1. By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies .This website or its third-party tools use cookies, which are necessary to its functioning and required to achieve the purposes illustrated in the cookie policy.Find out more.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Follow Casinomeister on Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Casinomeister.us US Residents Click here! |  Svenska Svenska | 
Dismiss Notice
REGISTER NOW!! Why? Because you can't do diddly squat without having been registered!

At the moment you have limited access to view most discussions: you can't make contact with thousands of fellow players, affiliates, casino reps, and all sorts of other riff-raff.

Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join Casinomeister here!

Why polls vary on the presidential race.

Discussion in 'Political Rants' started by dalzilla, Oct 24, 2008.

    Oct 24, 2008
  1. dalzilla

    dalzilla Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Purchasing manager
    Location:
    Known center of universe-Texas!
    I do not believe we are going to know who is going to win the election until the polls have closed.

    As a point of clarification, I've not made a commitment to either McCain or Obama. For the first time in my life, I just don't know who will be my choice for president. And this is highly annoying to me!

    Right now my concern is to which congressmen and representatives I get a chance to vote against as I am pretty much IRATE at 99% of them for the crap that got tacked onto the bailout (oh wait it's a rescue package :rolleyes:) like wooden arrow and movies made in US subsidies. But that rant is for another possible post.

    I believe all polls by their very nature are skewed; there is a statistical margin of error built into each one. Then to complicate matters there is the impact of the poll takers themselves (the human factor). I'm posting article below which I believe is a good summary of the polling process. Read it, discard it, disagree with it but at least consider it.

    I'm pretty sure that if I did a poll in my neighborhood with the right questions and the right probing follow up questions, I could get the answers to say that Horse of the Year Curlin has as good a chance as anyone to get elected President. (Especially if the poll was taken after the Breeder's Cup this weekend... and I didn't tell anyone he was a horse).

    Regards,

    dalzilla



    You must register/login in order to see the link.

    POLLS APART: Why polls vary on the presidential race:

    WASHINGTON Barack Obama is galloping away with the presidential race. Or maybe he has a modest lead. Or maybe he and John McCain are neck and neck.

    Confusing? Sure, thanks to the dueling results of recent major polls.

    In the past week, most surveys have shown Democrat Obama with a significant national lead over Republican McCain. Focusing on "likely voters" as many polling organizations prefer this close to Election Day an ABC News-Washington Post survey showed Obama leading by 11 percentage points. A Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll had the same margin, while the nonpartisan Pew Research Center gave Obama a 14-point edge.

    But others had the race much closer. CNN-Opinion Research detected an Obama lead of 5 points. The George Washington University Battleground Poll had Obama up by 4 points. And an Associated Press-GfK poll showed Obama at 44 percent and McCain at 43 percent in effect, a tie.

    How can this be? Some questions and answers about why the polls differ.

    Q: Don't pollsters simply ask questions, tally the answers and report them?

    A: No. After finishing their interviews usually with about 1,000 people, sometimes more they adjust the answers to make sure they reflect Census Bureau data on the population like gender, age, education and race. For example, if the proportion of women interviewed is smaller than their actual share of the country's population, their answers are given more "weight" to balance that out. But some pollsters make these adjustments differently than others. And while most polling organizations including the AP do not modify the responses to reflect some recent tally of how many Democrats, Republicans and independents there are, some do.

    Q: Are those the only changes made?

    A: No. As Election Day nears, polling organizations like to narrow their samples to people who say they are registered voters. They often narrow them further to those they consider likely voters. That's because in a country where barely more than half of eligible voters usually show up for presidential elections, pollsters want their polls to reflect the views of those likeliest to vote.

    Q: Is that hard to do?

    A: Quite hard, since no one will truly know who will vote on Election Day until that day is over. In fact, virtually every polling organization has its own way of determining who likely voters are.

    Like many polling organizations, the AP asks several questions about how often people have voted in the past and how likely they are to vote this year, and those who score highest are considered likely voters.

    Q: Why is this such a problem?

    A: Because nobody is 100 percent sure how to do this properly. And the challenge is being compounded this year because many think Obama's candidacy could spark higher turnout than usual from certain voters, including young voters and minorities. The question pollsters face is whether, and how, to adjust their tests for likely voters to reflect this.

    In identifying likely voters, the AP does not build in an assumption of higher turnout by blacks or young voters. Pew Director Andrew Kohut says that reflecting exceptionally heavy African-American turnout in the Democratic primaries, Pew's model of likely voters now shows blacks as 12 percent of voters, compared to 9 percent in 2004.

    Underscoring the uncertainty, the Gallup Poll is using two versions of likely voters this year a traditional one that asks about peoples' past voting behavior and their current voting intentions; and an expanded one that only looks at how intent they are on voting this year, which would tend to include more new voters.

    Q: What else might cause differences?

