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besson3c
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Oct 29, 2012, 08:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
I was wondering where the videos of children singing the praises of Dear leader were. This the best they can come up with?
http://www.futurechildrenproject.com/
You need to get your anti-Obama turrets looked at.
     
stupendousman
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Oct 30, 2012, 02:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post

If he does, this will be based on your hunch and optimism, but no actual electoral college based polling data. 
I believe he's talking about the popular vote, and that can be roughly estimated using polling data and historical precedence.

Right now, RCP's average puts Romney up about 1 point. They still allow for about 5 percent for "undecideds" and "other."

"Other" typically gets about 1 percent. Historically, this late in the race the undecideds break for the challenger - especially when momentum is on their side. That would give Romney 4 more points equaling the 5 eBuddy is giving him.

Seeing how Rasmussen and Gallup are using current likely voter polling data and not 2008 data, and they have him up +2 and +5 with some "undecideds", I don't think that eBuddy's prediction is all that unreasonable when you look at the data. Most analysis will tell you that it would be extremely difficult to lose the electoral college with anything greater than a 2 point lead. Especially when a lot of those "battleground" polls are using 2008 likely voter models and still are allowing for around 3 percent undecided. That allows for a potential big shift to Romney - an advantage Obama doesn't really have.
     
ebuddy
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Oct 30, 2012, 02:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
I believe he's talking about the popular vote, and that can be roughly estimated using polling data and historical precedence.
Yeah, I worded that one poorly. Dakar was suggesting that looking at national polling is lame in determining the election result, but it's exceedingly rare that the popular vote (national) and electoral/election result would conflict.

i.e. Dakar is wrong and besson is wronger.
ebuddy
     
besson3c
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Oct 30, 2012, 03:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post

I believe he's talking about the popular vote, and that can be roughly estimated using polling data and historical precedence.
Right now, RCP's average puts Romney up about 1 point. They still allow for about 5 percent for "undecideds" and "other."
"Other" typically gets about 1 percent. Historically, this late in the race the undecideds break for the challenger - especially when momentum is on their side. That would give Romney 4 more points equaling the 5 eBuddy is giving him.
Seeing how Rasmussen and Gallup are using current likely voter polling data and not 2008 data, and they have him up +2 and +5 with some "undecideds", I don't think that eBuddy's prediction is all that unreasonable when you look at the data. Most analysis will tell you that it would be extremely difficult to lose the electoral college with anything greater than a 2 point lead. Especially when a lot of those "battleground" polls are using 2008 likely voter models and still are allowing for around 3 percent undecided. That allows for a potential big shift to Romney - an advantage Obama doesn't really have.
Is there a clear record of consistency with the undecideds behaving as you are describing here? This to me seems like more of a general wild card factor, another one being unexpected election day turnout like we saw in 2008. Until you show me some clear data here, I'd tend to think that this could go either way. I understand that the incumbent generally doesn't do well in a bad economy (although I don't understand what sort of "momentum" you are talking about here and why you feel Romney has it), but I think this general concept would be pretty well reflected in all voting demographics.

Why the popular vote is relevant to predicting the outcome of this race, I don't know. It would certainly be interesting if we saw another 2000 sort of deal with one candidate winning the popular vote and the other winning the electoral college, but for better or for worse, it's all about the electoral college, where Obama seems to have a comfortable grasp right now.
     
besson3c
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Oct 30, 2012, 03:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post

Yeah, I worded that one poorly. Dakar was suggesting that looking at national polling is lame in determining the election result, but it's exceedingly rare that the popular vote (national) and electoral/election result would conflict.
i.e. Dakar is wrong and besson is wronger.
This is not improbable at all:

http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/faq.html#ecpopulardiffer




Quote:
Note that 48 out of the 50 States award Electoral votes on a winner-takes-all basis (as does the District of Columbia). For example, all 55 of California’s Electoral votes go to the winner of the state election, even if the margin of victory is only 50.1 percent to 49.9 percent.

In a multi-candidate race where candidates have strong regional appeal, as in 1824, it is quite possible that a candidate who collects the most votes on a nation-wide basis will not win the electoral vote. In a two-candidate race, that is less likely to occur. But, it did occur in the Hayes/Tilden election of 1876 and the Harrison/Cleveland election of 1888 due to the statistical disparity between vote totals in individual state elections and the national vote totals. This also occurred in the 2000 presidential election, where George W. Bush received fewer popular votes than Albert Gore Jr., but received a majority of electoral votes.
What you said would be true if electoral college was based on proportions rather than winner-takes-all.
     
besson3c
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Oct 30, 2012, 04:01 AM
 
Let's face it, you guys would be all about the electoral college and predicting a Romney victory if Romney was ahead in the EC and Obama was ahead in the popular vote. Maybe it would be the same for some of us too, but at least speaking for myself, if 538 and RCP were showing the same clear EC advantage to Romney, I'd be calling the election in his favor.
     
besson3c
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Oct 30, 2012, 04:05 AM
 
Also, FWIW, 538 has Obama ahead in popular vote too...
     
stupendousman
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Oct 30, 2012, 04:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Is there a clear record of consistency with the undecideds behaving as you are describing here? This to me seems like more of a general wild card factor, another one being unexpected election day turnout like we saw in 2008.
We had no incumbent/challenger in 2008. Both where challengers. That is one of the major influences in the "wild card" nature of 2008.

As far as "clear record of consistency," I'm simply repeating what I've heard analysts from both sides say for the past 20 years or so that I've been paying attention. I'm guessing they've just not pulled that fact nugget out of their butts.

Until you show me some clear data here, I'd tend to think that this could go either way. I understand that the incumbent generally doesn't do well in a bad economy (although I don't understand what sort of "momentum" you are talking about here and why you feel Romney has it), but I think this general concept would be pretty well reflected in all voting demographics.
Look at the RCP averages. While the RCPA probably isn't all that accurate as far as what the final number will be, it is useful to see trends. Over the past month, there's a lot more red than blue. That wasn't the case a month ago. That would tend to show a momentum swing for someone looking for such a thing.

