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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Polling Wrap: Muddled messages about the post-debate electoral state of play (330 comments)

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  •  Baydoun Foster, I thought it seemed familar (5+ / 0-)
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    LordMike, Ryan in Iowa, nycvisionary, IM, Sylv

    They did a poll of the state of Florida back in August that showed Romney leading Obama by 14 points, and Nate Silver gave them a scathing review at the time.

    All of this polling was pretty normal, of course. But there was one last survey. It was from the polling firm Foster McCollum White Baydoun, which conducts polls for Democratic candidates as well as independently. It was a poll of Florida and it had Mr. Romney ahead by nearly 15 points there.


    Regular readers will know that I generally refrain from making comments on the demographics within an individual poll. They will vary a bit from survey to survey based both on random variance and the different assumptions that pollsters make about just who will turn out. The random variance can be reduced by taking an average of surveys — and if pollsters have a persistent tendency to favor one candidate over another, we can account for that with our house effects adjustment, which is designed to detect and counteract these tendencies.

    But once in a great while, a poll comes along with methodology that is so implausible that it deserves some further comment. The Foster McCollum White Baydoun poll of Florida is one such survey.

    The poll was weighted to a demographic estimate that predicts that just 2 percent of Florida voters will be 30 or younger. It’s a decent bet that turnout will be down some among younger voters this year, but that isn’t a realistic estimate. In 2008, according to exit polls, 15 percent of voters in Florida were between 18 and 30.

    The poll also assumed that 10 percent of voters will be between the ages of 31 and 50. In 2008, the actual percentage was 36 percent, according to the exit survey.

    The poll projected Latinos to be 7 percent of the turnout in Florida, against 14 percent in 2008. And it has African-American turnout at 10 percent, down from 13 percent.

    If the turnout numbers look something like that in November, then Mr. Obama will lose Florida badly. He’ll also lose almost every other state; his electoral map might look a lot like Walter Mondale’s.

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