    A: The groups pollsters randomly choose to interview are bound to differ from each other, and sometimes do significantly.

    Every poll has a margin of sampling error, usually around 3 percentage points for 1,000 people. That means the results of a poll of 1,000 people should fall within 3 points of the results you would expect had the pollster instead interviewed the entire population of the U.S. But and this is important the results are expected to be that accurate only 95 percent of the time. That means that one time in 20, pollsters expect to interview a group whose views are not that close to the overall population's views.

    Q: Are the differences among polls this year that unusual?

    A: Not wildly, but that doesn't make them less noticeable. There's a big difference between a race that's tied in the AP poll, and Pew's 14-point Obama lead. But because of each poll's margin of error, those differences may be a bit less or more than meet the eye.

    That's because each poll's margin of sampling error should really be applied to the support for each candidate, not the gap between them.

    Take the AP poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Obama's 44 percent support is likely between 48 percent and 40 percent. McCain's 43 percent is probably between 47 percent and 39 percent.

    When support for candidates is measured in ranges like that, some polls' findings could overlap or grow worse.

    Q: Are people always willing to tell pollsters who they're supporting for president?

    A: No, and that's another possible source of discrepancies. Some polling organizations gently prod people who initially say they're undecided for a presidential preference, others do it more vigorously. The AP's poll, for example, found 9 percent of likely voters were undecided, while the ABC-Post survey had 2 percent.
     
    8 people like this.
  2. Oct 24, 2008
  3. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    An interesting and timely post following the debates here.

    I wonder to what extent polls influence the average voter, other than as an indicator of thinking at a particular point in an election period that can be influenced by both the points raised in the article above and developments as the campaigns and events associated with them go forward.

    I often think that at times polls are launched not only to assess opinion, but to draw attention to current issues or personalities. Perhaps the two are synonymous....
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Oct 24, 2008
  5. jod5413

    jod5413 Is That Better?

    Occupation:
    having a good time doing anything
    Location:
    somewhere on the planet
    Absolutely Excellent Post, Dalzilla!!!

    You have posted how I feel about polls perfectly.

    Now, let's discuss "statistics". There is another word that makes me grit my teeth. Stats can be made for Damn near anything you desire. As long as you are careful who you interview for opinions and views you can "make your case" for anything your heart desires!

    I immediately doze off when anyone starts quoting "stats" to me. They aren't the be all, end all, everyone assumes them to be.
     
    2 people like this.
  6. Nov 1, 2008
  7. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    This thread seems to have gone rather quiet lately, so thought I would shake it awake with another of those statistical stories:

    You must register/login in order to see the link.
     
  8. Nov 1, 2008
  9. RobWin

    RobWin closed account

    Occupation:
    Who knows?
    Location:
    A Vault!
    I imagine they know now how Dr. Ron Paul felt during his primary run...;)
     
    3 people like this.
  10. Nov 1, 2008
  11. GrandMaster

    GrandMaster Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Mathematician by day, online gambler by night.
    Location:
    UK
    Maybe there were more positive things to say about Obama than about McCain.
     
  12. Nov 2, 2008
  13. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    Good point :thumbsup:

    Looking back, it appears to me that the Democrats' campaign has been and continues to be significantly more comprehensive. It is impressively organised, using a wider range of communication channels on a massive scale (and I'm not referring only to the media here) than their opponents.

    They seem to have done their homework on targeting specific demographics better, too and that could bring solid rewards.

    One Republican analyst admitted in a UK television interview this week that it's been an impressive show of seriously big money and planning skill starting with the initial party nominations: "You know the Obama campaign staff are good when they can beat the Clinton machine," he said.
     
    2 people like this.
  14. Nov 3, 2008
  15. RobWin

    RobWin closed account

    Occupation:
    Who knows?
    Location:
    A Vault!
    Latest Poll Results !!

    Latest Poll Results !!

    You must register/login in order to see the link.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010
  16. Nov 3, 2008
  17. winbig

    winbig Keep winning this amount.

    Occupation:
    Bum
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    What happened, did their red marker run outta ink? :D


    Florida - BLUE??????? :eek:

    Where's Ron Paul's states? :confused:

    I think I'll write myself in.

    Ya know, forget it. Anyone else want to move to the mountains and ride out the next 10 years up there? :D
     
  18. Nov 3, 2008
  19. Pinababy69

    Pinababy69 RIP Lisa

    Occupation:
    Crusader
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario - Canada
    Tomorrow is the big day and I can't wait!! I haven't anticipated an election (either my own or the US) this much since....well, I don't think I ever have, lol.

    Either way, we are going to see history made. You guys will either have the first black President or the first female Vice President.

    Any thought as to how early there may be a winner declared? Will it go down to the wire? Or will it be a landslide for either candidate? I'm already planning to be glued to my tv from 7 p.m. on.

    Whoever wins, I just really hope they can bring about some change...both to the US and to the global economy. I think someone/something fresh, is exactly what the doctor ordered.
     