Why the popular vote is relevant to predicting the outcome of this race, I don't know. It would certainly be interesting if we saw another 2000 sort of deal with one candidate winning the popular vote and the other winning the electoral college, but for better or for worse, it's all about the electoral college, where Obama seems to have a comfortable grasp right now.
It's possible, but analysts have suggested that if you crunch the numbers, it's hard to imagine a scenario where someone with over a 2 point lead wouldn't also win the EC. I guess anything is possible. It's just not probable. It's the kind of thing that Nate Silver should build into his model so he doesn't still claim a 75% chance for Obama.
     
stupendousman
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Oct 30, 2012, 04:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Let's face it, you guys would be all about the electoral college and predicting a Romney victory if Romney was ahead in the EC and Obama was ahead in the popular vote.
I don't believe he's necessarily ahead in the electoral vote either. If you look at the polls, see the weighting, and then look at the undecideds - especially in states like Ohio, it's unlikely he'll win in those states where he is under 50%. You give him 7-8 points he isn't likely going to get (Rasmussen and Gallup predict around +3 Rep for turnout I think) , then there are 3 points more that at best will split evenly, and if history is an indicator will swing towards Romney - and Obama loses despite them showing it a "toss up" or favoring Obama right now.

Assuming historical precedence and the accuracy of polling data showing a depressed Dem. turnout, it would appear that Obama's EC chances have been greatly exaggerated.
     
ebuddy
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Oct 30, 2012, 05:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
This is not improbable at all:
http://www.archives.gov/federal-regi...cpopulardiffer
 


What you said would be true if electoral college was based on proportions rather than winner-takes-all.
I'm not sure what's going on around here of late; folks insisting they need to argue with me while posting information that affirms my argument. Yes, there was contrast between national results and the electoral/election results, but it's exceedingly rare. Meaning, yes it happened a couple of times in the 1800s and once in 2000.

What I said would be true regardless, national results are most often an effective gauge for determining the winner of the election.
ebuddy
     
The Final Dakar
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Oct 30, 2012, 06:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
I'm pretty sure that was when there was a tie within the margin of error, and they were giving him 12 points. Probably around the time of the Republican Convention.
10/16/08 The beginning of the home stretch.



Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
I can't disagree, but Romney is still going to win by 5% points.
Based on...?


Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
Good luck.
Good luck on what?


Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
It makes sense to me that this would be a big talking point for republicans this year. The last election revisited voting numbers we hadn't seen since the 60's and I believe any model employing specifics from that election such as turnout is going to be flawed. The word believe is key though because to your point, there's a lot of noise.
I think the belief that enthusiasm won't be able to match 2008 levels has some logic to it. Obama is now a known quantity and the state of the union isn't overwhelmingly positive. That does't mean, however, we should be going to 2004 or 2010 models.


Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
Why? How often are the national polls different from the election result?
I already answered why: Because the popular vote doesn't matter. Further, while you might be able to use it as an indicator (as you are), you're not using an aggregate but picking and choosing who you're trusting. You're completely shunning math and logic for gut feel and simplicity.

Here's an interesting stat

Gallup poll, likely voters. Romney +4. Not bad, right? But check out the breakdown by region:

East - Obama +4
Midwest - Obama +4
South - Obama -22
West - Obama +6

Kinda colors the final result, doesn't it?


Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
Of course, this is the case throughout most of the states. It's not a battleground if the victor is already sitting comfortably atop the castle.
Ah, but methinks that given your poll choosiness, we will not have the same list of battlegrounds.


Tell me, what is your reasoning that seems to shun state-by-state polling? Time intensive? Prone to some kind of bias or noise?
     
The Final Dakar
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Oct 30, 2012, 06:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
Historically, this late in the race the undecideds break for the challenger - especially when momentum is on their side.
Originally Posted by P View Post
This is another point I'd like you to back up with some studies.




Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
i.e. Dakar is wrong and besson is wronger.
WTF dude?
     
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Oct 30, 2012, 07:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
WTF dude?
http://www.pollingreport.com/incumbent.htm
     
stupendousman
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Oct 30, 2012, 07:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Gallup poll, likely voters. Romney +4. Not bad, right? But check out the breakdown by region:
East - Obama +4
Midwest - Obama +4
South - Obama -22
West - Obama +6
Kinda colors the final result, doesn't it?
Depends. If state polls are going with the general 2008 numbers and using +7 Obama for weighting, and it's really at best +4, then polls like in Ohio where it's shown Romney up 2, tied or Obama with a slight lead would mean that Obama is really still behind regardless of what poll you look at. Add the "undecideds" and that puts Obama (historically) on even shakier ground.
     
The Final Dakar
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Oct 30, 2012, 08:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
http://www.pollingreport.com/incumbent.htm
1989. Not exactly current.


Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
Depends. If state polls are going with the general 2008 numbers and using +7 Obama for weighting, and it's really at best +4, then polls like in Ohio where it's shown Romney up 2, tied or Obama with a slight lead would mean that Obama is really still behind regardless of what poll you look at. Add the "undecideds" and that puts Obama (historically) on even shakier ground.
"If you unskew the numbers, pick the polls more favorable to Romney, and take a pessimistic bent, Obama is on shaky ground." Well, no shit. I could do the reverse. That's kinda the point of using aggregates – to minimize the personal bias.
     
stupendousman
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Oct 30, 2012, 10:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
1989. Not exactly current.
Does more recent data refute the trend they outline?

"If you unskew the numbers, pick the polls more favorable to Romney, and take a pessimistic bent, Obama is on shaky ground." Well, no shit. I could do the reverse. That's kinda the point of using aggregates – to minimize the personal bias.
You don't have to "pick the polls more favorable to Romney." If you take ANY poll, apply weighting based on recent likely voter trend data gathered by either of the two pollsters who have gathered it on a regular basis (instead of just using 2008 results), and look at the results Obama is on shaky ground. If you just look at the RCP average, Obama is behind.

