Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Polls: What do they mean?

Some more thoughts on polls and reality.

If so, the American people aren't the American people anymore," Obi Wan[Nome de Cyber of Geraghy mentor] responded. "Believe me, there is someone in the Obama campaign who is deathly afraid of the 'McCain pulls even or goes ahead' poll." (And in Gallup, it was within 2 percent.) "That Obama strategist knows how much depends on the whole Chuck Schumer and Rahm Emanuel approach —.work with the media to demoralize conservatives, and keep the perception of a juggernaut going. But a day or two of a few bad polls, and that strategy backfires. The conservatives know they've still got a shot at this.

Remember: If someone is trying to demoralize you and tell you it's hopeless, look at the logic behind it. If Obama were really unstoppable why would his supporters care if we voted against him? Wouldn't he be unstoppable?

More Geraghy: It Says Something About the Cycle That This Is Only a Mildly Weird Poll
[ThiS poll]'s little changed from their last; before Obama was ahead 53-43; now they have Obama ahead 53-44.
But since the last poll, McCain has improved eight percent on "who better understands economic problems." On whether McCain would lead the country in a new direction or the same as Bush, it's split, 49-48. Last time it was 52-45. And yet, as we saw, barely any improvement for McCain overall.
Once again, I'm supposed to believe that McCain winning most of the Republicans (more on this below) and Obama winning most of the Democrats, and the independents splitting 48 percent to 47 percent is going to yield an Obama win by nine percent.
I don't see the GOP base as being depressed and staying home this year. Or at least, not yet.

And that's *why* the media is doing its hardest to depress the GOP base.

Selection Bias and Obama.
Funny how these errors almost always seem to overstate Democratic support all over the place, isn't it?
"Now, this raises a question that Politico doesn't address. If an "enthusiasm gap" is responsible for skewing exit polls, why isn't an "enthusiasm gap" responsible for skewing pre-election day polling?
Anyway, make of this what you will. An average error of 7 points for the One is amazingly high, though, given that usually the margin of error is around 3.5%

Fear: The Obama camp hasn't had a press conference in a month
Gee, why would the Democratic ticket be hiding from their own PR department? Is it because when there aren't teleprompters or editors around the buffoons tend to say things like "spread the wealth around" and "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama"?
How can entrust the country too people too scared to face their most ardent supporters? It's like being afraid of your own shadow.

Just how accurate can polls be? Ace of Spades has a more numerical look at things.

Polling is, at best, an extremely inexact science and even the best polls are based on numerous assumptions about the population at large. And it's safe to say the polls we've seen this election season are not the best. In order to believe the polls are accurate, one would have to think voter sentiment can swing dramatically in the space of one week, and that the choice of Sarah Palin hasn't made a difference in GOP enthusiasm.

You would also have to believe that only 27% of those who show up to vote on election day will be Republicans. And let's face it - the media has been allowing bias to affect their coverage. Why wouldn't that bias extend to the polls they commission?

The point is that such polls are either wishful thinking on the media or a convienient psyops designed to put a wet blanket on the GOP. Remember, Obama barely won the primary and even that's being questioned.

Here's another thing that should concern people who think Obama's tax hikes will only hit "the rich".

"From $1 million to $500,000 to $250,000 to $182,400 — the definition of "rich" keeps slipping lower and lower..."

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