Monday, August 4, 2008

Warning: Be Skeptical of Pollsters!

Sharon Caliendo, formerly from Ohio, now in Oklahoma and a Republican activist there, sent me the following link from YouTube -- it's an Ohio GOP ad, and Sharon says it makes her proud of her home state: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkytVjgn-Uc Other states, please take notice . . .

Bulletin: There's growing evidence that Bill Clinton is NOT going to back Barack Obama. See my Monday column on: http://hillarysupportersformccain.blogspot.com. I've titled the column, "Bill, Hillary MUST Denounce Obama." See also the following link: http://purplepeoplevote.com/2008/08/04/clinton-remarks-bolster-mccains-claims-that-the-race-card-was-played/


"Don't always take at face value what pollsters tell you."
"A lot of people have gone broke betting that the pollsters are right."

One point to remember about Barack Hussein Obama is that he "polls" better (usually by 3 points or more) than he does on the day of the balloting. In contrast, McCain tends to do BETTER than he polls.

You may (vaguely) remember that in the Pennsylvania Primary (balloting on April 22) the MSM was saying that the race was tightening, and they even used their favorite phrase "too close to call." I predicted just before the Primary that Sen. Clinton would win by about 10%. She carried PA by 9.2% -- actually by a margin of nearly 15% outside Philadelphia County.

The results were similar in Ohio, where we were also told the Clinton-Obama race was "too close to call" and that Obama "was closing strong." Actually, he almost NEVER closes strongly. The undecided and the unsure (at least those who vote) almost always go for Obama's opponent.

The real situation in an election depends on the Likely Voters (those who vote with some regularity in elections). Obama tends to do well with "registered voters," a good portion of whom do NOT vote. (In fact, a significant portion of Likely Voters also don't vote -- about two out of ten or more -- but that's another story.)

Almost everywhere, voters who are -- or lean -- Republican are more likely to vote than Democrats. Also, on election day there are "exit polls" that tend to be presented as Gospel, but that can be very misleading. If you doubt that, just ask "President Kerry," who won all the (early) exit polls on election day in 2004.

Why does that happen? Because voters favoring the Republican candidate in a national (or other other federal) election tend to vote LATER than those favoring the Democratic candidate. That situation happens always -- in every election.

Also in 2004, some national polls (Zogby was one) said that last-minute-deciding Independents were "break eight-to-one" for Kerry. Again, "President Kerry" could only have wished that were true, which it was not. GWB won in 2004 by about 3 million votes, and the Independents generally vote for Bush. Pollsters are really bad at determining what late-deciding Independents are doing.

In 2004, Gallup responded to public pressures (from the MSM and Democrats) that accused it of including too many Republicans in their surveys. Gallup in fact changed its "gold-standard" polling template. It ended up predicting that Bush would carry PA -- and Kerry would carry Ohio. I said at the time that Gallup seemed to have mixed up the two states. In fact, Bush carried OH narrowly -- and Kerry did the same in PA.

Gallup also suggested that Kerry might win FL. In fact, he lost it by 300,000-plus votes.

Independents are less likely to vote than either Democrats or Republicans. In fact, some people who claim to be "Independents" are in fact uninterested in politics. "Independents" in that category rarely vote.

1 comment:

Freedom's Truth said...

"
Why does that happen? Because voters favoring the Republican candidate in a national (or other other federal) election tend to vote LATER than those favoring the Democratic candidate. That situation happens always -- in every election."

There is also plain old media bias in polls. CBS poll just came and had Obama ahead... but if you read the internals, they skewed it so they had a weighting of 48% Democrats ... and yet the poll had Obama at 45%!

More reliable and professional polls (I think Gallup and Rasmussen adn SurveyUSA are the best 3) show a neck-and-neck race.

This is good for McCain, as of the 8 times the Democrat was ahead in July, he won only 3 times.