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October 22, 2008

Are the Polls Accurate?

Michael Barone says sorta:

First, the exit polls in the recent presidential elections have tended to show the Democrats doing better than they actually did, partly because of interviewer error. The late Warren Mitofsky, in his study of the 2004 exit poll, found that the largest errors came in precincts where the interviewers were female graduate students.

Second, the exit polls in almost all the primaries this year showed Mr. Obama doing better than he actually did. The same respondent bias -- the greater willingness of Obama voters to be polled -- which apparently occurred on primary days could also occur in the exit poll on Election Day, and in the phone polls of early and absentee voters that Edison/Mitofsky will conduct to supplement it.

In the 2006 cycle, Democrats won the aggregate House vote by 7.9%. But the polls through October and November showed them with a 14.2% lead.

A few of the latest polls from that cycle:

FOX News 11/04 - 11/05, Democrats +13
CNN 11/03 - 11/05, Democrats +20
USA Today/Gallup 11/02 - 11/05, Democrats +7
ABC News/Wash Post 11/01 - 11/04, Democrats +6
Pew Research 11/01 - 11/04, Democrats +4
Newsweek 11/02 - 11/03, Democrats +16
Time 11/01 - 11/03, Democrats +15
CBS News/NY Times 10/27 - 10/31, Democrats +18
NBC/WSJ 10/28 - 10/30, Democrats +15

Note that only two of the polls were even close. Most showed an enormous overstatement of Democratic support. As in, double.

"Crush their Spirits:" Geraghty's "Obi-Wan:"

Why are they angry? Because their whole strategy relies on a demoralized GOP. Remember the scare they had in September?" Obi-Wan asked. "All that coronation stuff at the Democratic convention dissolved as McCain seized and held a good lead. They know how fragile things are. They need to keep the media talking about a massive GOP defeat, because all it might take is a few stories to the contrary and all of a sudden, it is mid-September again, when the rising McCain tide was lifting all boats.

Thanks to Slublog.

On the Other Hand... Has Murtha slipped to 50% and falling?

That's what internal polls say, Bill Russel's camp claims. Given Murtha's latest outbursts, I find it pretty plausible.

All Over the Place: McCain nets two in Gallup. They still show him behind 5-8 with likelies. Sort of right in that range of typical overstatement of Democratic support.


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posted by Ace at 12:52 PM

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