You can do the same for individual states. On top of everything else, if you factor in the historical trend of the challenger this late getting the majority of the 'undecideds" - especially a candidate with a bad economy - that would put Romney up another 2-3 points. There's really no way to spin this in Obama's favor unless Republicans just don't show up for some reason, and the Dems double their efforts. Possible, but not probable.

I could show how Rasmussen's current state results show Romeny ahead 278 EC votes but you don't have to rely on Rasmussen for the raw data. Just weight about any of them based on actual trending data and Obama has his work cut out for him. You can't spot him points he isn't likely to get them claim him ahead, even though that's what the media has been doing.
     
The Final Dakar
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Oct 30, 2012, 12:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
Does more recent data refute the trend they outline?
I don't know, that's P's dept. Is this some kind of universal truth? I would think 5 more presidential elections and a new generation of voters is worth considering, but again, not my dept.


Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
You don't have to "pick the polls more favorable to Romney." If you take ANY poll, apply weighting based on recent likely voter trend data gathered by either of the two pollsters who have gathered it on a regular basis (instead of just using 2008 results), and look at the results Obama is on shaky ground. If you just look at the RCP average, Obama is behind.
You can do the same for individual states. On top of everything else, if you factor in the historical trend of the challenger this late getting the majority of the 'undecideds" - especially a candidate with a bad economy - that would put Romney up another 2-3 points. There's really no way to spin this in Obama's favor unless Republicans just don't show up for some reason, and the Dems double their efforts. Possible, but not probable.
I could show how Rasmussen's current state results show Romeny ahead 278 EC votes but you don't have to rely on Rasmussen for the raw data. Just weight about any of them based on actual trending data and Obama has his work cut out for him. You can't spot him points he isn't likely to get them claim him ahead, even though that's what the media has been doing.
Ok, you're just repeating yourself. So you believe the polls need to be unskewed.

Query(ies):
How do you know which LV model is correct?
Why are all but two pollsters using these "flawed" models?
What do they have to gain by doing so (particularly if it's their credibility/livelihood at stake)?
Isn't it mathematically logical to doubt the outlier polls?
     
stupendousman
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Oct 30, 2012, 12:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I don't know, that's P's dept. Is this some kind of universal truth? I would think 5 more presidential elections and a new generation of voters is worth considering, but again, not my dept.
Ok, you're just repeating yourself. So you believe the polls need to be unskewed.
Query(ies):
How do you know which LV model is correct?
I don't. What I do know is that at least 2 pollsters actually poll for likely voter data, and most others simply guess using the last election as it's basis.

It's my opinion that the LV model which uses data which reflects CURRENT trends is likely more accurate than ones that are four years old. Rasmussen had the LV break-down correct the last Presidential election while most over-stated the Democrat turnout.

Why are all but two pollsters using these "flawed" models?
Don't know. Maybe because they would benefit their preferred candidate? I know a couple of weeks back I checked, and the polls showing Obama up slightly had an average of +7 Democrat weighting - the very same as it was in 2008. Virtually no one in politics will go on record as stating that they think that Obama will have the turn-out he did in 08', yet that's the standard they are using.

What do they have to gain by doing so (particularly if it's their credibility/livelihood at stake)?
Isn't it mathematically logical to doubt the outlier polls?
Sure. Right now if you drop the high and low outliers, Romney is still ahead.
     
besson3c
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Oct 30, 2012, 12:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post

I don't believe he's necessarily ahead in the electoral vote either. If you look at the polls, see the weighting, and then look at the undecideds - especially in states like Ohio, it's unlikely he'll win in those states where he is under 50%. You give him 7-8 points he isn't likely going to get (Rasmussen and Gallup predict around +3 Rep for turnout I think) , then there are 3 points more that at best will split evenly, and if history is an indicator will swing towards Romney - and Obama loses despite them showing it a "toss up" or favoring Obama right now.
Assuming historical precedence and the accuracy of polling data showing a depressed Dem. turnout, it would appear that Obama's EC chances have been greatly exaggerated.
I'll go with RCP and 538, but thanks for this theory.
     
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Oct 30, 2012, 03:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
WTF dude?
I'm not trying to be combative, Dakar. Just smack-talkin', sporting...fun.

Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Based on...?
My interpretation of the available evidence, just like you. I see an average oversampling of Democrats of more than 6%. All aggregate polling does is roll this phenomena up into larger numbers. The polls cite an average margin of error of at least 3%. Given their MOE and the models being rolled into the polling, I choose to watch smaller samples using a different methodology. Yes, these preferred models do show favorable to Romney, but that doesn't make them wrong a priori. We've availed ourselves of the evidence and we've come to differing conclusions, that's all. You cited RealClearPolitics as a poll you watch, its average is Romney +1. Throw in 3 for the MOE, sprinkle 1 more in there for oversampling, and I'm at +5%. That's just what I conclude from the available evidence.

Good luck on what?
On the election... not being combative... just having fun.

I think the belief that enthusiasm won't be able to match 2008 levels has some logic to it. Obama is now a known quantity and the state of the union isn't overwhelmingly positive. That does't mean, however, we should be going to 2004 or 2010 models.
I've certainly not suggested we go to those models, I appreciate current levels of "interest" having a say in the numbers, not sampling models from prior elections.

I already answered why: Because the popular vote doesn't matter.
Further, while you might be able to use it as an indicator (as you are), you're not using an aggregate but picking and choosing who you're trusting. You're completely shunning math and logic for gut feel and simplicity.
You were so effective at expressing humility in your lack of certainty that your rigidity here surprises me. You act as if I'm not aware of how US Presidential elections work. The reason we're even talking popular vote vs electoral vote is national polling vs battleground polling. I cited the rarity of a conflict between the popular vote result (national) and the result of the election (electoral, the reason battleground is even part of our nomenclature). I'm citing this because it's merely another pulse of the election. You don't accept it? Fine, there's no reason to suggest I'm void of math or logic.


