, as an interesting aside, there has been some reports that Nate Silver's success in the 2008 election was because the Obama campaign provided him access to their internal polls, which allowed him to build a much more accurate model.

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J
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Silver's sabermetric system did a pretty good job on the 2010 midterm.
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jmilum wrote:
Silver's sabermetric system did a pretty good job on the 2010 midterm.

Yes, I agree. So far, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Of course, his predictions will be only as good as the data in the polls he aggregates.
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Here is some more commentary on historical polling splits and the way independent voters sway

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-are-polls-ti...
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David desJardins
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I think the polls are correct but they can only measure things that are predicted by historical patterns. The world is not stationary (in statistical language, that means that the probability of an event today isn't always the same as it was yesterday) and models can only observe the patterns of the past, they can't predict what new things could happen over time. There could be changes in the patterns of who votes that you really won't know until voting occurs. So any statistical model based entirely on past patterns is going to make predictions with the right sign but it's going to overpredict how confident it is.
 
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David desJardins
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P.S. Also note that the steady increase in early voting means that polling is going to become more and more accurate and less and less uncertain as we approach Election Day, as polling organizations can use information about who has actually voted to refine their models and control for changes in voting patterns that might have occurred since past elections.
 
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David desJardins
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SpaceGhost wrote:
This is Dick Morris' take on it (former Clinton staffer):

http://www.dickmorris.com/why-the-polls-under-state-romney-v...


Calling Dick Morris a "former Clinton staffer" sort of misses the point. He's been on an unhinged tirade against anything Democratic for at least a decade. It's like asking the WSJ editorial page what they think of Obama's economic policies. You knew the answer before he was elected.
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Mac Mcleod
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SpaceGhost wrote:
Here is some more commentary on historical polling splits and the way independent voters sway

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-are-polls-ti...


Looking around the weekly standard, I have to correct for a likely hard rightward bias. I won't know how much until after the elections.

Liberal Bastion Foxnews was showing Obama's lead with independents (and oddly- men) growing in august. That's a bit dated tho.

The denver post (unknown slant) shows a 10 point lead with colorado independents for Obama (2 days ago).

Politico (7 hours ago) shows a majority of independents have reacted negatively to the 47% comment (which just shows what a masterful bomb it was to hold and lob now).

 
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Mac Mcleod
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jmilum wrote:
The Romney camp isn't buying the polls:

Quote:
For the Romney campaign, Tuesday brought yet more bad news from the Buckeye state: a new Washington Post poll showed the Republican presidential nominee trailing President Barack Obama by eight points in this critical battleground state, with 52 percent of Ohio voters in favor of giving the incumbent another four years. Before Mitt Romney's plane touched down at the Dayton airport today, two top aides were dispatched to the press cabin to put out possible fires the numbers might have sparked.

"The public polls are what the public polls are," Romney Political Director Rich Beeson told reporters. "I kind of hope the Obama campaign is basing their campaign on what the public polls say. We don’t. We have confidence in our data and our metrics."

What the Romney team’s data indicated about Ohio, Beeson wouldn't say. He argued that Romney was inside the margin of error here “by any stretch,” and dismissed the much-hyped Obama ground game in Ohio as activity confused with progress.

"I will put our operation up against anybody’s. But at the end of the day, Ohio is going to come down to the wire and we’ll be in it down to the wire and I’m confident that we will win,” Beeson said.


I consider Washington Post to be as reliable as Fox News.
Only slanted to the liberal side.

So I take any poll showing bad results for republicans from the washington post with a grain of salt.
 
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Dave G
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It should probably be noted that while Kerry was losing to Bush in 2004 liberals were trotting out the same "the polls are skewed and the sample is biased" story for damage control. It's pretty much par for the course.
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J
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maxo-texas wrote:
I consider Washington Post to be as reliable as Fox News.
Only slanted to the liberal side.

So I take any poll showing bad results for republicans from the washington post with a grain of salt.

It's every single poll.
 
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J
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Ok, not *all*, but most:


Now some of those lean Democratic, but Rasmussen leans Republican, which is the only one showing a result for Romney (or a tie).

Now they could *all* be wrong and have the demographics and turnout model in error, or...
 
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maxo-texas wrote:
SpaceGhost wrote:
Here is some more commentary on historical polling splits and the way independent voters sway

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-are-polls-ti...


Looking around the weekly standard, I have to correct for a likely hard rightward bias. I won't know how much until after the elections.

