In Yesterday's NYTimes: Traditional Book Publishers Stomp Their Feet at Mean Amazon's Price-Cutting Ways | Main | Obama Attempts To Undermine Britain and Pander To Agentina By Calling Falklands "Malvinas;" Fails
April 17, 2012

Yesterday's CNN Poll Showing Nine Point Obama Lead Actually Showed Near Tie In Actual Respondent Count

CNN weighted the responses to get a nine point Obama lead, 52-43.

That's what they got when they weighted things. The actual count of people saying they'd vote for Obama versus Romney? 484-476. That's just barely a 1 or 2 point lead (among registered voters).

CAC had a post yesterday defending some media-poll weighting of poll results in favor of Democrats, but only from 0-4 points of Democratic advantage. Not seven points (the Democratic edge in the huge, non-replicable 2008 election) and not the 9, 10, or even 15 points you see sometimes.

One thing is that while we, as partisans, focus on the partisan split and partisan weighting, in fact pollsters are weighting on a lot of other things. Typically, pollsters get far, far too many older voters and far, far too few younger voters, so they have to greatly overweight the younger respondents they get through to.

Now, they're supposed to have quotas for different age groups (they keep calling people until they have the right number of younger voters) so that they don't have to weight. But that gets expensive, and many times they don't bother with the quotas because that drives up cost. Instead they resort to the cheap expedient of weighting.

(I remember a guy defending candidate polls --often dismissed as self-serving-- and noting that at least candidate polls have some money put into them, and tend to be more accurate, if you can get the actual polling data. Media polls are often cheaper and thus feature worse demographics, weighted this way and that to get the right balance.0

But everytime you deliberately weight on one thing (say, weighting up younger voters) you wind up incidentally, and avoidably, weighting up on a host of other things (like Democratic affiliation). As one pollster told me, it's like Wack-A-Mole -- you weight to correct one demographic imbalance, weighting it to make it go away, and due to your weighting another demographic imbalance pops up, which itself needs to be wacked, and that leads to another, and so on.

CNN's poll might not have been engineered to produce a partisan result but when a tie becomes a nine-point blow-out via demographic weighting, well, the numbers have been teased an awful lot, and the results are suspect. Virtually all of Obama's advantage in the CNN poll is not actual respondants giving him their support, but the result of mathematical manipulations. As they say, if you torture the data enough it'll confess to anything.



digg this
posted by Ace at 10:57 AM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
WhatWhatWhat?: "491 The 9th circuit court is deciding whether or n ..."

kraken: "489 24,537.96 +151.93 (+0.62%) Posted by: DJIA De ..."

AltonJackson: "[i]Is Warren implying that Gillibrand put out for ..."

Duncanthrax[/i]: "[i]life in Lost Angels: i now routinely get robo c ..."

Donald Trump's Presidential Forehead Merkin: ">>59 Congresswomen calling for Trump Sexual Assaul ..."

Random Hawaii Judge #7: "491 The 9th circuit court is deciding whether or n ..."

Thurston Donovan Pendergrast III [/i]: "[i]life in Lost Angels: i now routinely get robo c ..."

Alberta Oil Peon: "Is Warren implying that Gillibrand put out for mon ..."

WhatWhatWhat?: "450 I never got why LGF was popular. Maybe the com ..."

josephistan: "483 Is Warren implying that Gillibrand put out for ..."

Christopher R Taylor: "The 9th circuit court is deciding whether or not a ..."

rickb223 [/s][/b][/i][/u]: "Yes, but the photos of the oil tankers on the hori ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64