Here's an interesting stat
Gallup poll, likely voters. Romney +4. Not bad, right? But check out the breakdown by region:
East - Obama +4
Midwest - Obama +4
South - Obama -22
West - Obama +6
Kinda colors the final result, doesn't it?
Ah, but methinks that given your poll choosiness, we will not have the same list of battlegrounds.
Tell me, what is your reasoning that seems to shun state-by-state polling? Time intensive? Prone to some kind of bias or noise?
The above shows me that the popular vote and election result will be in conflict and I don't think it will. It usually isn't. What is it that has you so certain I'm off the mark that I must be subjected to the third degree here? Yeah, they're all prone to bias and noise. I've given a number, we'll see if I'm right. I'm using numbers, you just don't appreciate their bias. You appreciate numbers that show a different bias. There's only a few days left and we'll find out.
ebuddy
     
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Oct 30, 2012, 04:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
That's kinda the point of using aggregates – to minimize the personal bias.
But, everyone knows that the Main Stream Polls, like the Main Stream Media, are biased in favour of Obama.
     
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Oct 30, 2012, 04:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
But, everyone knows that the Main Stream Polls, like the Main Stream Media, are biased in favour of Obama.
Only ~3/4 of them, like the media.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
besson3c
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Oct 30, 2012, 05:36 PM
 
You guys are unreal. Ebuddy I missed the days when you were objective and not just a partisan like everybody else in here. This whole idea that these pollsters are jeopardizing their reputations and careers to bolster a politician is heading into Abe conspiracy theory territory, and you cannot say with any honesty that if the polls were finding Romney ahead in the EC that you'd still be questioning these polls.

I can't wait until this stupid election is over.
     
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Oct 30, 2012, 06:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I can't wait until this stupid election is over.
Sure, once this election is over you get to leave the country! You don't get stuck with dealing with the result for four years.

Anyway, I can't understand why people still think the media and/or pollsters are deliberately fudging the results in favor of Obama / against Romney. Even if we assume that most of these people lean left in their political philosophy, their job is to get people to consume their media (and the advertising that goes along with it.) A story that has Obama with a safe lead in the electoral college will mildly hold the interest of half the country, and force the other half to change the channel. But a tight race leads to good ratings all around!

If I were in the media and had the ability to "goose" the ratings, I would nudge them toward the tie, because it is more exciting. (That is exactly what is happening. This, of course, is a coincidence. You can go about your business. Move along.)

I find it interesting that most sites online think Virginia will go for Romney this year, but Nate Silver has it on Obama's side. Nate only gives it a 57.8% chance as of right now, but still in favor of Obama. Virginia's polls close early. If Virginia ends up being called for Romney early, then you can probably throw away the rest of Nate's map.
     
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Oct 30, 2012, 07:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dork. View Post

Sure, once this election is over you get to leave the country! You don't get stuck with dealing with the result for four years.
Anyway, I can't understand why people still think the media and/or pollsters are deliberately fudging the results in favor of Obama / against Romney. Even if we assume that most of these people lean left in their political philosophy, their job is to get people to consume their media (and the advertising that goes along with it.) A story that has Obama with a safe lead in the electoral college will mildly hold the interest of half the country, and force the other half to change the channel. But a tight race leads to good ratings all around!
If I were in the media and had the ability to "goose" the ratings, I would nudge them toward the tie, because it is more exciting. (That is exactly what is happening. This, of course, is a coincidence. You can go about your business. Move along.)
I find it interesting that most sites online think Virginia will go for Romney this year, but Nate Silver has it on Obama's side. Nate only gives it a 57.8% chance as of right now, but still in favor of Obama. Virginia's polls close early. If Virginia ends up being called for Romney early, then you can probably throw away the rest of Nate's map.
Exactly.

This whole idiotic rigged polls Abe conspiracy theory also defies common sense.

Silver has gotten himself a gig with the New York Times for this election, which I'm sure is more lucrative for them than his 2008 website was. Every time he appears on TV or any other media spot he makes money. To be considered the #1 election prediction guy is no doubt HUGELY profitable business, this has probably been very lucrative for him.

Why on Earth would he want to cash out for what will no doubt continue to be substantial income every 2 years, intentionally destroying his reputation? This makes zero sense. ZERO.

Besides, he shows all of the polling data his numbers are derived from, if he were manipulating the results this would be pretty easy to notice. He's using what he thinks is the most accurate methodology to come up with the results he feels are most accurate based on the data he has.

Again, to claim some sort of conspiracy theory involving him intentionally skewing his results is Abe territory, not to mention disingenuous. Again, I reiterate, if the results showed an EC lead for Romney there is NO ****ING WAY you guys would be questioning the accuracy of these polls. We're also supposed to believe that the fact the most fervent right wingers in here don't think the polls are accurate is just a coincidence?

Let's just cut to the chase:

- You believe the polling results are inaccurate because you desperately want them to be
- There is no conspiracy theory here
     
ebuddy
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Oct 31, 2012, 02:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
You guys are unreal. Ebuddy I missed the days when you were objective and not just a partisan like everybody else in here. This whole idea that these pollsters are jeopardizing their reputations and careers to bolster a politician is heading into Abe conspiracy theory territory, and you cannot say with any honesty that if the polls were finding Romney ahead in the EC that you'd still be questioning these polls.
I can't wait until this stupid election is over.
You're missing my points entirely, besson.

I'm not trying to claim some vast left-wing conspiracy here. I've not once stated the polling is "fixed" or "rigged" or any such thing. It's a difference in the methodology used, period. In my discussion with Dakar, I'm using the term bias to refer to whichever direction the poll inherently leans. For example, the polls I'm watching most closely show a bias for Romney and that's exactly how I've described it. I'm not saying they're damning their accuracy to support their guy; for all I know they believe they're correct. I just think using prior years' election turn-outs is a mistaken way to do this.

Y'all are coming unhinged here. Try to remain calm. There's only a few days left.
ebuddy
     
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Oct 31, 2012, 03:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Let's just cut to the chase:

- You believe the polling results are inaccurate because you desperately want them to be
- There is no conspiracy theory here
Doesn't this work both ways? If you were as confident in the polling showing an Obama victory, couldn't you just sit back, relax, and know that in a few short days you'll be able to rub it in everyone's faces? Why are you getting so stressed out?

