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December 16, 2007

Polls Are For Shit Right Now

People's heads are elsewhere.

Thanks to the elbowing among states that pushed the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries into early January, those contests will be held shortly after Christmas and New Year's Day. Campaigns and news organizations scrounging for last-minute data, which can detect crucial 11th-hour shifts, will have to deal with polling during the holidays, something pollsters usually avoid like the plague.

"We're in uncharted territory," said Mark Schulman, who polls for Time magazine and corporate clients. "We've never faced the need or possibility of having to poll during this period."

The reasons: It's harder to get a truly representative sample of the public during the holidays because younger, more affluent people tend to be traveling, shopping or otherwise busy. Even people at home are less willing than usual to be questioned by a telephone interviewer because they're busy or would rather spend time with family and friends.

They imply that 'the holidays' are Christmas and New Year's.

I'm submitting for your consideration that these holiday distractions start a bit earlier than Dec. 24th, and lots of voters are simply not paying attention this early.

For what it's worth.


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posted by LauraW. at 10:27 AM

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