  20. Nov 3, 2008
  21. RobWin

    RobWin closed account

    Occupation:
    Who knows?
    Location:
    A Vault!
    If you wait till 7pm to tune in Pina you will most likely miss it all, I think the way things are looking that it is going to be a landslide for Obama !!
     
  22. Nov 3, 2008
  23. Pinababy69

    Pinababy69 RIP Lisa

    Occupation:
    Crusader
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario - Canada
    I thought the first polls closed at 7 p.m.? :confused:

    Help!! LOL...okay, what time should I surgically attach myself to my television? :D
     
  24. Nov 4, 2008
  25. RobWin

    RobWin closed account

    Occupation:
    Who knows?
    Location:
    A Vault!
    They do officially close on the east coast at 7pm, but we should know for the most part by the "exit polling" that will be taking place all day probably around 3pm or so !! ;)
     
    1 person likes this.
  26. Nov 4, 2008
  27. winbig

    winbig Keep winning this amount.

    Occupation:
    Bum
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Whatchu smoking? It's 8pm here in PA ;)

    You must register/login in order to see the link.

    and fwiw, these are the machines that they use here...

    You must register/login in order to see the link.
     
  28. Nov 4, 2008
  29. dalzilla

    dalzilla Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Purchasing manager
    Location:
    Known center of universe-Texas!
    The Polls, Exit Polls, et al

    Hi all! Going to chime in with my two cents (ok make it 50 cents I'm living large). I think the big-3 networks and the major cable channels are going to call, albeit very cautiously, the presidential race pretty early in the game based on exit polls. They have to be cautious because their track record of calling states over the last few elections, heck even some of the primaries, has been pathetic. In an election with this much visibility I would not want to be a TV-exec finding out my organization had to do a recall because of faulty exit poll extrapolation.

    What is going to be of real interest is the senate and house races in the hotly contested states. North Carolina is going to be very interesting. I thought we did some mud-slinging in Texas but NC is giving us a run for our money in terms of dirt being slung! Personal opinion is that all the incumbents are in for the run of their life.

    I also believe that many we will have polling hours extended because the last thing in this election that any party wants it to have the least little hint of disenfranchisement. I think that if people are still in line when the polls are officially ready to close they will remain open which could mean we are seeing results late into the evening.

    And one thing I hated, hated, hated (did I mention I hated it?) was when I was living in California we'd still be voting and the networks would start posting east coast results!!!!! Nothing against my brothers and sisters from the east from being in another time zone. But I think it is/was totally irresponsible for talking heads to start posting projections while the west coast was still voting. Ok, rant over on that subject!

    Summary: if you're just interested in presidential race, may get an fairly early bedtime. But, the senate/house races are going to go far into the early morning.

    Edited: Will be watching PBS
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2008
    1 person likes this.
  30. Nov 4, 2008
  31. Pinababy69

    Pinababy69 RIP Lisa

    Occupation:
    Crusader
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario - Canada
    Are those the same "exit polls" that predicted John Kerry a winner in 2004? :p

    Okay, home from school at 4, eat dinner, do homework....should be able to glue my ass to the tv by six...that should do it!! Now the problem is to stay awake!! :rolleyes:
     
  32. Nov 4, 2008
  33. dalzilla

    dalzilla Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Purchasing manager
    Location:
    Known center of universe-Texas!
    Exit Polls.. exactly!

    You got in Pina! That's why I put "exit polls" in parentheses

    Plus, remember Florida called for Gore, then called for Bush, then for Gore then just taken off the radar and we had the lingering nightmare of the hanging chads!
     
  34. Nov 4, 2008
  35. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    As this race approaches the finish line, it's worth remembering that regardless of who wins, it's been a hard-fought contest....and that's good for democracy imo.

    I don't much like landslide victories, as it gives too much power to one group. Give me a close finish and a strong Opposition every time - it keeps those in power on their toes.
     
    1 person likes this.
  36. Nov 4, 2008
  37. lots0

    lots0 Banned User - troll posts - flaming

    Occupation:
    I do nothing productive
    Location:
    Hell on Earth
    From what I see it's going Obama...

    I live in one of the most conservative and racially retarded states in America, a state infamous as the home of the Aryan Nations white supremacists... But from what I saw at the polling place this morning, the vast majority of people this morning were voting for Obama... And I find that amazing.

    BTW - it took me less than 10 minutes to vote.
     
  38. Nov 4, 2008
  39. winbig

    winbig Keep winning this amount.

    Occupation:
    Bum
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    It took me about 5 :) I went at 9am to avoid the madhouse of people going before or after work, or on their lunch break. Even at 9am, they said that they've gotten about 10x as many people compared to the last elections.

    And that's saying a lot, considering there's only about 30K people that live in this city....and this is only one voting place!
     

Share This Page