I've come to my conclusion based on several factors. The factors themselves really aren't disputable in terms of the polls' methodology, but my conclusion could very well be wrong. I'm the sporting type and am trying to have a little fun here.

So... yes, let's cut to the chase. Any mere suggestion that the methodology used in the polling that shows an Obama victory could be mistaken, must be conspiracy-theory nonsense, preposterous, zealous, and foolish. Fine, we'll find out in just a couple of short days. Try not to get your partisan sensitivities all bundled up here in the meantime.
ebuddy
     
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Oct 31, 2012, 03:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
You guys are unreal. Ebuddy I missed the days when you were objective and not just a partisan like everybody else in here. This whole idea that these pollsters are jeopardizing their reputations and careers to bolster a politician is heading into Abe conspiracy theory territory, and you cannot say with any honesty that if the polls were finding Romney ahead in the EC that you'd still be questioning these polls.
I can't wait until this stupid election is over.
Besson: There's a simple test here.

The polls can't all be right. Some have Obama up 1, and at least one has him down 5. That's not within the margin of error.

The ones showing Obama up one are in the minority. If you look at the sample they are using, they are typically assuming that his base and the independents will be just as eager to vote for him as they where in 2008, despite poor economic numbers, a bad debate performance, and the fact that his signature piece of legislation isn't that popular.

Rasmussen and Gallup have recent polling data that shows that assumptions of 2008 numbers are a very poor assumption, and most political analysts on both sides of the aisle will tell you 2008 numbers aren't going to happen, if you ask them. Rasmussen has a good track record as far as predicting voter turnout.

Either you have to believe that Rasmussen and Gallup are lying about what their polling shows and that most political analysts don't know what they are doing, or that they are right and he polls showing Obama up are ignoring the signs and sticking with their weighting because it helps Obama.

It's not a matter of being a partisan. It's a matter of using your had and being rational. You can lead a poll to water....
     
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Oct 31, 2012, 03:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post

You're missing my points entirely, besson.
I'm not trying to claim some vast left-wing conspiracy here. I've not once stated the polling is "fixed" or "rigged" or any such thing. It's a difference in the methodology used, period. In my discussion with Dakar, I'm using the term bias to refer to whichever direction the poll inherently leans. For example, the polls I'm watching most closely show a bias for Romney and that's exactly how I've described it. I'm not saying they're damning their accuracy to support their guy; for all I know they believe they're correct. I just think using prior years' election turn-outs is a mistaken way to do this.
Y'all are coming unhinged here. Try to remain calm. There's only a few days left.
I'm sorry for lumping you in the same category as stupendousman, I thought you felt the same way.
     
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Oct 31, 2012, 03:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post

Doesn't this work both ways? If you were as confident in the polling showing an Obama victory, couldn't you just sit back, relax, and know that in a few short days you'll be able to rub it in everyone's faces? Why are you getting so stressed out?
I've come to my conclusion based on several factors. The factors themselves really aren't disputable in terms of the polls' methodology, but my conclusion could very well be wrong. I'm the sporting type and am trying to have a little fun here.
So... yes, let's cut to the chase. Any mere suggestion that the methodology used in the polling that shows an Obama victory could be mistaken, must be conspiracy-theory nonsense, preposterous, zealous, and foolish. Fine, we'll find out in just a couple of short days. Try not to get your partisan sensitivities all bundled up here in the meantime.
I don't know whether the polls are accurate or not, I'm not going to pretend that they provide some sort of crystal ball into the future. I'm just saying that whether you like the polling results or not, they say what they say, and there is no conspiracy theory.

You are welcome to have your own methodology, but I kind of find it silly to think that you (or anybody else) knows better than both RCP and 538.
     
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Oct 31, 2012, 03:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post

Besson: There's a simple test here.
The polls can't all be right. Some have Obama up 1, and at least one has him down 5. That's not within the margin of error.
The ones showing Obama up one are in the minority. If you look at the sample they are using, they are typically assuming that his base and the independents will be just as eager to vote for him as they where in 2008, despite poor economic numbers, a bad debate performance, and the fact that his signature piece of legislation isn't that popular.
Rasmussen and Gallup have recent polling data that shows that assumptions of 2008 numbers are a very poor assumption, and most political analysts on both sides of the aisle will tell you 2008 numbers aren't going to happen, if you ask them. Rasmussen has a good track record as far as predicting voter turnout.
Either you have to believe that Rasmussen and Gallup are lying about what their polling shows and that most political analysts don't know what they are doing, or that they are right and he polls showing Obama up are ignoring the signs and sticking with their weighting because it helps Obama.
It's not a matter of being a partisan. It's a matter of using your had and being rational. You can lead a poll to water....
That's why we take the average of all the polls, isn't this rather obvious?

I'm also still not sure why you are clinging to popular vote totals.
     
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Oct 31, 2012, 04:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post

That's why we take the average of all the polls, isn't this rather obvious?
An average makes the assumption that the polls on either of the ends of the spectrum are likely wrong.

If you can show logically that polls on just one end of the spectrum are based on false assumptions, then an average is allowing for a lot more "error" than should be necessary and artificially dragging the results in a certain direction. In the case of the RCP average, you are averaging together polls that often times are truly "apples to oranges" as to what they represent. There are polls there with weighting using unsupportable assumptions, and ones using actual current trend data to do weighting. The latter are much more likely to be more accurate (based on historical trends). Why would we average together polls that are more likely to be accurate based on easily discernible criteria, with ones that are considerably less likely to be accurate based on weighting that makes little sense, in order to determine where the race stands?

It can't be because someone wants the most likely scenario regarding the election.

I'm also still not sure why you are clinging to popular vote totals.
eBuddy explained it. Over about 2 points, you really don't need to worry about the EC. The votes will be there. Though, Rasmussen does have currently MR up 278 EC points right now as well.
     