Liberal Bastion Foxnews was showing Obama's lead with independents (and oddly- men) growing in august. That's a bit dated tho.

The denver post (unknown slant) shows a 10 point lead with colorado independents for Obama (2 days ago).

Politico (7 hours ago) shows a majority of independents have reacted negatively to the 47% comment (which just shows what a masterful bomb it was to hold and lob now).



In this case though, it is just actual data. Ignore the commentary and just look at the tables.
 
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DaviddesJ wrote:
SpaceGhost wrote:
This is Dick Morris' take on it (former Clinton staffer):

http://www.dickmorris.com/why-the-polls-under-state-romney-v...


Calling Dick Morris a "former Clinton staffer" sort of misses the point. He's been on an unhinged tirade against anything Democratic for at least a decade. It's like asking the WSJ editorial page what they think of Obama's economic policies. You knew the answer before he was elected.


I had no idea what Dick Morris is up too - just from his wikipedia page.

Whatever he is doing now though, doesn't necessarily invalidate his broader argument -- that the turnout model polls are using may not be realistic. And, the reasons he gives at least seem reasonable.
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More from Hugh Hewitt (I don't even know who the hell this guy is, but it least it is just an interview transcript). This time interviewing a pollster from the firm in the OP

Quote:

HH: I’m joined right now by Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Polls, Quinnipiac in the news today along with CBS and New York Times for swing state polls, which surprised a lot of people. Peter, welcome, thanks for being on the show.
PB: My pleasure.
HH: I want to start with the models, which are creating quite a lot of controversy. In Florida, the model that Quinnipiac used gave Democrats a nine point edge in turnout. In Ohio, the sample had an eight point Democratic advantage. What’s the reasoning behind those models?
PB: Well, what is important to understand is that the way Quinnipiac and most other major polls do their sampling is we do not wait for party ID. We ask voters, or the people we interview, do they consider themselves a Democrat, a Republican, an independent or a member of a minor party. And that’s different than asking them what their party registration is. What you’re comparing it to is party registration. In other words, when someone starts as a voter, they have the opportunity of, in most states, of being a Republican, a Democrat, or a member of a minor party or unaffiliated.
HH: Okay.
PB: So what’s important to understand is what we are doing is we’re asking voters what they consider themselves when we interview them, which was in the last week.
HH: Now what I don’t understand this, so educate me on it, if Democrats only had a three point advantage in Florida in the final turnout measurement in 2008, but in your poll they have a nine point turnout advantage, why is that not a source of skepticism for people?
PB: Well, I mean, clearly there will be some people who are skeptics. This is how we’ve always done our polls. Our record is very good in terms of accuracy. Again, remember, we’re asking people what they consider themselves at the time we call them.
HH: But I don’t know how that goes to the issue, Peter, so help me. I’m not being argumentative, I really want to know. Why would guys run a poll with nine percent more Democrats than Republicans when that percentage advantage, I mean, if you’re trying to tell people how the state is going to go, I don’t think this is particularly helpful, because you’ve oversampled Democrats, right?
PB: But we didn’t set out to oversample Democrats. We did our normal, random digit dial way of calling people. And there were, these are likely voters. They had to pass a screen. Because it’s a presidential year, it’s not a particularly heavy screen.
HH: And so if, in fact, you had gotten a hundred Democrats out of a hundred respondents that answered, would you think that poll was reliable?
PB: Probably not at 100 out of 100.
HH: Okay, so if it was 75 out of 100…
PB: Well, I mean…
HH: I mean, when does it become unreliable? You know you’ve just put your foot on the slope, so I’m going to push you down it. When does it become unreliable?
PB: Like the Supreme Court and pornography, you know it when you see it.
HH: Well, a lot of us look at a nine point advantage in Florida, and we say we know that to be the polling equivalent of pornography. Why am I wrong?
PB: Because what we found when we made the actual calls is this kind of party ID.
HH: Do you expect Democrats, this is a different question, do you, Peter Brown, expect Democrats to have a nine point registration advantage when the polls close on November 6th in Florida?
PB: Well, first, you don’t mean registration.
HH: I mean, yeah, turnout.
PB: Do I think…I think it is probably unlikely.
HH: And so what value is this poll if in fact it doesn’t weight for the turnout that’s going to be approximated?
PB: Well, you’ll have to judge that. I mean, you know, our record is very good. You know, we do independent polling. We use random digit dial. We use human beings to make our calls. We call cell phones as well as land lines. We follow the protocol that is the professional standard.
HH: As we say, that might be the case, but I don’t know it’s responsive to my question. My question is, should we trust this as an accurate predictor of what will happen? You’ve already told me there…
PB: It’s an accurate predictor of what would happen is the election were today.
HH: But that’s, again, I don’t believe that, because today, Democrats wouldn’t turn out by a nine point advantage. I don’t think anyone believes today, if you held the election today, do you think Democrats would turn out nine percentage points higher than Republicans?
PB: If the election were today, yeah. What we found is obviously a large Democratic advantage.
HH: I mean, you really think that’s true? I mean, as a professional, you believe that Democrats have a nine point turnout advantage in Florida?
PB: Our record has been very good. You know, Hugh, I…
HH: That’s not responsive. It’s just a question. Do you personally, Peter, believe that Democrats enjoy a nine point turnout advantage right now?
PB: What I believe is what we found.
HH: Geez, I just, and an eight point in Ohio? I’m from Ohio. Democrats haven’t had an eight point advantage in Ohio since before the Civil War. I mean, that just never happens, but Peter, I appreciate your coming on. I’m not persuaded that Quinnipiac Polls haven’t hurt themselves today, but I appreciate your willingness to come on and talk about it.
End of interview.