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Oct 31, 2012, 05:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post

An average makes the assumption that the polls on either of the ends of the spectrum are likely wrong.
If you can show logically that polls on just one end of the spectrum are based on false assumptions, then an average is allowing for a lot more "error" than should be necessary and artificially dragging the results in a certain direction. In the case of the RCP average, you are averaging together polls that often times are truly "apples to oranges" as to what they represent. There are polls there with weighting using unsupportable assumptions, and ones using actual current trend data to do weighting. The latter are much more likely to be more accurate (based on historical trends). Why would we average together polls that are more likely to be accurate based on easily discernible criteria, with ones that are considerably less likely to be accurate based on weighting that makes little sense, in order to determine where the race stands?
It can't be because someone wants the most likely scenario regarding the election.
eBuddy explained it. Over about 2 points, you really don't need to worry about the EC. The votes will be there. Though, Rasmussen does have currently MR up 278 EC points right now as well.
So, you choose to simply ignore the polls that don't tell you what you want to hear. I get it.
     
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Oct 31, 2012, 06:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post

So, you choose to simply ignore the polls that don't tell you what you want to hear. I get it.
No, you don't get it. I'm pretty sure you're either incapable of getting it, or so partisan that you're stooping to dishonesty to pretend you don't get it.

I listed the REASONS why the polls in question are not in line with the others. I gave data and I explain precisely where they are getting it wrong and why.

You reply that they just "don't tell (me) what (I) want to hear" without refuting a single claim I've made.

So either you really don't get it, or you are just trolling. I'm open to either option. What's clear is that you've got pretty slim debate skills.
     
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Oct 31, 2012, 06:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post

No, you don't get it. I'm pretty sure you're either incapable of getting it, or so partisan that you're stooping to dishonesty to pretend you don't get it.
I listed the REASONS why the polls in question are not in line with the others. I gave data and I explain precisely where they are getting it wrong and why.
You reply that they just "don't tell (me) what (I) want to hear" without refuting a single claim I've made.
So either you really don't get it, or you are just trolling. I'm open to either option. What's clear is that you've got pretty slim debate skills.
Here's a tip: if you are going to criticize somebody's debate skills, don't write emotional posts that include personal attacks such as that I'm incapable of getting something.

Would you say that you have a better handle on polling methodology than both RCP and 538?
     
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Oct 31, 2012, 07:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Here's a tip: if you are going to criticize somebody's debate skills, don't write emotional posts that include personal attacks such as that I'm incapable of getting something.
Your entire reply which reduced my explanations of reasons you couldn't refute into a distortion, then finished with an "I get it" was a personal attack. Are you really suggesting that ignoring what I say, then replying sarcastically isn't an attempt to personally belittle me? Seriously?

Would you say that you have a better handle on polling methodology than both RCP and 538?
RCP and 538 poll different things, different ways. Both of which ignore historical precedent or trends that can't be easily modeled.

Since most of the polls are showing around the same numbers, but the difference is in how they are being weighted I would think that the smart thing to do is to figure out a way to display some sort of average that takes into account the different voter ID weighing.

Personally, I figure that Gallup, Rasmusssen, and most of the guys looking at internal polling numbers which show that the turnout isn't going to be close to the +7 Dem. advantage that some polls are using for both the national and state numbers, are correct. It seems logical, and it would appear that they've actually done the work to determine statistically the current trends. That should allow a reasonable person to discount polls that just guessing at turnout based on 2008. If all the polls where using current data to determine weighting and they all showed Obama ahead, there would be little reason to doubt them, unless you where dealing with a few outliers.

However, overestimating Democrat turnout is a problem that seems to happen every year. It happened in 2008 when pollsters where predicting +12 Dem and they where off five points.
     
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Oct 31, 2012, 09:20 AM
 
This man wants to be President?

So the Romney campaign wanted to run a "Storm Relief" collection for the flood situation. Then the Romney campaign worried that not enough people will bring goods, so they buy $5000 worth of goods. Then they give the goods to people so they can give it personally Romney himself. Then Romney will give the goods to the Red Cross.

If that's not ridiculous enough, the Romney campaign didn't bother to learn that the Red Cross doesn't accept donations of goods. They only take money, because processing donations of goods is too resource-intensive.

What a fncking clown.
     
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Oct 31, 2012, 09:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
I don't. What I do know is that at least 2 pollsters actually poll for likely voter data, and most others simply guess using the last election as it's basis.
Where did you find out that most others simply guess? Do you have a link?


Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
Don't know. Maybe because they would benefit their preferred candidate?
You don't make the most convincing argument.


Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
Virtually no one in politics will go on record as stating that they think that Obama will have the turn-out he did in 08', yet that's the standard they are using.
Did anyone in 2008 go on record predicting that +7 D turnout or was it unexpected?


I
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
Rasmussen had the LV break-down correct the last Presidential election while most over-stated the Democrat turnout.
Do you have a source for this? I'd like to see who else also faired well and how they contrast this year.


Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
Right now if you drop the high and low outliers, Romney is still ahead.
According to RCP, Romney is +.8. That's horse race material.
     
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Oct 31, 2012, 09:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
I'm pretty sure that was when there was a tie within the margin of error, and they were giving him 12 points. Probably around the time of the Republican Convention.
You can click on the balloon to go right to the quote.

It was on the 16th of October.

This would have been the point in the election where McCain's staff knew it was hopeless, and started lying to him in order to keep up appearances.
     
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Oct 31, 2012, 10:04 AM
 
I'm saying this now because it would likely be extra rude to do so after the election.

All you guys who are predicting a Romney victory in the face of Silver's 80/20 odds, you better hope he wins, because if not, I'm gonna remember how you shot your credibility straight to hell.
     
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Oct 31, 2012, 10:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
All you guys who are predicting a Romney victory in the face of Silver's 80/20 odds, you better hope he wins, because if not, I'm gonna remember how you shot your credibility straight to hell.
Besides ebuddy, there's aren't any MacNN conservatives with any credibility to lose.
     
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Oct 31, 2012, 10:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
I'm not trying to be combative, Dakar. Just smack-talkin', sporting...fun.
I find that shit obnoxious as hell.


Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
My interpretation of the available evidence, just like you. I see an average oversampling of Democrats of more than 6%. All aggregate polling does is roll this phenomena up into larger numbers.
How do you guys know they're oversampling? Based on your preferred pollster?

It's also worth noting that someone like Nate Silver weighs past results into his aggregates. Therefore if Pollster A tends to be R+1 and Pollster B is D+3, he anticipates for that lean. That means Pollster B would have to be D +6 to reinsert bias. (I think. P could destroy me on this)

Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
The polls cite an average margin of error of at least 3%. Given their MOE and the models being rolled into the polling, I choose to watch smaller samples using a different methodology. Yes, these preferred models do show favorable to Romney, but that doesn't make them wrong a priori
No, but selective sampling opens you up to distorted results. Doesn't mean you can't be right, but if you are it doesn't mean what you did was sound, either.


Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
You cited RealClearPolitics as a poll you watch, its average is Romney +1. Throw in 3 for the MOE, sprinkle 1 more in there for oversampling, and I'm at +5%. That's just what I conclude from the available evidence.
That's the other thing I've seen cited like crazy this year, MOE.

Okay, Romney is +1, sprinkle +1 for oversampling and subtract 3 for MOE and you get Obama +1. The sword cuts both ways but you guys don't seem to want to acknowledge it.


Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
I've certainly not suggested we go to those models, I appreciate current levels of "interest" having a say in the numbers, not sampling models from prior elections.
And Rasmussen is the only person who does this?


Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
You were so effective at expressing humility in your lack of certainty that your rigidity here surprises me. You act as if I'm not aware of how US Presidential elections work.
To be fair, you're shunning what seems to be more thorough and better targeted measurement for a different measure that can be misleading and isn't exclusive for victory.

Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
The reason we're even talking popular vote vs electoral vote is national polling vs battleground polling. I cited the rarity of a conflict between the popular vote result (national) and the result of the election (electoral, the reason battleground is even part of our nomenclature). I'm citing this because it's merely another pulse of the election. You don't accept it? Fine, there's no reason to suggest I'm void of math or logic.
Sure, it's rare, but that doesn't mean impossible. Further, while it give another "pulse" it's an unfocused and misleading one. Third, it seems to be the only source of your position and that's why I'm pointing out it's illogical.


Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
What is it that has you so certain I'm off the mark that I must be subjected to the third degree here?
Ah, but that's the thing. Sure, I don't see R+5 in the cards, but I'm far from ruling out something as high as +3.

I'm rattling your cage because when I ask how to come to your conclusion the methodology appears to be hoop jumping (unskew!), cheery picking (Ras!), and/or less accurate metrics (Popular vote!) all seem to be involved.


Are there electoral aggregators that show a probably Romney victory? The only criticism I've seen is that they aggregate pollster bias, which is possible, but would require the majority of pollsters to be mistaken or biased (likely?). If someone like RCP of 538 is wrong, it probably won't be because of their model, but because of the data they were given. If Ras is wrong, it will not be because of the data they were given, but the model they used. I can see an argument made for computer models not seeing the whole picture, but humans are just as likely to insert bias or fudge things because they don't look right.
     
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Oct 31, 2012, 10:17 AM
 
BTW, if you think 538 is bad, check out Sam Wang at Princeton. (I think it's down due to Sandy) He's giving Obama like 98% certainty to win the electoral, which sounds nuts.

But allow me to make on prediction: In four years all you guys shunning RCP and 538 will be coming around. Not because they turned out to be right, but because we will have right-leaning ones to counter people like Nate SIlver who are seen as having a liberal bias (Professional Unskewers, the Fox News for 538).

I make this prediction because 4 years ago we saw the rise of the fact checker, and this election season we have now seen several newspapers and networks now have their own in-house fact-checkers, essentially rendering the whole process worthless, as they now insert the bias of whatever narrative they wish to write.
     
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Oct 31, 2012, 10:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'm saying this now because it would likely be extra rude to do so after the election.
All you guys who are predicting a Romney victory in the face of Silver's 80/20 odds, you better hope he wins, because if not, I'm gonna remember how you shot your credibility straight to hell.
I do not share your belligerence.

At least, not unless they try to repeat the same game in 2016; But MacNN will be dead then, thanks to Obama's 1000 years of darkness.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 31, 2012, 11:01 AM
 
Here's a thread from 2008, one week before the election.

http://forums.macnn.com/0/forum/380054/your-electoral-college-predictions

My favorite quote:

"They can't hear you stupendousman. They can only hear the sound of hand cymbal crashing monkeys screeching ad homs. If there were 900 possible EC votes, Obama would be set to take 630 of them. Period. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Any statement you make that might steal away even a modicum of their zealous optimism renders you an a-rab hating, right-wing nut."
     
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Oct 31, 2012, 12:44 PM
 
Well timed blog from Silver. I don't think it's coincidence though since I imagine the debate we're having here is raging every where.

It may be futile, but I'll drop some info here.

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes...-popular-vote/

Mitt Romney and President Obama remain roughly tied in national polls, while state polls are suggestive of a lead for Mr. Obama in the Electoral College. Most people take this to mean that there is a fairly good chance of a split outcome between the Electoral College and the popular vote, as we had in 2000. But the story may not be so simple

For both the swing state polls and the national polls to be right, something else has to give to make the math work. If Mr. Obama is performing well in swing states, but is only tied in the popular vote nationally, that means he must be underperforming in noncompetitive states.
Rather, pretty much every method for evaluating the election based on state polls seems to hint at a very slight popular vote lead for Mr. Obama, along with an Electoral College one.
Suppose, for example, that you take the consensus forecast in each state. (By “consensus” I just mean: the average of the different forecasts.) Then you weigh it based on what each state’s share of the overall turnout was in 2008, in order to produce an estimate of the national popular vote.

Do the math, and you’ll find that this implies that Mr. Obama leads nationally by 1.9 percentage points — by no means a safe advantage, but still a better result for him than what the national polls suggest.

What if turnout doesn’t look like it did in 2008? Instead, what if the share of the votes that each state contributed was the same as in 2004, a better Republican year?

That doesn’t help to break the discord between state and national polls, unfortunately. Mr. Obama would lead by two percentage points in the consensus forecast weighing the states by their 2004 turnout.