http://www.hughhewitt.com/transcripts.aspx?id=1c1a7295-7ce1-...

I think it is possible to have a nine-point advantage in Florida or Ohio. I think it would be historic, so I think the fact that will actually happen has a very small likelihood.

Polls are not meant to be predictive, which is a subtlety buried in that interview. They are a snapshot in time.
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Mac Mcleod
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SpaceGhost wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
SpaceGhost wrote:
Here is some more commentary on historical polling splits and the way independent voters sway

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-are-polls-ti...


Looking around the weekly standard, I have to correct for a likely hard rightward bias. I won't know how much until after the elections.

Liberal Bastion Foxnews was showing Obama's lead with independents (and oddly- men) growing in august. That's a bit dated tho.

The denver post (unknown slant) shows a 10 point lead with colorado independents for Obama (2 days ago).

Politico (7 hours ago) shows a majority of independents have reacted negatively to the 47% comment (which just shows what a masterful bomb it was to hold and lob now).



In this case though, it is just actual data. Ignore the commentary and just look at the tables.


I'm sorry but I don't trust even "actual data" from highly slanted sources of either party.

As jimilum shows later, this one source is at odds with many other sources. Is it random chance that a hard right news source got an unusual hard right result?

or did they...
a) not publish other results positive for liberals
b) slant the selection
c) slant the questions

etc.

If you have a link to a PDF of the questions, and answer break down data I will give it a look if I get a chance. Work is busy today as we are coming up on a software deployment weekend.

GOD I wish they would just get my indian replacement the fuck in here so I can sign off and leave.
 
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Dave G
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SpaceGhost wrote:


I think it is possible to have a nine-point advantage in Florida or Ohio. I think it would be historic, so I think the fact that will actually happen has a very small likelihood.

Polls are not meant to be predictive, which is a subtlety buried in that interview. They are a snapshot in time.


Question: If more people are identifying as one side or the other in random sampling, is it possible that there are just more people on that side out there? I mean, isn't that part of the polling process?

I'm not being rhetorical, that's a genuine question.
 
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
SpaceGhost wrote:


I think it is possible to have a nine-point advantage in Florida or Ohio. I think it would be historic, so I think the fact that will actually happen has a very small likelihood.

Polls are not meant to be predictive, which is a subtlety buried in that interview. They are a snapshot in time.


Question: If more people are identifying as one side or the other in random sampling, is it possible that there are just more people on that side out there? I mean, isn't that part of the polling process?

I'm not being rhetorical, that's a genuine question.


Yes, it is process. But, I think the subtle thing (one I bolded) is the nature of the screen, which apparently is lighter in the Presidential election. I assume that means either: (a) likelihood to vote is given more variance and/or (b) party affiliation is defined more loosely.

I think it could happen, but it would be historic. And, it would mean that the President held up his turnout from 2008 when his approval ratings were much better. Possible. I just think it is a low probability.
 
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Mac Mcleod
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The cool thing about this topic (unlike many RSP topics) is that we will have validation in about 40 days.

 
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