Or we can weigh the states by their turnout in 2010, a very good Republican year. But that doesn’t help, either: instead, Mr. Obama leads by 2.1 percentage points based on this method.
But perhaps national polls tell the right story of the race instead — meaning that the state polls systematically overrate Mr. Obama’s standing?

It’s certainly possible. (It keeps me up late at night.) If the polls in states like Ohio and Wisconsin are wrong, then FiveThirtyEight — and all of our competitors that build projections based on state polls — will not have a happy Nov. 6.

With that said, our decision to cast our lot mostly with the state polls is not arbitrary. In recent years, they’ve been a slightly more unbiased indicator of how the election will play out.
In recent elections — since state polling data became more robust — it’s the state polls that have done a bit better. This was especially so in 1996, when national polls implied a double-digit victory for Bill Clinton over Bob Dole (and Ross Perot) but state polls were more in line with the single-digit victory that he actually achieved. In 2000, state polls provided an accurate portrayal of a too-close-to-call race, while national polls missed high on George W. Bush vs. Al Gore.

There have been other years like 1992 in which the national polls did a bit better. But on average since that year, the state polls have had a bias of 1.1 percentage points — half as much as the national polls, which have had a 2.1-point bias instead.


Further, clarifying how pollster bias is resolved.
http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes...polling-firms/

One of the ways that our forecast model seeks to make polling data more robust is by calculating and adjusting for “house effects,” which are systematic tendencies for polling firms to favor either the Democratic or Republican candidate.


If you are used to looking at Rasmussen Reports polls, your impression may be that their partisan lean is stronger than that. This is not wrong, actually. However, some of the difference results from the fact that Rasmussen is polling likely voters, while many other polling firms are polling registered voters.

Our methodology applies a “likely voter adjustment” in addition to the house effects adjustment. In fact, the likely voter adjustment is calculated first.
Historically in presidential years, polls of likely voters have been about 1.5 points more favorable to the Republican candidate than registered voter polls. The model uses this 1.5-point adjustment as a default, but updates it as new polls become available that provide for the comparison. So far this year, very few pollsters have released results like these, and they’ve been fairly close to the historical average, so the estimate hasn’t strayed very far from the default – it is now 1.6 points rather than 1.5.

Thus, all polls of registered voters are shifted by 1.6 points toward Mitt Romney so that they are comparable to likely-voter polls.
The philosophy of the model is simply to strip most of the house effect out of the poll. So a Public Policy Polling survey that showed Barack Obama ahead by seven points in Colorado would be treated as more like a four point lead for Mr. Obama once its house effect is accounted for.
In addition, in a new wrinkle in the model this year, the consensus is estimated solely from polling firms that include cellphones in their sample. More and more polling firms are including cellphones, including almost all of the major news organizations. But some still do not, and this is an increasingly unacceptable practice. About one-third of American households do not have landlines at all, while another one-sixth have landlines but rarely or never accept calls on them.

What this means is that polling firms that are not including cellphones are missing somewhere between one-third and one-half of the American population. That really stretches the definition of a scientific survey. There is reasonably persuasive evidence that this can bias results. Polling firms can try to compensate for the problem by applying demographic weights, but this entails making a lot of assumptions that may introduce other types of bias and error.

There has been a modest tendency this year for polling firms that do not include cellphones to show more favorable results for Mr. Romney than those that do include cellphones.
Take of that what you will.
     
The Final Dakar
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Oct 31, 2012, 12:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Here's a thread from 2008, one week before the election.
http://forums.macnn.com/0/forum/380054/your-electoral-college-predictions
My favorite quote:
"They can't hear you stupendousman. They can only hear the sound of hand cymbal crashing monkeys screeching ad homs. If there were 900 possible EC votes, Obama would be set to take 630 of them. Period. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Any statement you make that might steal away even a modicum of their zealous optimism renders you an a-rab hating, right-wing nut."
Yeotch.

Also, OP ****in' nailed it.
     
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Oct 31, 2012, 01:02 PM
 
One thing's for sure, my popularity ratings here have skyrocketed.
ebuddy
     
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Oct 31, 2012, 01:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post

Your entire reply which reduced my explanations of reasons you couldn't refute into a distortion, then finished with an "I get it" was a personal attack. Are you really suggesting that ignoring what I say, then replying sarcastically isn't an attempt to personally belittle me? Seriously?
RCP and 538 poll different things, different ways. Both of which ignore historical precedent or trends that can't be easily modeled.
Since most of the polls are showing around the same numbers, but the difference is in how they are being weighted I would think that the smart thing to do is to figure out a way to display some sort of average that takes into account the different voter ID weighing.
Personally, I figure that Gallup, Rasmusssen, and most of the guys looking at internal polling numbers which show that the turnout isn't going to be close to the +7 Dem. advantage that some polls are using for both the national and state numbers, are correct. It seems logical, and it would appear that they've actually done the work to determine statistically the current trends. That should allow a reasonable person to discount polls that just guessing at turnout based on 2008. If all the polls where using current data to determine weighting and they all showed Obama ahead, there would be little reason to doubt them, unless you where dealing with a few outliers.
However, overestimating Democrat turnout is a problem that seems to happen every year. It happened in 2008 when pollsters where predicting +12 Dem and they where off five points.
538 counts for house effects:

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/22/calculating-house-effects-of-polling-firms/

Read the latest 538 blog post that Dakar printed snippets of. I'm hoping this will put an end to this silliness.



     
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Oct 31, 2012, 01:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
However, overestimating Democrat turnout is a problem that seems to happen every year. It happened in 2008 when pollsters where predicting +12 Dem and they where off five points.
538 estimated 2008 as Obama up by 6.1 and 353 EC votes. He actually won by 7.2 and 365. I'm sure someone estimated a win by 12 points, but it was certainly not the consensus.

Your reasoning on the flaws of averaged polls is correct in theory, but it falls to Occam's razor. Basically, for it to be true almost all the pollsters would have to be using a bad methodology, and that's simply not the null hypothesis here.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
 
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